By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
An Awka Diocesan Catholic priest, Rev Fr Kenneth Udokogu has exhorted Christian youths to desist from paganism which he said leads them to doom, but take up practical Christianity for their total wellbeing.
Rev Fr Udokogu, who is the parish vicar of St Michael’s Parish, Nanka, Orumba North L.G.A, Anambra State, stated this in his homily of a concelebrated burial Mass at St Theresa’s Parish, Ukwulu, Dunukofia L.G.A, for late Michael Onwuatogbo. The deceased, fondly known as Atama, who died at 36 years, was the immediate past president of Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON), Ifitedunu Deanery, Awka Diocese.
He regretted that many youths had returned to paganism, and enjoined those that had derailed from the path of God, to see the death of the deceased, who he described as a devout Catholic and practical Christian, to have a re-think and return to God. The priest advised youths against what he described as reckless lifestyle.
Addressing the youths and others and filled the big hall that currently serves as venue for Holy Mass to the brim, Fr Udokogu said, ‘Let us learn from the life of the deceased. Late Onwuatogbo was a devout Catholic, an active member of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Society, the chairman of Catholic Laity Council of St Theresa’s Parish, Ukwulu and a practicing Christian, who was outstanding in his commitment to the good of the Church and wellbeing of others.
He continued, ‘Take up practical Christianity, make out time for God and seek the face of God always. Do not allow worldly riches to distract you from worshipping and serving God. Do not turn earthly things such as wealth, fashion, mobile phone, etc into your god, as such was a contradiction to Christian life’.
The Catholic priest enjoined all to prepare dwelling places for themselves in heaven through engaging in corporal works of mercy such as visit to and care for the sick, burying the dead, care for the needy and other acts of charity.
He advised all to try and give help to others, especially the needy when they were alive, saying that such actions as donating in support of the burial of the dead, order than helping him out in his life time, was unacceptable.