… Fetes Over 500 Disadvantaged People in Awka, Donates Relief Materials
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor, on Saturday 8 April 2023, gifted over 500 people, including those living below poverty line, vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society from different religious backgrounds, with relief materials and items worth millions of Naira during this year’s Easter Celebration, report Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu and Chukwukadibia Uzoaganobi.
The beneficiaries, comprising youths, septuagenarians and octogenarians, thronged St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka, on Holy Saturday to receive items such as bags of rice, loaves of bread, articles of clothing, shoes, umbrellas, cartons of noodles, tubers of yam, cocoa yams, cocoa nuts, among other consumables.
Delivering the items to the beneficiaries, Bishop Ezeokafor told them to accept their condition in good faith, knowing that God was always with them.
Bishop Ezeokafor noted that as living beings, they needed sustenance, pointing out that those selected for the Easter gifts were the poorest of the poor in society and there was need to show them compassion by giving them food and water.
According to him, there were many people in society who were really suffering and poor. He said those people could not afford one square meal, let alone three square meals, per day.
He equally observed that religious denomination was of no consequence in charity, as what mattered was living a good life. He said this was because he believed that it would be too pathetic to be poor and needy on earth; yet one still lost eternal life.
The cleric who expressed reservations that some people had made begging a profession, said even when such people were given jobs, they abandoned them and returned to begging.
The Catholic prelate thereby admonished those who could still fend for themselves to venture into things that were worthwhile and morally justifiable and not begging in any form.
He said that if people should go by what they saw or encountered, no one would want to give to charity because he observed that people pretended a lot to be suffering from one ailment or the other, just to beg for alms.
Bishop Ezeokafor called on good spirited individuals to come to the aid of the poor and downtrodden in society.
He emphasized that the less privileged needed the help of those who had amassed wealth to be able to improve their living conditions.
Also Fr. Levi Ukor, Director, Justice, Development and Peace Caritas (JDPC), Awka Diocese, said the Diocese of Awka and JDPC Caritas, Awka Diocese, were remembering the poor and the needy by providing succour for them as Christ did not abandon the needy.
‘Easter is a season when the Church makes special visits to the poor. Amidst the difficult situation in the nation, I plead with the poor to take solace in the power of the risen Lord. Life is full of challenges, but as Christians, one ought to be patient with God, trusting solely in the mercy of Him who died to set us free,’ Fr Ukor said.
He further explained that it was the function of JDPC to help in showing charity to the downtrodden and less privileged in society.
Appreciating the bishop, one of the beneficiaries, Mrs Ijeoma Olu, thanked him for his benevolence and kindheartedness, noting that the bishop was always spoiling them with material gifts every month and not just during the Easter period. She urged others to emulate the bishop whom she described as a compassionate prelate.