First Pastoral Visit in 7 Years to St Thomas Aquinas

…Bishop Ezeokafor Confirms 462 Candidates

By Chiagolum Omege

St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Parish GRA, Agu-Awka, on Sunday, February 5, received the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Chukwuemeka Ezeokafor, on a pastoral visit to the parish. It was the first time in seven years since the bishop was last received on such occasion at the parish.

The Bishop, during the pastoral visit, assessed the growth of the parish and raised 462 parishioners as Soldiers of Christ through the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Speaking at the 2023 pastoral visit which was a commemoration of the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, dated January 28, Bishop Ezeokafor, who had his secretary, Rev Fr Evaristus Iheanacho; the Chancellor of the diocese, Rev Fr Charles Ndubisi Chidume; among others, on his entourage, said he was delighted with the growth of St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Parish, GRA, which was among the first parishes created.

In his homily, Most Rev Ezeokafor described the Most Holy Trinity as the central point of the faith and spiritual life of the Church. According to him, the prayer life of the Church began and ended with the Holy Trinity, which he said, were the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Catholic prelate, who based his reflections on  National Development, noted that the life of the Church and her faithful revolves around the growth and development of the nation. He challenged everyone to take the February 25 presidential election very seriously.

In the same vein, the Catholic prelate led hundreds of worshippers to Christ through the Sacrament of Confirmation, where the confirmed candidates, affirmed their readiness to be steadfast in their walk with God, having received the Holy Spirit, via the laying on of apostolic hands and anointing with oil.

The parish, in her address of welcome which was signed by the Parish Priest, Rev Fr Francis Oranye; the Vice Chairman, Parish Council, Builder Sir Jonathan Ezeuchu; and the Secretary, Parish Council, Prof. Nkechi Patricia-Mary Esomonu, thanked the Bishop for his visit and his homily which according to them was for  good governance and justice for all in the state and Nigeria.

In the address, they also appreciated Bishop Ezeokafor for what they described as his consideration and fatherly love which he demonstrated in the visit and administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation, while urging him to come to their aid with respect to the erosion threatening the Parish Rectory.

Presentation of gifts to the bishop by various groups and families, stone laying project of the outstation’s parish residence (CKC), as well as dance presentations, were the highlights of the event which had Barr. Sir J.B.C Obikwelu as the  chairman of the occasion, among other dignitaries.