Opinion

Historic 88 Years Old St. Theresa’s Church Nibo, Celebrates Rededication Mass

. . . Appreciates Priests & Parishioners for their Efforts

By Uchechukwu Enem

Barely five months of the Bishop’s Pastoral visit to St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, the church which is now 88 years old with a new look was rededicated on 13th October, 2019.

Delivering the homily, the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Most. Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, explained the meaning and significance of dedication of the Catholic Church. He thanked the priests and well-wishers at the event, for coming to celebrate with Nibo Catholic Community. The bishop who was amazed by the tremendous efforts in the church building, thanked the parishioners and community members for all their efforts and contributions to the church and urged Christians not to be reluctant in doing good to people. Drawing from the readings, the bishop explained the need for people to always seek the face of God in all they do.

The cradle for evangelization in Nibo was laid in 1931 when Mr. Joseph Ifeagwu, met the elders of the town to request a piece of land to establish a mission station. In October 1932, the Feast of St. Theresa of Child Jesus, Rev. Fr. Thomas Fox blessed the church premises on behalf of Rev. Fr. Liddane and gave the church the name of the Patron Saint.

In 1932, St. Theresa received her first male and female converts and in 1936, the first wedding took place between Mr. Alfred Anachebe and Matilda Anachebe. Gradual profession of Priests and Religious, sparked more zeal for young boys and girls to enter into religious orders.

St. Theresa’s Nibo was dedicated by the then Bishop of Awka Diocese of the Blessed memory, Most Rev Simon Okafor but represented by Most. Rev. P.C Ezeokafor on 22nd December 2008. Few years after its dedication, the church needed more renovation and on arrival to the parish, Rev. Fr. Joseph Ejim, was enthusiastic on re-roofing the leaky church. When Fr. JohnBosco Ezeokoli came in as Parish Priest, he took the initiative to start the renovation which took him about five years

The church has got so many contributions from people especially through land donations and financial support. At the rededication ceremony, some persons given awards for their contributions to the church. They are: Rev. Fr. Innocent Nwafor, Kanayo Nwafor, Chike Arinze, Alex Odigwe, D.E.O Obiano, Ozo Ughamadu, Inno Akuvue, Okey Charles Nwankwo, Obi Nwankwo, Cyril Nwokolo, Tony Eze, Kanayo Ughamadi, E.C Chinedu, Bernard Enendu.

Others are: Raphael Okeke, Chukwudi Nwuzor, Francis Udogu, Jerome Nwonu, Nnezigbokwukwe Arize, Mary Egede, J.P.A Okeke, Uchenna Ngenegbo, Innocent Ugochukwu Urneadi, Alexander Akpuba, Patrick Ubajiaka, Clem Nwogbo, The families of PVN Ezekwe, Ibada of Egbeani Ezeawulu, and Stephen Nwobu Udum, Ichie GNC Ekwunife, Ichie Nathaniel Okonkwo & Late Willie Anachebe.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Kanayo Ughammadu, welcomed all to the event and thanked all individuals and groups for their efforts towards the Catholic Community. He encouraged parishioners to always be ready to work for God and for the church.

In the welcome address presented by the Parish Council, the Parish thanked Bishop Ezeokafor for all his efforts in moving the diocese forward. Also, the address thanked Nibo Catholic Community for their cooperation and for the growth of Catholic faith in Nibo. The address thanked all the families, parishioners and community members who went through thick and thin to see the growth of the Catholic faith in Nibo Community. The address thanked Fr Ezeokoli, for his strong-will wish ensured that the church building and the roads got modern face lift.

In his remarks, the Parish Priest, JohnBosco Ezeokoli, thanked the Nibo Catholic Community, volunteers and individuals that helped before and after the church renovations. In a special way, he thanked the Bishop; the Assisting Priest, Rev. Fr. James Amaefuna; the Pastoral Council; various committees and all the statutory bodies in the church. He also thanked parishioners who brought in their widow’s mite to ensure the church was ready for the rededication.

Group photograph of the Bishop with the Religious after the Mass
Group photograph of the Bishop with the concelebrating priests after the Mass
CWO Members with the Bishop in a group photograph
Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON), in a group photograph with the Bishop
Knight of the Church in a group photograph with the Bishop
Altar Boys in a group photograph with the Bishop after the Mass
A view of the church during the mass
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most. Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, anointing the Altar with Chrism Oil

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