By Chioma Ndife
… As Bishop Okoye Calls for Greater Responsibilities, Commitments
The Onitsha Metropolitan Council, Order of the Knights of St. Mulumba, Nigeria, has admitted over 200 members to the 4th degree of the order.
The admission to the 4th degree and subsequent investiture of the members drawn from Onitsha, Awka, Enugu, Nsukka, Nnewi, Abakaliki, Awgu and Ekwubia dioceses, was held on Sunday, July 19, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka, Anambra State.
Fides gathered that the admission and investiture of the members to 4th degree which was performed by the worthy supreme Knights, Bro. Diamond Ovueraye, conferred the highest membership grade to the members.
Leading in the concelebrated Eucharistic Celebration, the Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Diocese, his Lordship, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, stated that the admission and investiture into the 4th degree calls for the members to take up greater responsibility and commitment in the order.
Addressing knight members on the deceptive face of evil, bishop Okoye maintained that the reality of evil in the present day society could not be disputed, saying that it happened in various ways such as rape of minors, cheating among spouses, murder and inordinate selfishness.
He disclosed that Christ in the gospel affirmed the reality of evil.
‘Evil is real: if we are cautious of it, it will make us stand gallantly on our toes. It has many faces, thus is difficult to pin down to a particular place. Evil generates its own destruction, it has a day of judgment, and on that day, it will be destroyed.
‘People have always wondered why God allowed evil to exist among his created human beings. Allowing evil to exist is giving opportunity for those who are bad to recognize and turn anew, the cleric explained.
He beckoned on the knight members to unit themselves with Christ in order to produce good seed and not to be sacred of the challenges which they might encounter on their way. He said knights must be ready and willing at all times to resist evil and fight for what was just in line with the footsteps of their patron saint who fought and stood for what was right.
Bishop Okoye who was once a chaplain of Knight of St. Mulumba sub-council, recalled the active engagements of the members, saying that such made them more committed to the affairs of the church.
In his remark, the Cathedral Administrator, Rev. Fr. Matthew Attansey, congratulated those admitted in the 4th degree order and charged them to keep the light shining.
Fr. Attansey, commended worthy Supreme Knight, Bro. Diamond Ovueraye and the Onitsha Metro Grand Knight, Bro. Boniface Orakwe alongside their Ladies for the order and discipline which the members exhibits in their daily conduct.
Speaking after the Eucharistic Celebration, the Worthy Supreme Knight of St. Mulumba, Bro. Diamond Ovueraye, congratulated the newly admitted 4th degree members and reminded them that lots of people will be looking up to them, charging them to improve and become better in their endeavours.
Bro. Ovueraye, who donated to the widows within the order, commended them for continuing with the order, even at the death of their husbands in the face of the various difficulties they must have encountered, describing them as the heroes of the order.
Also Speaking, Onitsha Metro Grand Knight, Bro. Boniface Orakwe, appreciated Bishop Okoye for creating out time to attend their programme, saying it was difficult for most bishops in the Onitsha Metropolitan Council to adjust their programmes. He described Bishop Okoye, who was formerly a KSM sub-council chaplain, as KSM bishop.
Earlier in an interview, Bro. Orakwe, explained that the admission and investiture to 4th degree, the highest statue in the order, confers eldership position to the members.
He said that the newly admitted member are expected to become more subservient to church, protect the church’s belief and ensure that they are people of peace. He said that through the oat of alliance and affirmation, ideals of the Church and Order must be upheld at all point.
Some of the newly Invested 4th degree members, Lady Betty Peter Udogu, Sir. Paulinus Okorocha and Patrick Muo, while expressing delight over their investiture, disclosed that the position came with higher responsibility, noting that they were expected to defend the image of the church, order and themselves.
They maintained that the position required more hard work, determination and commitment, saying that one was required to sacrifice the 3Ts; time, talent and treasure.