By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
St Patrick’s Cathedral podium, Awka, was agog as the Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria Awka Diocese (CLCNAD), last Thursday, December 17, celebrated the 2020 Annual Joint Laity Council Bishops’ Christmas with the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, and his auxiliary, Most Rev Jonas Benson Okoye.
The CLCNAD, alongside its lay organs of the Catholic Men’s Organisation (CMO), the Catholic Women’s Organisation (CWO); the Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON) and the Holy Childhood (HCA), at the event, presented Christmas gifts to the Chief Shepherd of the diocese, Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor, and the Episcopal household.
Bishop Ezeokafor, who commended the Laity Council and the various organs of the Council for being able to sustain the Joint Annual Christmas Celebration, and their support to the Church, presented various take-home Christmas gifts to all that graced the event. The Catholic prelate described the Laity Council as the umbrella body for all lay groups, as well as the life and future of the Church.
Responding on behalf of the chief shepherd of Awka Diocese, the Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Jonas Benson Okoye, extolled the laity for their support to the diocese, especially, to the Peter University, Achina/Onneh, which he described as a capital project of the Catholic Diocese of Awka and Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia. He assured that all the monetary donations from the laity groups would be put into good use.
Highlights of the event were debate by the members of the Holy Childhood Association (HCA); bible quiz competition among the CMO, CWO, CYON and HCA members; presentation on the appearances of Holy Mother, Mary, by the members of the Mary League Girls’ Association, and cutting of the event cake.
Fides gathered that the 2020 Joint Laity Council Bishops’ Christmas, was hosted by the CMO who picked the bill for the event. The CWO is expected to be the host of the 2021 event.