The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, has on Sunday, March 4th, 2018, declared the laity week open, it was tagged’ Nigeria Laity, Deepening the Priestly, Kingly and Prophetic Roles’ and was held at St Joseph Pro Cathedral, Ekwulobia, Aguata L.G.A of Anambra State. The laity week, which is the annual Lenten event, coincided with the Inauguration of new executives that took over from the past administration.
Leading in the Holy Mass that preceded the event, the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor commended the past administration led by Comrade Emma Ezeokafor for their good work and urged them not to relent in rendering services to God, the Church and humanity. He then advised the new elected executives to emulate the good work of the past administration. Bishop Ezeokafor, who based his reflection on the reading of the Sunday, chided all against deceit, cheating, lies and false promises which he said were often common among politicians, but charged all to strive for truth and justice so as to make the kingdom of God. He then commended the good projects that is going on in St Joseph Pro Cathedral and charged them to contribute towards the ongoing Church building which he said was almost at the finishing point. He admonished those who do not contribute towards project in the house of God, saying such people would not have the blessings of God.
The Catholic prelate advised all to participate fully in the Laity Week and tasked all to live on strength and faith in God. He thanked God for the success of the election and handover to the executives and charged the new executives to take the laity to greater heights. He charged them to be bold in proclaiming the word of God and urged them to be the light of the world and to be proud of their status. He urged them to stand firm as a leader for the people are looking up to them, and to encourage and support the church. This was even as he charged them to live lives worthy of emulation. He added that the clergy have big responsibilities to direct the lay people both in words and actions. He prayed that God would direct the newly elected excos to work according to his direction. He commended the Senator representing Anambra Central, Sir Victor Umeh for his selfless contribution in the service of God and humanity and prayed God to keep and bless him saying he now has big responsibilities.
In his welcome address ,the president, Joseph Igwebuike appreciated the past executives led by Comrade Emma Ezeokafor for the way they piloted the Council affairs for the past year and promised to do better than them He advised them to participate fully in the Laity Week, saying that the theme of Laity week was Nigeria Laity, Deepening the Priestly, kingly, and Prophetic roles, saying that the Roles are what every baptized Catholic should play so as to imitate Christ by embracing the good news, listening and meditating on the word of God.
In a chat with Fides, the Chaplain, Laity Council, Awka Diocese Rev Fr Michael Muonwe stated that the past Administration did well by promoting the laity to a higher level, by setting example of accountability, discipleship and humility. He advised the incoming executives to learn from the past executive, to know where they did well and improve on them.