By Ujunwa Ojukwu
The Catholic Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese, Most Rev. Peter Okpaleke, has lauded the Management and Staff of Madonna Girls’ Secondary School, Umunze, as the school marked her 25 years of existence on Sunday, October 24, 2021.
In his homily during the event, the bishop; together with concelebrating priests, amongst whom were the Education Secretary, CADEK, Fr. Dr. Vitalis Azike; the school Manager, Fr. Stephen Ugochukwu; the Parish Priest, St Joseph Umunze, Fr. Jude Thaddeus Offordum; the immediate past manager, Fr. Levi Ukor; charged the people to understand their positions as disciples of Christ on earthly pilgrimage.
He noted that the event coincided with the celebration of the World Mission Sunday and reminded them of their call to be apostles of Jesus Christ, bearing witness to Christ through preaching the gospel. The Prelate reiterated the mission mandate of Jesus Christ, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19).
Bishop Okpaleke admonished all the faithful to imbibe the culture of discipline, while urging the students to avail themselves of the gains of good education in shaping their lives better for the future. He expressed appreciation to those who had contributed immensely to the growth of education, especially teachers, who, he said, took their work as service to God and humanity. He also thanked benefactors who used their God-given wealth to improve others.
For the part of the students, the bishop encouraged them to be obedient and remain loyal to constituted authorities. To the 2021 graduands, whose graduation ceremony was equally held on the same day, the Chief Shepherd of CADEK reminded them that the world was not a bed of roses and therefore should expect challenges in the pluralistic world. He however charged them to always place their faith in God, be prayerful, and allow the Holy Spirit to direct them.
The Prelate who advised those who received the Sacrament of Confirmation to be fervently zealous as they lived out their faith as Soldiers of Christ; always be aware of their Christian responsibilities and to witness daily to the gifts of the Holy Spirit conferred on them.
Expressing his gratitude, the school Manager, Fr. Stephen Ugochukwu, extolled the bishop for his goodwill. He further showered encomiums on the Catholic Women’s Organization (C.W.O), Akpu Region, whom he disclosed as the sponsors of the school. For her part, the principal of the school, Lady Justina Okafor, thanked the bishop for honoring their invitation. She reiterated her commitment to moulding the behavior of students positively.
The highlight of the occasion was a fundraising for an ultramodern administrative/laboratories complex. As regards this project, the Manager, Fr. Ugochukwu, noted that it became necessary due to the growing number of students seeking for quality, assured learning and conducive academic environment which the school offered.
Other highlights included the presentation of gifts to the bishop and cultural displays, among others.
It will be recalled that Madonna Girls’ Secondary School, Umunze; a leading secondary school with exceptional boarding facilities for girls, was established in 1995 by the Catholic Women’s Organization (Akpu Region).