The Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, in a well-attended ceremony at St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Achina, Aguata L.G.A, Anambra State (the Regional Headquarter) on Saturday, February 24, 2018, inaugurated the new Achina Ecclesiastical Region, to bring to six, the total number of regions of the diocese.
Inaugurating the region at exactly 12.15 pm, Bishop Ezeokafor, who had the chancellor of Awka Catholic Diocese, Rev Fr. Francis Chidume in his entourage, tasked the members of the 3 deaneries (Achina, Akpo and Umuchu), and the 19 parishes of the region to brace up for the added responsibility which accompanied their elevation to the new Achina Region.
He tasked them on sacrifices, hard work, commitment and cooperation to lift the region to greater heights, so as to reap the accompanied benefits of their elevation.
In his homily of the concelebrated inauguration Mass, Bishop Ezeokafor, thanked God that Awka Catholic Diocese which started with only Awka and Ekwulobia regions, had at 40, grown to six regions.
Pointing out that the new region was to get the people closer to God and the Church, and vice versa, the Catholic prelate thanked God for the growth and progress of the many children (parishes) of the old Achina parish.
The bishop, who took the faithful through the hierarchy and authority of the Church, noted that the bishop was the last point of call for the people of God, saying that hierarchically, the ladder on pastoral affairs of the people of God moves from the parish priest, to the dean, to the episcopal vicar, and then, the bishop.
He stressed the need for the priests and the parishioners of the region to cooperate with, and support the Episcopal Vicar of Achina Region, Rev. Fr. Dr. Jerry Okeke in moving the region forward.
Achina Regional Pastoral Council through the address of welcome that was signed by the Episcopal Vicar & Chairman, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Jerry Okeke; the Vice Chairman, Mr. Chinedu Ochuba, and the Secretary, Mrs. Anulika Ezekwueme, noted that the new region which was created out of the old Ekwulobia Region by the bishop on Monday, September 4, 2017, and took effect on October 1, 2017, was to reduce the over populated old region.
The creation of the region according to the address was to bring evangelization to the doorsteps of the people of god, to keep the faithful informed of the structure of the Church, to reduce stress and inconveniences of traveling to Ekwulobia for regional and diocesan events such as the annual Chrism Mass, to save traveling expenses and to ensure active participation of all.
The region through the address solicited for financial donations and supports towards the building of a befitting Achina Regional Secretariat to enable her take off on a strong footing. This was even as the region appealed to the diocese to treat her as a baby in teething stage in matters of financial obligations and other diocesan responsibilities.
In his remarks, the vice chairman of the region, Mr. Chinedu Ochuba, thanked the bishop for the creation of Achina Region, and solicited for supports from all for the development of the Baby Region of Awka Catholic Diocese.