By Chioma Ndife
The auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, has blessed a grotto, housing the statues of Immaculate Heart of Mary and Sacred Heart of Jesus at Ss Peter & Paul's Parish, Isuofia, Aguata LGA, Anambra State.
Bishop Okoye who blessed the grotto donated to the parish by Mr. Dozie Okekeuche on Sunday 1st July, 2018 during the patron feast day of the parish, also conferred the Sacrament of Baptism on three infants.
Blessing the Grotto, Bishop Okoye commended Mr. Dozie Okekeuche for taking up the responsibility of building the grotto for the church. He stressed the importance of giving to the church, noting that such gifts were usually monument to be used in remembrance of such a person generations upon generation. He urged other parishioners to look in-depth and identify the different needs of the parish in order to assist in providing solution to the said needs.
He emphasized the inherent benefits of having a grotto in a parish, saying that it would enable the parishioner to be closer and have better relationship with God. He tasked the parishioners to make effective use of the grotto as a place of prayer and present their various family problems to God who has the capacity of providing solution to the said problems. He frowned at people who move from one place to another sharing their problems, to desist from such attitude but to take such to Mary and Christ in prayer.
Earlier in his homily, Bishop Okoye stressed the importance of faith in the lives of Christians and the need for people to be consistent in their quest for holiness through partaking constantly in the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Drawing from the day's reading, bishop Okoye revealed that Jarius daughter and the women with the issue of blood received healing through the faith which they displayed in Christ. He urged Christians to solidify their faith in Christ and regretted that most Christians often deny their faith due to certain happenings in life.
In his remark, the Parish Priest of Ss Peter and Paul's Parish, Isuofia, Rev. Fr. Christopher Nnonyelu thanked Mr. Dozie Okekeuche for taking up the task of providing the grotto to the parish. He revealed that the celebration whichcommenced the parish's 10th Anniversary, would come to end by October with the dedication of the Church building.
Highpoints of the celebration were dance by Holy Childhood Association, Altar Knights and cultural dance competition by various zones in the parish. The zones dance competition saw St. Micheal's Zone lifting the trophy with a cash prize of N25,000 followed by St. Pius Zone that came second with a cash prize N20,000 while N15,000 was won by St. Cecilia's Zone that came 3rd in the competition.