. . . Blesses Chapel in Memory of Late Dr. Dan Nwankwo
By Chioma Ndife
The auxiliary Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, has called on Christians to use the time given to them by God to prepare for their death and make physical provision of their grave. He noted that such physical provision presents a daily pointer that life was transient.
Bishop Okoye, who blessed a chapel of Eucharistic adoration built through the collaborative effort of late Dan Nwankwo's family, made the call in his homily at the 20 years remembrance and thanksgiving Mass held in honour of late Dr. Nwankwo at Enugu-Ukwu, Njikoka LGA, Anambra State.
Fides gathered that the chapel of adoration blessed by the bishop which was financed by Chief Mrs. Doris Nwankwo, the deceased’s wife alongside her children, was constructed on late Nwankwo's grave and had additional provision where Chief Mrs. Doris Nwankwo would be buried at the expiration of her life sojourn.
The Catholic prelate noted that the new chapel would provide a good avenue for the family to come together and offer prayers in unity as one family. He noted that prayers offered in love has the capacity to absolve any sin which might possibly be holding their father from entering heaven. He maintained that the burial space which Chief. Mrs. Nwankwo created for herself in the family chapel would enable her to focus on the things that would lead to heaven while avoiding earthly distractions. He stated that the existence of the grave was to remind one of the passing nature of the earth in order to work more intensively for the things of heaven.
He urged all to prepare for their deaths while alive as such would help them to detach themselves from earthly things and possess a firm belief that no earthly possession was greater than heaven.
He charged the Catholic faithful to love one another saying that one who doesn't love lives in darkness. He opined that the absence of love frustrates one. He praised the wife for organizing the memorial mass for the husband who passed away 20 years ago.
Bishop Okoye said that the doggedness and courage with which she ensured that her husband's absence wasn't greatly felt was commendable. He urged the son who had become a medical doctor to follow the dad's steps especially in starting up medical mission which the dad was doing before his death.
Speaking after the Memorial Mass, the widow, Chief Mrs. Nwankwo, thanked God for making it possible for the memorial mass to be held. She recalled that her husband was never scared of death but was sacred of dying an unprepared death. She expressed optimism that her children in no distant time would take over from where she and her husband stopped especially in organizing medical outreach that brings medical succor to people.
Also speaking, Fr. Gerald Azike who is an adopted son of the Nwankwos, said that the memorial mass was in celebration of the impactful life lived by late Nwankwo in making society a better place. He thanked the deceased's wife for continuing with the late husband's legacy, saying that Mrs. Nwankwo's whole life revolved around helping people.
For his part, the deceased's first son, Dr. Victor Nwankwo, said that the idea behind the anniversary was to bring to mind what late Dr. Dan Nwankwo stood for, saying that the memorial anniversary would help one to recall the deeds of the man who was known as Dr. Dan Nwankwo. He disclosed his intention towards starting up a medical mission in line with the idea of his late dad.
The second child, Miss Evelyn Uchenna Nwankwo, explained that the newly constructed chapel would avail them the opportunity of visiting their dad's grave and spending some moments of prayer at the grave. She noted that the medical mission would become better as the family would employ intensive use of technology in body examination in subsequent missions that would be organized.
The 20th memorial anniversary attracted people from various part the nation who came to celebrate the phenomenal life lived by Late Dr. Dan Nwankwo.