. . . Seeks Endowment Fund for Members
By Chioma Ndife
The Awka Diocesan Catholic Catechist Association (AACCA) has installed some outstanding individuals drawn from various parishes in the diocese as the Great Grand patron, Grand Patron, Patrons and patronesses of the association.
The installation which was held on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at St. Andrew's Catholic Church, Adazi-Nnukwu, during the fourth Catechist Day celebration witnessed the elevation of some old grand patrons of the association into the cadre of Great Grand Patron. The elevated individuals include Senator Victor Umeh and Chief Pius Obiakonwa.
The celebration was an opportunity for the association to appreciate the contributions of her past directors, respected friends and ambassadors based on their outstanding performance, selfless services rendered to the church and humanity. Award of honour was also presented to some catechism instructors who were devoted in the teaching of catechism in their various parishes.
ADCCA at the celebration solicited for fund for the commencement of her business center and equipping of diocesan catechists office as well as endowement fund for it members.
Addressing members of the association, the Diocesan Bishop, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor commended members of the association for their immense contributions in the affairs of the diocese, saying that some achievements recorded in most parishes couldn't have been possible without their efforts. He prayed God to strengthen them for bigger task ahead.
Earlier in his homily, Bishop Peter Ebele Okpaleke who led in the concelebrated Eucharistic Celebration, thanked God for the gifts of the Catholic catechists and described them as teachers of the church. He noted that a catechist was meant to show and tell the people of God that the kingdom of God was coming near through their actions and conducts. He said that the celebration was organized for the catechists to appreciate God for accepting them to work in his vineyard and help in the propagation of the God's word. He beckoned on them to use their assigned roles as catechists and work out their salvation. He urged them to imitate the life lived by Titus and Timothy in carrying out their evangelically duties, pointing out the various challenges which one tends to face in the present time.
The Catholic prelate emphasized the need for the lay faithful to support the catechists, saying that such support and moral assistance would enable them to achieve optimal purpose of their calling as church teachers. He thanked the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary who had been serving the association as directors, noting that their contributions had helped the association to achieve a lot in capital, human and moral formation of the members.
In his remark, the Diocesan Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Joseph Nwanna while thanking Bishop Okpaleke for gracing the occasion, pinpointed the contributions of the catechists in the affairs of lay faithful and disclosed the need for people to give maximum support to the affairs of the catechists. He maintained that the contributions of the catechist would go down in history lane as it would never be forgotten and described them as formidable force that must be reckoned with in terms of contributions to humanity.
The Chairman of the occasion, Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji, in his opening remark, identified the Catholic catechist as one of the life wires of the church, saying that the church couldn't have made lots of achievement without the contributions of catechists. He commended members of the association for venturing into agriculture and highlighted the benefits which the association would derive from such venture.
Hon. Umeoji who was one of the newly installed Grand Patrons of the association, called on all to render the help which the association requires, saying that such would help them function effectively in the area of character formation.
Speaking to Fides, one of the newly installed Patron and a former Chairman of Holy Name Parish, Umuchu, Lagos Branch, Chief Chris Ezeoguine explained that his installation as one of the patrons of the association came sequel to his contributions and efforts in the affairs of the members. He noted that the installation would spur him to contribute more in the affairs of the ADCCA. He charged people to be mindful of all their conduct as it speaks volume about their personality.
Chief Ezeoguine beckoned on ADCCA members to always bear in mind the selfless nature of their work and use their position to serve God and humanity better. He stressed the importance of good conduct as regards formation of growing kids and called on them to develop a deeper knowledge about the tradition of the Catholic Church saying that it would enable them to teach others.
Also Speaking, the President General of Umunze Community who was installed as a patron, Hon. John Akanyeonu explained that his installation came through the humanitarian works he had carried out. He maintained that catechists who are links between priests and lay faithful have a lot of role to carryout human and character formation. He advocate catechists to live exemplary life as they as serve as mirror through which people see God.
On her part, a newly installed patroness, Lady Grace Obieri expressed profound appreciation to God over her installation and marvelled how she was called upon for the honour in the whole of Achina Deanery, saying that her selfless services in the church had been bringing numerous blessings in her life. She urged ADCCA members to uphold the dignity of their calling as gospeal carriers.
A merit award recipient, Mr. Justice Nwabueze Igwe who had taught the Catholic catechism for over twenty years, thanked God for the honour bestowed on him by members of the association and said he was motivated to take up the teaching as his little contribution to the Church.
Match pass Competition among catechists in the various deaneries, cultural display, band performance among others were the highpoints of the celebration.