…Increases Number of Dedicated Churches in Neni Community to 4
By Chioma Ndife
St. Michael's the Archangel Catholic Church, Neni, Anocha LGA, Anambra has join the league of dedicated churches in Awka Diocese. The parish following her dedication on Sunday, September 30, 2018 by Awka Diocese Bishop, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor has brought to 4 the total number of dedicated churches in Neni Community out of the 6 parishes in existence.
Fides observed that the church building which was dedicated in the tenure of the present parish priest, Rev. Fr. Major Ignatius Ukoh was actualized sequel to the efforts and contributions of both the present parish priest and past parish priests namely Rev. Frs' Joseph Ndibe and Raymond Ajuba. Fides also gathered that the efforts which lead to the Church dedication commenced following its inauguration as a parish in the diocese after its creation in 2018.
Handing over the beautifully finished and spacious church building to God through the dedication rites, Bishop Ezeokafor commended the people of Neni Community for the continuous support to things of God, to the Diocese and togetherness in the parish.
Bishop Ezeokafor praised the achievements which the parish had recorded within its ten years of creation, saying that their achievements had bypassed that of some parishes created before it and beckoned them against claiming the statues of a small parish. He said that the well-organized structure existent in the parish would attain the spiritual growth and better understanding of what was expected of them as Christians. He maintained that the church dedication was a pointer to the ever growing faith of Catholics in the community and thanked all that supported the project.
Earlier in his homily, he charged the people to always make it a point of duty to support church projects and to render help to the poor rather than concentrating on beautifying only their own houses. He noted that there was nothing one could say was too big to give God and urged them to bear in mind that God was the giver of all gifts. He emphasized the importance of identifying with God and things of the church, saying that such identification would make Christ to place a mark of identity on us as his special children. He tasked the faithful to ensure that they beatify their lives by living out their faith to match the newly dedicated church saying that their body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Bishop Ezeokafor who addressed some challenges faced by Nigeria as a country, urged the faithful not to loss but to continue in prayers saying that God has a way of addressing any situation.
In his remark, the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Major Ignatius Ukoh thanked God for his provision which necessitated the completion of the church building. He said that the dedication was necessary as it brings divine presence of God to ensure answers to prayers. He advised the people to continuous hold on to God as he has a way of making everything beautiful in his own time. He urged the parishioners to endeavour to be people of peace to enable the presence of God manifest in their lives.
For his part, the parish patron, Chief Simon Eysis expressed his appreciation to God for giving the parishioners the grace to complete his dwelling place and encouraged the parishioners never to be tired in the works of the church. He disclosed that giving entails receiving in double folds.
In an address of welcome, the Secretary of the Parish Pastoral Council, Mr. Donatus Aloekwe noted that it was a good thing that the parish had handed over their building to God for his divine presence to manifested in the affairs of individuals. He traced the journey of the parish since its creation in 2018. He pleaded with all to assist the parish in reducing the debt which it still owed.
Highlights of the celebration were official hand over of the Church keys to Bishop Ezeokafor, anointing, incensing and lighting of the altar and walls of the church. Cultural performances by the CWO of the parish and youths added flavour to the day's event.