By Amaka Olua and Mercy Hill
The Priests, Religious and the entire lay faithful alongside the institutions of Awka Catholic Region at the 2019 annual Cathedraticum of the region which was held at the regional headquarter, St Patrick's Catholic Cathedral, Awka on Holy Wednesday, April 17 2019, re affirmed their support to Awka Diocesan Bishop and project with monetized cows, pegged at #50,000 each and other gifts. At the well attended event, St Mary's Pro Cathedral Arthur Eze, Awka again took the lead with 104 cows; St Joseph Parish Maryland won the second position with 80, cows while St Patrick's Cathedral followed third with 70 cows. The event which doubled with Chrism Mass featured the blessing of the oil of the sick and that of Catechumen as well as Consecration of the Oil of Chrism by the bishop and the renewal of Priestly vows by the Priests working in the region, was well attended.
Leading in the Concelebrated Holy Mass, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Paulinus Ezeokafor, stated that the Cathedraticum was an avenue for all the Priests to renew their vows, saying its reminds them of their obedience to the Church. Bishop Ezeokafor recalled that at the 2017 Cathedraticum he spoke about extravagant burials. He expressed his joy over the bill which was passed by the Anambra State Assembly on expensive Funerals. He charged all to take care of their aged ones when they are still alive. This was even as he admonished some atrocities been carried out by the youths, he charged parents to nurture their children in a Godly way, saying that so many evils being committed by the youths was due to the carelessness of the parents. He advised parents to be close to their children and also watch out for the activities of their children. He added that when they give their children a good foundation they would not depart from it. He also charged parents to spend quality time with their children. Bishop Ezeokafor charged all the Parish Priests to organize programmes which would benefit the youths in order to draw them closer to God. He urged the government to support the youth by providing them with opportunities which would help them prove their worth. He stated that providing them with skill acquisitions would help them achieve their goals. He advised all to contribute toward the Peter University Project which would benefit the youths to have a complete Catholic formation.
On his part, the Cathedral Administrator, Rev Fr Mathew Attansey, thanked the bishop for his love to the faithful of the region and commended the priests and the faithful for their unrelenting support. He charged parents to teach their children the word of God and prayed God's blessings upon all.
Also speaking, the executive Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano, who was represented by the Attorney General, Barr Dr Uju Nwogu , conveyed her Easter wishes to the faithful , she advised all to live a holy life as they are in the Holy week. She maintained that the governor is working towards improving the living standard of the people. Mrs. Nwogu advised the youths to embrace skill acquisitions programme. This was even as she advised all who have interest in learning any skill to register with Ministry of Youths and sports.