. . . Raises over 150 Cows in support of Diocesan projects
By Chioma Ndife
Sequel to the numerous projects embarked upon in the Catholic Diocese of Awka by the diocesan bishop, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor alongside his auxiliary, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, the Catholic faithful from Akpu Region has assured of their support to fast track the completion of the projects.
The diocesan projects received a substantial support of over 180 cows from Akpu Region faithful who heaped their full weight behind the diocesan projects on Holy Monday, April 16, 2019 during the regional Cathedraticum/ Chrism Mass, held at the regional headquarters, St. Dominic Savio Seminary, Akpu, Orumba South LGA, Anambra State.
Fides gathered that the Regional members through their actions dared the current economic difficulties which the Buhari lead administration ushered into the Nigerian economy and supported Awka diocesan projects with monetized cows pegged at 50,000 each and other items. Through the over 180 cows and other gifts items, the region was able to raise an estimate of 10 million naira for the diocese.
The Cathedraticum, a period specifically designed for Catholic faithful to give support to their diocesan bishop was celebrated together with Chrism Mass and availed priests in the region, the opportunity of renewing their ordination vows. Blessing of the Oil of the sick and that of the catechumen, as well as consecration of the Oil of Chrism was carried out by the bishop during the celebration.
At the well-attended event, the Catholic Women Organization of Akpu region took the lead with 13 cows followed by St. Matthew's Parish, Akpu that came second with 12 cows while St. Patrick's Parish, Ndiowu came third with 11 cows.
In the Schools category, Immaculate Conception International College (ICIC), Umuchukwu, Madonna Girls' Secondary School, Umunze and St. Dominic Savio Seminary, Akpu throw their feather weight behind the diocesan project as they led other schools in the region with one cow each in the celebration.
Speaking at the occasion, Most Rev. Peter Okpaleke who represented the Diocesan Bishop of Awka, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor thanked the region members for the constant support which they had been giving to the diocese since their creation. He said that their support had been instrumental to the completion of some diocesan projects.
In his homily, Bishop Okpaleke stressed the need for effective child upbringing and disclosed the various duties which the church has assigned to the father and mother. He beckoned on parents to carry out the duties which they had inherited by virtue of their position as parents, saying that good reward comes to who carried out his or her duties effectively. He maintained that it was important for parents to pay close and undivided attention to their growing children. He revealed that effective child training were part of keeping God's commandment. He explained the need why parents must recount God's miraculous deeds to their children, teach the doctrines of the Catholic faith and God's commandment to ensure transition of God's words to the young generation.
He admonished the Catholic faithful to be more intimate with the things of God and have the fear of God in them, noting that such injunction came with attached blessings.
To the youths, Bishop Okpaleke called upon never to be afraid of Christ and the church nor be afraid to get close to the church elders for direction. He said that the youths can fulfill their calling only if they come closer to God. He pleaded with them to disregard the negative belief that they are not important which society had forced them to believe in. He stated that the youths are very important to the church and urged them to always know that the church, Christ, bishops and priests need them.
In his remark, the Episcopal Vicar of Akpu Region, Rev. Fr. Linus Ibekwe thanked God for his numerous deeds in the region and assured the bishops that the regional faithful would continually support the diocesan projects in accordance with the available resources which God had blessed them with. He likened the success of the cathedraticum to the efforts of priests in their various parishes.