By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
Ahead of the Solemnity of Ascension of Jesus Christ, St John's Catholic Parish, Enugwu-Agidi, Njikoka L.G.A, Anambra State, in a well-attended mass wedding on Saturday, May 4, 2019, joined 16 couples in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
Receiving the consent of the couples on behalf of the Church, the parish priest, St John's Parish, Enugwu-Agidi, Rev. Fr. Michael-Kins Okpala, enjoined them to uphold the vows they took, as well as live according to the tenets of marriage in accordance with the mind of God. He noted that once the Church accepted the consent of a man and a woman in Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, the marriage become the property of the Church which an individual do not have right over.
Earlier in his homily, Rev. Fr. Okpala, congratulated the previously 32 individuals (16 males and 16 females) for giving their consent to the mass wedding through which their marriages were legalized. He noted that the wedding was to bring them back to God as well as make the children, who were previously considered illegitimate, legitimate children of their marriages.
The parish priest stated that marriage was a sacrament instituted by God from creation, when He formed Eve (woman) as a worthy companion for Adam, having noticed that Adam (man) among all his creations was lonely, and needed a companion.
He maintained that marriage must be holy, just as God, who instituted it was holy, and married people must live out their married life according to the mind and guidance of God, who called them into the marriage vocation.
Fr. Okpala noted that mass wedding did not in any way belittle the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, but the same as every other wedding, bring the wedded into good communion with the Church.
He charged the couples to be faithful to each other, saying that faithfulness would unite their various families in God and in love. The Catholic priest, who kicked against the notion that men were polygamous in nature, exhorted married couples against adultery which he said kill marriages. He maintained that God, who instituted the Holy marriage vocation, made it one man, one wife. This was even as he flayed husbands, who he said abandoned their children and families to bad influence.
Rev Fr. Okpala, who prayed the marriage to be a source of lasting blessings to the couples, tasked them on proper training of their children so as to reap the reward.
The 16 couples were Mr. Raphael & Mrs. Fidelia Madu, Mr. Christopher & Mrs. Josephine Mmadumbu, Mr. Michael & Mrs. Veronica Okafor, Mr. Godwin & Mrs. Veronica Awelle, Mr. Ignatius & Mrs. Grace Ilouno, Mr. Michael & Mrs. Rita Duaka, Mr. David & Mrs. Blessing Okonkwo and Mr. Rowland & Mrs. Cecilia Okoye.
Others were Mr. Stanislaus & Mrs. Blessing Onubuogu, Mr. Joshua & Mrs. Gloria Okeke, Mr. Emmanuel & Mrs. Mercy Nwaukaleke, Mr. Damian & Mrs. Juliana Njoku, Mr. Gabriel & Mrs. Evangeline Nwagboo, Mr. Emmanuel & Mrs. Charity Okafor, Mr. Patrick & Mrs. Catherine Nwora and Emeka & Mrs. Lilian Nkwuju.