… Says They’re Spiritual Leaders of the People of God
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, says that Catholic priests are called by Christ with a duty to propagate the Gospel and win souls for God; just as they remain the spiritual leaders of the people of God, reports Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu.
Bishop Ezeokafor also exhorted the Catholic faithful to always support their priests spiritually, physically and materially, saying that as followers of Christ, they should understand that priests were Christ’s representatives on earth and deserved to be encouraged and protected.
Bishop Ezeokafor who gave the charge while delivering a homily to mark this year’s Chrism Mass at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Awka, urged the priests to continue in their task of winning souls for Christ.
The Local Ordinary enjoined the priests to endeavour to practice what they preached, noting that their primary assignment was to propagate the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Speaking on the state of the nation, the Bishop said the situation in the country was terrible and urged all to persevere, even as he appreciated the Catholic faithful for coming to pay homage to him despite the sufferings in the country.
‘Is it the cashless economy? The untold hardship caused by it? It is really a bad experience. Many businesses have collapsed. Movement, halted. No physical cash to move around. People lament and cry. Nevertheless, we must continue the struggle of faith, the nation and what have you. It is important we continue the struggle. I thank you all for your steadfastness,’ Bishop Ezeokafor said.
He stated that no priest should engage in partisan politics, even as he said that Muslims had an agenda and frowned at the Muslim/Muslim ticket.
On Cathedraticum, Bishop Ezeokafor described it as annual celebration that should be celebrated by all Catholic faithful in the diocese and beyond, explaining it was a time set aside for parishioners to pay homage to their diocesan bishop.
Bishop Ezeokafor who described the Holy Thursday observation as a spiritual reawakening moment for all and sundry, urged Christians to imbibe the spirit of prayerfulness and be steadfast in pursuit of heavenly goals.
On Confession, Bishop Ezeokafor enjoined all to endeavour to confess their sins to priests, saying that priests were under oath to save the confessor’s sins and should not in any way reveal what transpired.
Blessing of the three oils and paying of homage to the diocesan bishop by Catholic faithful from Awka Region, renewal of priestly vows, formed the highpoints of the event.