By Rev Fr Robert Anagboso
In his Pastoral Visit to St Augustine’s Parish, Ichida on Sunday 30 July 2023, the Chief Shepherd of Awka Diocese, His Lordship,Most Rev Paulinus C.Ezeokafor, enjoined the parishioners to assiduously seek the gift of wisdom which comes from the Holy Spirit. The visit is in tandem with his duties as a diocesan bishop, having the canonical obligation to schedule pastoral visit to churches under his jurisdiction, at least once in every four to six years.
The visit affords the bishop the opportunity to interact more closely with the parishioners, celebrate Holy Mass for them, give to those who are due the Sacrament of Confirmation and finally impart on them an Episcopal blessing. On their part, the parishioners received the bishop and gave him gifts in support of the pastoral work of the diocese.
Drawing from the 1st reading of the Mass (1 kgs 3:5,7-12), Bishop Ezeokafor exhorted the people to follow in the footsteps of King Solomon, who in responding to God’s demand to ask for anything he wished, begged God to give him wisdom to rule His people. Such prayers the Prelate maintained, always attracted multiple blessings from God.
Speaking further, he called on the candidates for the Sacrament of Confirmation to ask the Holy Spirit whom they received in a special way that day to give them the gift of wisdom in order to know the right things of this world and use them for the glory of God. He said in that manner, they would be rewarded abundantly in heaven.
At the end of the Mass, the Parish Priest, Fr. Jude Nwankwo thanked God for His benevolence in making the event a reality in peace and tranquility. He also thanked the Bishop, who in spite of the difficulties in the build up to the visit, still made it a reality. He equally thanked the priests, religious, parishioners, friends and well-wishers of the parish for finding out time to come and welcome the bishop with the parish. He concluded by inviting all and sundry to the reception ground.