By Chioma Ndife
St. Andrew’s Catholic Parish, Adazi-Nnukwu, in Anaocha LGA of Anambra State, has concluded plans to celebrate elderly parishioners for their contributions and efforts in the sustenance of the Catholic faith in the community, as well as its propagation.
The programme, scheduled to hold on the 29th of August at the Church premises, is geared towards appreciating the elderly who fought and sustained the light of God handed over to them by the founding fathers of the faith in the community.
Speaking to Fides, the host, Rev. Fr. Anthony Anike, said the upcoming event was geared at celebrating the parents who had served the Church and had been faithful to all the things of God and were still steadfast, saying that the only way to acknowledge their contributions was to celebrate them.
He noted that individuals to be celebrated would be those who had attained the age of 80 years and above, noting that it was not easy for one to stand firm and promote a cause for so long, even in the face of trials and uncertainties.
‘The event is to thank our parents who have been running the race, having stayed with the Lord in the Catholic faith which is one, which is apostolate and which is holy. So we decided to celebrate them and appreciate their contributions in one way or the other towards the propagation of the Catholic faith,’ he noted.
Fr. Anike disclosed that after the celebration, the celebrants would not be required to contribute financially in their various statutory and pious groups, saying that the Church would not demand for clearance of any sort in the event of death.
He said the parish was able to generate the list of the persons to be celebrated for attaining the age of 80 and above from the zonal leaders after confirmation from baptismal cards and birth certificates.
He explained that the parish agreed unanimously to select those who were 80 years and above rather than those in the age group of 70, in accordance with the scripture which described such persons as very strong beings.
He said that 80 was the minimum benchmark that was selected in the parish in order to know those who had stayed strongly and firmly in the Church.
The priest said that the parishioners who had attained 80 would be presented with a certificate of honour, while wining and dining would take place in the homes of the Church elders.
He said that the event was in accordance with Awka Diocesan principle of benefiting living and not benefiting burial, saying that the day’s event would avail the children of the celebrants the opportunity to celebrate their parents and appreciate the sacrifice which they made during their formative years.