. . . As Bishop Okoye Confirms faithful at Visit
By Chioma Ndife
The parishioners of St. Clement’s Catholic Church, Ufuma, Orumba North LGA, Anambra has called on the diocesan Bishop, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor alongside his auxiliary, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye to see to the creation of another parish in Enugwuabor Village, Ufuma.
The parishioners made the call on Sunday, August 11, 2019 through the address of welcome presented by the Secretary of the Parish Pastoral Council, Mr. Leonard Nwafor, jointly signed by the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Chimezie Patrick Okeke and 1st Vice Chairman, Mr. Obinna Okoli during Bishop Okoye’s Pastoral Visit to the parish.
Fides gathered through the address that the request was made sequel to the dominance of Enugwuabor Village by other religious bodies that overwhelm Catholics in the area which has led to a deduction in the number of practicing Catholics. The address also called the attention of the bishop to the needs of New Generation International Nursery & Primary School, Ufuma saying that such needs had hindered many interested parents from sending their wards to the school being managed by the church.
According to the Secretary, the creation of the new parish would help in propagatingthe catholic faith and in winning back Catholics who defected to other religious.
Nwafor explained that the pastoral visit came a year after the centenary celebration of Catholicism in the Parish. He pointed out that the parish has about 2 stations and 8 zones and has been blessed with 3 ordained priests and 7 Reverend Sisters. He maintained that the numerical strength of the parish could move mountains, saying that their weakness lies on how many are practicing and active Catholics. He disclosed that the youths who were expected to carry on with evangelization of the faith are threatened by the tendency to incline either to idol worship or prosperous new generation of the preaching all occasioned by double standard elders.
Reacting to the request made by the parish, the Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye assured that their request would be critically examined by the diocesan bishop and due process initiated.
Bishop Okoye who had administered the sacrament of confirmation to some deserving faithful in the parish as part of the activities to commemorate his pastoral visit explained the processes which a parish was expected to undergo for the creation of another parish to be possible. He beckoned on them to ensure that the process was effectively followed, noting that doing so would implore on the diocesan Bishop to create the parish which they greatly desired.
He charged the faithful to carry on with the faith of the church and ensure that they become true Christians in words and action as their action would bear witness to the gospel of Christ and help in the propagation of the faith. He advised them against neo paganism and pinpointed the importance of being consistent in the service of God.
In a remark, the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Chimezie Okeke thanked God for the fair weather and appreciated Bishop Okoye for accepting to visit them not minding the debt which the parish owes the diocese via the proposed Peter University levy. He expressed optimism that the debt would be cleared before the bishop leaves the parish.
Also Speaking, the chairman of the occasion, Comdr. Clement Amobi Ofor x-rayed the benefits which the parishioners were to derive from the bishop’s visit, saying that the visit would usher in a new era in the parish. He maintained that the visit was geared at soliciting for support for the church project under construction.
For his part, the Vice Chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council, Mr. Obinna Okoli expressed conviction that the bishop’s visit would increase the faith of the faithful in the parish having confirmed about 120 persons. He said that the parishioners through their one on one encounter with the bishop would begin to live out their faith as practicing Catholics.