By Chioma Ndife
The management of St. JohnBosco Seminary Isuaniocha in Awka North LGA of Anambra State has set plans in motions for the re-roofing of her classrooms, laboratory, library and refectory blocks.
Plans for the re-roofing of the buildings built nearly forty 40 years was initiated to checkmate the devastating effects of rain on the building and the fear which usually grips its occupants during every rainy season due to the leaking roofs.
The plans and subsequent activities to facilitate this was borne out of the steady resolution and determination of the management to provide a more conducive academic environment for effective teaching, qualitative and holistic training with a view of bringing out the hidden potentials in the students.
The initiated plan of the management of St. JohnBosco Seminary, Isuaniocha led by the Acting Rector, Rev. Fr. Innocent Chibueze Okeke received massive support from the seminary sponsors, promoters and parents of the seminarians on Saturday, February 9, 2019 during the patron feast/parents and sponsors’ day celebration of the seminary.
Fides gathered that the management prior to the feast had re-roofed one of the classrooms blocks through the PTA special project fund to enable it showcase its plans during the feast and hopes to commence work on other blocks after the feast based on the financial assistance received from people.
In his address of welcome, the Acting Rector of the Seminary, Rev. Fr. Innocent Okeke revealed that the seminary was facing a number of challenges and stated that the renovation of schools blocks remains the greatest need of the seminary as it would promote effective teaching and learning. He appreciated the Seminary PTA for re-roofing one of the classroom blocks, nothing that their sacrifice has given the SS 1 students a befitting and decent block conducive for learning.
The acting rector thanked the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor and his auxiliary, Bishop Okoye alongside the emeritus of Ahiara diocese, over their staunch support, saying that the seminary had depended on them in the face of mounting financial and other difficulties. He expressed gratitude to Awka Diocesan priests and CWO for their food apostolate saying that it would be difficult for the seminary to survive without their help and support.
Fr. Okeke noted that the students scored ninety nine percent pass in the 2018 WASSCE, NECO and Latin certificate examinations which all candidates took without recourse to any kind of cheating. The recruitment of a number of qualified teachers according to the acting rector had brought the number of professional teachers in the seminary to 21, saying that such would increase the academic prowess of the students.
He revealed that the seminary alongside her sister seminary at Akpu emerged Victor Ludorum- the king and champion of the game after they secured 13 golds, 7 silvers, and 5 bronze medals for the first time at the 2019 All Provincial Minor Seminaries’ Games. He said that the visit and subsequent donations of Savio-Bosco and Fr. Vincent Ezezue had boosted the seminary.
In his opening remark, the Chairman of the occasion, Engr. Obi Ezeude and CEO Belloxi Nigeria Limited explained that the yearly events was an avenue for people to come together and support the formation of seminarians. He emphasized the need for people to support the formation as it guarantees a sane society. He explained the importance of the seminary and called on people to utilize the limited opportunity of helping would-be priests.
Speaking to Fides, the father and mother of the day, HRH Igwe Christopher Nnaeguna of Ebenebe and Mrs. Juliana Ifeoma Ilodigwe appreciated the efforts of the seminary formators and called on the seminarians to be open to the formation which they are currently receiving as such would make them exceptional people later in the future. They noted that the government was expected to intervene in the areas of road construction among others.
Some of the parents who spoke to Fides, Chief Chris Nledum and Comdr. Okechukwu Ifeako disclosed how they brought their children into the seminary school, saying that no educational system beats that of the seminary, saying that the school has minimal fees when compared to other schools in respect to the type of knowledge they impart on their students.
Earlier in his homily during the Eucharistic Celebration, Most Rev. Peter Okpaleke stressed the importance of the seminary formation, saying that the seminary is at the heart of every local church. He warned parents on the dangers of forcing their children into the priesthood even when such a person has a different view and urged them to explain the requirement expected of a priest during their stay in the seminary.
He pleaded for support from all and sundry, saying that the seminary payable fees was greatly subsidized to enable those who are called into ministerial priesthood of Christ to acquire education and achieve their dreams in life, making the seminary to depend solely on the goodwill of people.