By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
Nine years after the last bishop’s pastoral visit to the parish, St Joseph’s Catholic Parish, Amesi, Aguata LGA, Anambra State, in a well-attended ceremony on Sunday, November 17, played host to the Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Jonas Benson Okoye, who was at the parish on a pastoral visit.
The bishop at the pastoral visit, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation on 226 faithful of the parish.
Speaking on the occasion, Bishop Okoye commended the parishioners for what he described as their courage and notable life of faith. According to him, it took courage and faith for the parish to have demolished the former church building and started a new one from the foundation.
The bishop extolled the parish priest, Rev Fr William Ozulonye, for what he described as the priest’s good works and angelic humility. Bishop Okoye appreciated a benefactor of the parish, Ichie Mike Ezenduka, KSS (MIFE), who is financing the church building, for what he identified as MIFE’s unique goodwill. This was even as Bishop Okoye lauded the collaborative spirit which, he said, had been existing between the parish priest and the parishioners.
In his homily, the bishop tasked all on hard work, saying that good efforts always paid. He flayed youths and others who wasted their time in idleness and waywardness, saying that such meant irresponsibility.
Bishop Okoye, who shared the story of a little boy of 12 years old who after he received the Sacrament of Confirmation, converted his father from stealing, charged the faithful that received the Sacrament of Confirmation, to be change agents in their families and society.
The parish, through an address of welcome that was signed by the parish priest, Rev Fr William Ozuluonye; the Vice Chairman, Parish Pastoral Council, Sir Mark Anthony Ezeuchegbu and the Secretary, Parish Pastoral Council, Mr John Umeakuana, extolled the bishop for what it described as his dedication with which he had been shepherding the flock of the diocese, for his unique care of the priests and the tremendous growth of the Catholic Diocese of Awka.
Among those that graced the event were the member representing Aguata I Constituency, Hon Cater Nnamdi Umeh and a former member of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon Eucharia Azodo.