… Hosts Bishop Ezeokafor on Pastoral Visit
By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
Created a parish in September 1996, St Mary’s Catholic Parish, Ifitedunu, Dunukofia LGA, Anambra State, last Sunday, November 28, celebrated the 25 Years Anniversary of its creation amid thanksgiving to God.
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Chukwuemeka Ezeokafor, while leading in the Jubilee Mass for the celebration which doubled with his pastoral visit to the parish, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation on 190 faithful.
Speaking at the event, Bishop Ezeokafor, who had his assistant secretary, Rev Fr Daniel Eduzor; the Chancellor of the diocese, Rev Fr Francis Chidume and the Bursar of the diocese, Rev Fr Michael Oguno, on his entourage, thanked God for what he described as the visible growth of the twenty five years old St Mary’s Parish, Ifitedunu.
The Catholic prelate, who said he was delighted over the pastoral visit which took place five years after his last visit to the parish, thanked God for the spiritual growth, as well as the infrastructural growth, as evidenced by the church building, grotto of Holy Mary, Chapel of Perpetual Adoration, Fathers’ Rectory and school building projects, which were ongoing.
He prayed that the visit would bring the people of Ifitedunu closer to God and keep them away from neo-paganism.
Bishop Ezeokafor noted that the ongoing projects and other recorded developments were evident that St Mary’s Ifitedunu was indeed a miracle parish as it is called.
The bishop urged the parishioners, especially those in the diaspora, to give stable support to the parish priest; who, he said, had been outstanding in infrastructure development, for speedy completion of the ongoing projects.
He explained that it was also the obligation of St Mary’s Parish in the diaspora to support the growth of their home parish.
Most Rev Ezeokafor, who further based his reflections on the readings of the First Sunday of Advent, charged all to meet up the expectations of God, and work out their salvation with great preparedness.
Pointing out that Advent meant coming, the Catholic prelate urged all to await the coming of Jesus Christ with readiness. He tasked all on a life of peace and love, which, he said, were expected of those who awaited the coming of Jesus Christ.
In his remarks, the parish priest, St Mary’s Parish, Ifitedunu, Rev Fr Venatius Ogbuagu, attributed the growth of the miracle parish to the love of God, through the help and intercession of Holy Mother Mary, the parish’s patron saint.
The parish priest commended the jubilee committee led by Chief Alfred Okoye and all who contributed to the success of the event for their sacrifices. Fr Ogbuagu appreciated the member representing Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency, Hon Ferdinand Dozie Nwankwo, for the solar powered water borehole the legislator attracted to the parish.
Among those who attended the event were the Governor of Anambra State, Dr Willie Obiano, who was represented by his Executive Assistant on Economic Planning and Budget, Dr Tochukwu Obiadi; and the Anambra State Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget, Dr Mark Okoye, who was represented by Hon Uchechi Ezigbo.
Highlights of the event which was Mr & Mrs Ignatius Oragwuncha, were presentation of gifts to the bishop, dance presentations and presentation of certificates of honour to the parishioners who had also clocked twenty five years in their marriages.