By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
Six Years after the creation of the parish, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, on the First Sunday of 2021, January 3, dedicated St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Adazi-Enu, Anaocha LGA, Anambra State, to be in totality, a holy place of worship and prayer for God.
With the dedication, St Patrick’s Adazi-Enu, which became a parish on November 16, 2014, joined the league of dedicated churches in the world on her sixth anniversary, and became another fastest dedicated church in Awka Diocese.
Leading in the solemn dedication Mass, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor thanked God for bringing the good work to perfection. He commended the immediate past parish priest, Rev Fr Cyprian Chikezie, the current parish priest, Rev Fr Emmanuel Achuke; the donors of the various projects and the entire parishioners, for the completion of the church building, the Reverend Fathers’ Rectory, the Chapel of Perpetual Adoration, the hall, the grotto of Mother of Perpetual Help, among other projects, within a record time of six years that the parish was created.
In his homily, Bishop Ezeokafor described as fitting the solemn dedication of the church building on the Solemnity of Epiphany of the Lord, and reminded the parish of the need that the anniversary of the solemnity of the dedication be celebrated on 3rd January of every year.
He tasked all on ideal Christian life and good works so as to be closer to God and make their bodies holy and beautiful like the beautiful church building.
Praying that the solemn dedication would fill the parish and her members with lasting peace and grace, the bishop called for good Christians, who, he said, would be fit for the holy and beautiful St Patrick’s Adazi-Enu church building.
Bishop Ezeokafor, who was visibly joyous, noted that his greatest joy was that the entire people of Adazi-Enu worked for the completion of the mother parish, St Dominic’s, which took 40 years before it was completed and dedicated, and patiently awaited the birth of St Patrick’s, the second parish, which, he said, was created at the right time. He expressed his delight that St Patrick’s church building and other projects of the parish were completed without levies, but through voluntary donations of the parishioners.
The bishop, who equally observed that COVID-19 was still in existence, advised all on strict observance of the protocols, lest they lose their life to the pandemic.
During the dedication rites, the congregation that filled the church premises, stood enthralled as the bishop led in the prayers for dedication, anointed the altar and walls of the church with Chrism Oil, led in the lighting of the church building and the people of God.
In his remarks, the host parish priest, Rev Fr Emma Achuke, appreciated all who graced and contributed to the success of the event, as well as the dedication committee, for their sacrifices.
Fides gathered that the major donor of the church projects included Sir and Lady Jerome Ezeakunne Okoye and Family, who built the papal hall of the parish and sponsored the landscaping and asphalting of the church premises; and Sir and Lady Alfred Okafor and Family, who built the Chapel of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration and the Garden of Victory.
Others were Chief and Mrs Richard Emegwalu and Family, who built the grotto of Mother of Perpetual Help; and Chief and Mrs Benedict Ezenwa and Family, who sponsored the greater number of pews.
Highlights of the event were presentation of welcome gifts to the bishop and presentation of awards of appreciation to the donors and other supporters of the parish.