…Holds 100,000,000 Fund Raising, Awards Phenomenal Individuals
By Chioma Ndife
St. Peter’s Parish, Nkwelle Awka, is planning to establish an international college which will be run according to the tenets of Catholic education and managed by St. Peter’s Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Awka. Renovation of the church building for re-dedication and other parish projects are part of the ideas which have been initiated.
To actualize the realization of the idea, the parish commenced a N100, 000, 000 fund raising during the pastoral visit of the Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, and appreciation of some phenomenal individuals sequel to the assistance which the parish had received from them in the past.
Addressing the parishioners at the visit held on Sunday, 25th September, Bishop Okoye emphasized the importance of Catholic education in the holistic formation of young ones and recalled that kidnapping and other social vices became the order of the day after the government takeover of schools from the Church. He expressed optimism that the subsequent handover of schools back to the Church and its more involvement in education would help to correct the anomalies that had been created.
He commended the idea behind the commencement of the international college and beckoned on the people to donate for its completion and procurement of the school bus, saying that the school to be established in line with Catholic tenets on education would ensure effective formation of young minds. He disclosed that when children were formed effectively, they became great assets, not just to the family, but to the community and nation at large; unlike what he described as the dynamites which children became when their early stage in life lacked moral precepts.
On the re-dedication of the church building, the Catholic prelate explained the need for God’s house to be befitting and conducive for Christ’s faithful. He noted that the state of the church’s building showed the faith of Christians within the environment.
Earlier in his homily, Bishop Okoye stressed the need for religious tolerance and stated that backbiting was among the cardinal sins to be avoided. He urged the confirmed faithful to promote the faith of the Catholic Church, respecting their parents and elders in any given task that was not sin, noting that the sacrament had bestowed adulthood on the receivers.
Speaking on the occasion, the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Donatus Esiegbue, disclosed that the idea behind the international College had been on ground before his coming to the parish and highlighted the importance of Catholic education in shaping the moral development to ensure that a child was formed effectively in character and in learning.
He expressed optimism that the school would take off by the next academic session and revealed that the parish was able to complete the re-ceiling of the church building that had been peeling off through the support received from Dr. Clem Nwogbo, saying that there was need for further renovation to stop the leakage at the roof and re-do the concrete that had started pulling off. He noted that the Church would be re-dedicated sequel to the massive work that would be carried out on the church building.
He said the parish had been making efforts to draw everyone to take active part in the parish projects and thanked God over the positive response that had been received, saying that 100 percent compliance had not been achieved.
The bishop’s pastoral visit and N100, 000, 000 fund raising for the completion of the school building, equipment/commencement of St. Peter’s International College, Awka, procurement of school bus and renovation of the church building for re-dedication and other parish projects organized under the chairmanship of Hon. Chukwudi Offordile, doubled with conferment of awards to about 34 individuals in various categories sequel to their contribution to humanity.
Posthumous awards were also presented in honour of the late Sir/Lady Philip & Julie Okika; Ozo Chief C.C. Nwogbo, the late Ojiefi Mrs. Priscilla Offodile and the late Sir Clement Ndigwe.
Administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation on over 300 deserving faithful, presentation of gifts, award presentation/fund raising and the musical interlude from Austica Orchestra Band, were the highpoints of the event.