The parish priest of St John Paul 11 Parish, Papal Ground, Karsana District, Kubwa, Rev. Fr Kris Inegbenoghu, has urged Christians and people of other faiths, to use the diversity in the nation’s cultures as an instrument of unity rather than of division.
He stated this in his remarks during the Mass that marked the opening of the feast and cultural day of the parish on Sunday, 22nd October, 2017.
He reminded all that the patron saint of the parish, St John Paul 11 who was Pope between 1978 and 2005, worked so hard to unite peoples of all nations by his extensive travels and reach to even people of other faiths. He therefore urged the parishioners and Nigerians in general to emulate the prelate.
Also, on his part, the homilist, Rev. Fr Sunday Akuh, who came to celebrate with the parish all the way from Idah Diocese, told the parishioners that in God, there is no east or west, north or south, but that all people are one in God.
He told them that their patron saint, in whose commemoration they are marking the feast and cultural day, beatified and canonised the highest number of people from all imaginable backgrounds including ethnicity, race and culture. He therefore urged them to emulate him in their relationships with peoples of diverse backgrounds.
He also enjoined them to look at the shape of the crucifix which represents the four cardinal points of the world: north, south, east and west, with Jesus Christ at its centre unifying all the peoples.
In her own remark during the reception held in an atmosphere that was agog and a venue beautifully decorated with fabrics from the different ethnic backgrounds of the country, Chairperson of the Feast Day Committee, Lady Junila Takon, said the theme of the Feast and Cultural Day which is “Celebration of Culture in Diversity” reminds us “that though we come from different backgrounds through accident of birth, by our new life in Christ, we belong to one divine family which enjoins us to love, respect, tolerate each other and show mercy for God has been merciful to us”.
The occasion which was chaired by Dr Paddy Njoku, had different cultural troupes from the different parts of the country display their cultural dances.
There was also an arts exhibition by Kehinde Dada with plenty of his gorgeous works depicting the theme of the day.
Dishes prepared by the different ethnic nationalities in the parish were also displayed and shared among all as a way of further strengthening the bond among all the parishioners.
In his closing remarks, the vice chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC), Sir Innocent Ofikwu, thanked God for such a day set aside for the first time in the parish to celebrate the “unity in our diversity”. He urged all Nigerians to ensure justice and fairness in dealing with each other as encouraged by the respective cultures in our nation.