…Ecstasy as Bishop Ezeokafor blesses Ichida Catholic Chapel
By Okenwa Kennedy Onyema
It was a dream come true for the priests and entire parishioners of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, Ichida in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra state as the Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Chukwuemeka Ezeokafor paid a pastoral visit to the parish.
During the pastoral visit which commenced with a con-celebrated High Mass officiated by the Bishop himself, Bishop Ezeokafor also blessed the newly completed St. Charles Borromeo Chapel at St Peter’s church, an outstation under the St. Augustine’s Catholic Church Ichida.The Chapel was built and donated by the traditional ruler of Ichida, His Royal Majesty, HRM, Igwe C. N. Ezeudogu (KSS), (Igwe Ohazulunye Obi II of Ichida) and his wife.
Earlier in their welcome address jointly signed by the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Anaekee and the Parish Council Secretary, Barrister Okey Ubah, the parishioners had prayed the Bishop not to see them as the literature “Oliver Twist”, adding that they were satisfied by the mere fact that they came to him for dedication and he obliged them.
The parishioners further noted that they asked for a School manager and currently they have seen one. “We came to you for the building of the chapel, you obliged us and for these, we are saying a big thank you but as your children, we will not fail to let you know our needs.
“St. Augustine’s secondary school which is the brain child of Fr. Anaekee is the biggest task we are facing now and we are therefore requesting you to formerly write the government to give subvention to the private mission schools to enable the schools operative effectively and efficiently.
In his tribute, the Vice Chairman of St. Augustine’s Parish Pastoral Council, Ambassador Augustine IK Ezenwa (Evergreen), appreciated Bishop Ezeokafor for squeezing out his time to grace the occasion, inspite of his very tight schedule.
Amb Ezenwa who pledged the loyalty of the entire parishioners to the Bishop, prayed God to grant him long life, good health and more wisdom to continue to shepherd the flock.
He also extended his unalloyed gratitude to Igwe Ohazulunye, the Ichida monarch who incidentally is the patron of St. Augustine’s parish, Ichida who he described as an Apostle of Christ in church development for single handedly acquiring a land for the church, built and handed over the chapel to the Diocese.
According to the Parish Pastoral Council Vice Chairman, “We thank the entire Ezeudogu family, Mgbuwa community, St. Peter’s outstation members, Ichida Catholic community, friends and well-wishers of our great parish (Civitas Dei) for all your efforts in making our dream a reality”
“Finally, he continued, we thank everyone who came to celebrate with us. We are glad you came. We sincerely acknowledge spiritual and developmental strides of our fire brand parish priest, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Afam Anaekee. We thank him for his selfless and motivational leadership and pray God to protect and guard him in his new location. All the priests and religious, we appreciate you. May God bless His Lordship, Amen”.
Responding, Bishop who commended them for their efforts in working for the progress of the Lord’s vine yard, charged them to emulate the exemplary gesture of Igwe Ezeudogu who he said has dedicated himself towards the service of God and humanity, adding that he was impressed that the monarch has exhibited so much philanthropic acts that endeared him to the people.
The Bishop also reminded Christians that God has always rewarded those who devoted their time and material resources to promote the work of God, as Igwe Ezeudogu is doing.to the church, the widows and the less privileged ones in the society.