By Chinonso Alozie

Owerri- The Imo state governor, Hope Uzodimma, on Thursday called on the newly installed Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, His Grace Lucius Ugorji, that much would be expected from him now that the country is passing through the highest level of insecurity and youth restiveness.

Uzodimma stated this at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral, in Owerri, during the installation of Archbishop Ugorji, to replace the outgoing Archibishop Anthony Obinna, who proceeded on retirement.

According to the governor, the new Archbishop, would be expected to “Provide the much-needed direction for both the clergy and laity, in the Archdiocese, the larger society will look forward to you providing unwavering a voice for the voiceless.”

He said: “Today’s installation ceremony is a solemn one as it signifies the glorious transition of authority from His Grace, The Most Reverend Anthony John Valentine Obinna (who has been the Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province since March 1994) to His Grace, The Most Reverend Lucius Ugorji (who was appointed his successor in March 2022).

“Our new Archbishop, His Grace Ugorji, please permit me to humbly remind you of the obvious – much is expected from you. As you know, the DivineOfficee of the Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province is the spiritual headquarters of Catholics in the n Imo and the Abia States. This implies that a great number of the Catholic faithful in these states and beyond, look to your new office for their spiritual wellbeing.

“Besides, you are taking over at a time when the nation appears to be at a crossroads. Sadly, we are witnessing the highest level of insecurity and youth restiveness than ever before. We are also witnessing the aftermath of a global pandemic and economic hardships which continue to test the faith of many citizens of the country. Thus, much is indeed expected from you as the Shepherd of the faithful.

“I am gladdened, however, by the fact that your pedigree – your education and vast pastoral experience – make you eminently qualified for the task ahead. Judging from the remarkable achievements you recorded in your previous position as the Bishop of Umuahia Diocese, does not doubt that you are the nodes man for this challenging job at these challenging times.”

“Your extensive pastor training coupled with the leadership experiences you gained over 45 the years, have richly prepared you for this day. Knowing also that the Holy See is infallible, your divine appointment is no doubt a classical case of a round peg in a round hole. I am confident, therefore, that you will meet and surpass the expectations of everyone, including that of the Holy See who has placed a lot of trust in you by appointing you into this position at this time. It is our collective prayer that you would also surpass the achievements of your predecessor.

“Accordingly, it is expected that Your Grace will bring to bear in the administration of the Archdiocese, a wealth of experience gained over the years. While it is expected that you will provide the much-needed direction for both the clergy and laity, in the Archdiocese, the larger society will look forward to you providing unwavering in a voice for the voiceless, but more importantly, for justice. Many would expect you to be that Angel on earth who carries out the work of God without fear, favour or sentiment. The faithful will look up to you as the Christ they know on earth who will stand up at all times for the truth, fairness and equity,” Uzodimma said.

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