FATHERíS WARM EMBRACE WITH HIS CHILDREN

By Matthew O. Eze.

As part of his apostolic endeavours aimed at coming into personal contact with the priests, lay faithful and the entire Catholic communities in different parishes under the various deaneries entrusted to his watch, the Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Most Rev. Prof. Godfrey Igwebuike Onah in his tireless manner embarked on a five-day pastoral visit to some parishes in Ikem deanery in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State. Hence, it was indeed a dream come true for the priests, lay faithful and the entire Catholic communities who could not hide their joy as they warmly welcomed and received the Father Bishop.

During this historic, remarkable and memorable visit which lasted from Wednesday 22nd to Sunday 26th of January, 2020 Bishop Godfrey Igwebuike Onah visited St. Michael's parish, Aguamede Ulo, St. Paul's parish, Ndiagu Aguamede and St. Mary's parish, Odenigbo Eha-Amufu. The Bishop equally took time to visit all the out stations in the three parishes.

However, Bishop Onah's visits to some of the out stations were very symbolic as the prelate did everything possible to reach out to every soul. He was however not deterred by the poor road and the poor infrastructure in the area as he at a point resorted to the use of motorcycle to reach out to the people. Bishop Onah's message centred on peace, love and unity amongst the lay faithful and the entire Catholic communities thereby admonishing them on the need to show love to all as love is paramount in the lives of every Christian. The Bishop equally encouraged the spirit-filled congregation to embrace peace and unity, adding that they are the core qualities, values and sign of true Christianity.

The Bishop equally stressed on the importance of the education of the young ones in the rightful way as education is power. After series of catechesis on the doctrines of the Church especially the need to replicate the love of God to everyone we encounter in this world, the Father Bishop celebrated Masses at the parish centres during which he administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to no fewer than a thousand Christians. In his homilies at the Confirmation masses, Father Bishop once again urged the massive congregation to eschew the spirit of disunity and embrace love and total peace. He further challenged those who received the Sacrament of Confirmation to live out what they have received to their neighbours in a manner fitting to Christians and Catholics in Nsukka Diocese.

Father Bishop challenged them to be careful with false prophets, adding that some of them are agents of the devil who are working in the name of Jesus even when their powers are from Satan. He noted that there are others who claim to be performing miracles in the name of Jesus but are not interested in what Jesus teaches but rather are interested in enriching their pockets thereby getting their victims poorer. During this visit also, the Chief Shepherd equally visited the Federal College of Education, Eha-Amufu where he celebrated Mass for the management, students and the entire Catholic community.

In his homily at the College, the prelate frowned at the poor infrastructural development in the school and urged the management and students to continue to work hard for the betterment of the institution and Nigeria at large. He condemned all forms of examination malpractices found in many institutions in Nigeria and advised the management, lecturers and students to practice hard work and sincerity in their educational endeavours for a better tomorrow. On the other hand, the people of God did not hide their joy as they expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the Father Bishop. Highlights of the pastoral visits were the Bishop's inspection of Catholic institutions in the area, meetings with the parish priests and the parish councils and question and answer sessions with the entire lay faithful.


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