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Archbishop Obinna dedicates St. Anthony Mary Claret Parish, New Owerri

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Archbishop Obinna dedicates St. Anthony Mary Claret Parish, New Owerri

St. Anthony Mary Claret Catholic Parish, Area ‘A’ New Owerri was on Thursday April 23, filled to capacity as the faithful gathered for the dedication of the Church building, a ceremony solemnly presided by the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna. 

At the beginning of the Mass, the Church Dedication Committee led by Dr. Chinedu Ihejirika, handed over the keys, drawing plan and architectural design of the church to Archbishop Obinna, who in turn commended the parishioners for their effort.

In his homily, Archbishop Obinna told the faithful to remember that they have been dedicated alongside the church and that they have been purified from all forms of idolatry and sin, adding that for God to descend from heaven and take flesh in the Blessed Virgin Mary is a mystery. According to the Prelate, “We were lost and led astray through a woman and through another woman called Mary God brought us salvation,” he said, advising that “no one should blame Eve anymore, rather to blame ourselves for our sins and misdeeds.”

As it is peculiar in church dedication, the anointing of the altar, pillars of the church, lighting of candles and incensing of the entire Church were among the features in the solemn ceremony as the Archbishop reminded that “we have been washed and cleansed in the blood of the lamb, and this is being manifested in sprinkling of all parts of the Church with the holy water.”

In his vote of thanks the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Nathaniel Eke CMF, thanked God, who made the dedication of the Church possible. On behalf of the Claret family, Fr. Eke welcomed the Archbishop for coming to perform his pastoral duty. He also welcomed the Provincial Superior of the Claretians, Very. Rev. Fr. Simeon Nwobi CMF, commending him and all those who worked towards the success of the event.

Many Claretian priests and religious were in attendance, including Rev. Fr. (Prof). Marcel Onyeocha Fr. Ekeh lauded the spirited efforts of Prof. Ike Onyegiri, whom he said carried out the architectural design of the building without charging a dime. 

Speaking to The Leader, the Chairman of the Dedication Committee, Dr. Chinedu Ihejirika thanked all those who worked with him to ensure that the dedication of the Church became a reality, adding that the sacredness of the Church has been consummated through all the processes and blessing. Dr. Ihejirika said, although they had their challenges of planning and financing, but in all these, God saw them through.

In his closing remarks, Archbishop Obinna thanked the entire parishioners for their work in ensuring that the Church dedication became a huge success, while thanking God for the safe release of Fr. Onyeocha, from the kidnappers den.

He also brought to the notice of the congregation the commencement of the Catholic Family Apostolate and Introduced Sir Jideofor Okoro (KSM) and Mrs. Anastasia Igwe as drivers of the Apostolate in the Archdiocese.

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Owerri Archdiocese: JDPC graduates 11 students in tailoring, fashion designing

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Owerri Archdiocese: JDPC graduates 11 students in tailoring, fashion designing

The Justice, Development, Peace and Caritas Commission (JDPC) Friday June 4, 2021 at Assumpta Cathedral graduated the second set of students trained on tailoring and fashion designing.

Just like their pioneer counterparts, the new graduates, numbering 11were trained and empowered with modern sewing machines and cash donations by the skill acquisition department of JDPC that interfaces with the Church and Society under the spiritual leadership of Archbishop Anthony J.V. Obinna and Rev. Fr. Dr. Gerald Chukwudi Njoku as the Director.

In his remarks, the director, Fr. Njoku, welcomed all from various walks of life and stressed on the need to be time conscious. Fr. Njoku thanked Rev. Fr. Kyrian Agogbuo, the Director of Entrepreneurship in the Archdiocese for his priceless inputs, Rev. Fr. Henry Opara, the Youths Chaplain, for mobilizing the youths for modernity, the Administrator, Rev. Fr. Clement Odoemena, for being proactive and Rev. Sr. J.T. Nwokoroku of Health sector for her quick response to duty, especially when life is at risk.

He said JDPC Commission has a dream of expanding the skill acquisition to an Institute of repute, with many more artisanship aids. He called on the youths to embrace the scheme, which he said remains free of charge.

Fr. Opara, Youth Chaplain, Fr. Agogbuo, Director Entrepreneurship and Fr. Ray Nzereogu, Director Ozisa Radio FM as well as Sr. Nwokoroku and Engr. Cyril Eke, Vice Chairman of Entrepreneurship, were among the dignitaries who spoke at the event. They all advised the graduands on the need to make good use of the opportunity provided them by the church through JDPC, while urging them to extend same gesture to the society by empowering others.

Highlights of the event were the launching of Almanac of the graduands, showcasing of their talents – class and style of the dresses sewn by them, award of Certificates to the graduands and appreciations by attendees. Miss Emmanuela, alumni of the institute stole the show with her presence, noting that her works have gone viral up to Germany.

Fr. Njoku, apart from footing the bill of the Almanac production, also gave stipends to the last year’s graduates to augment their efforts. He Njoku and the teacher of the graduands, Mr. Magnus Ndum joined the grauduands in paying glowing tributes to Mr. Kingsley Ohaeri, the JDPC Scribe and manager of the Skill Acquisition Institute, for his wondrous acts and innovations that conjure a galaxy of good legacies.

Other dignitaries at the event included Most Rev. Moses Chikwe, erstwhile Special Assistance to Imo State Governor on Skill Acquisition, Hon. Godswill Onyebuchi and Imo State Coordinator, National Human Rights Commission, Mrs. Ukachi Uka.

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Happy day at Assumpta Minor Seminary Naze … as Bishop Chikwe commissions landmark projects

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Happy day at Assumpta Minor Seminary Naze ... as Bishop Chikwe commissions landmark projects

Monday June 7, was a day of joy for students and formators of Assumpta Minor Seminary Naze, Owerri North, as they paid host to the auxiliary bishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Moses Chikwe.

The auxiliary bishop was at the school to commission two landmark projects: the newly renovated JSS hostel (All Saints Hostel) transformed by the rector of the Seminary, and a brand new 50KVA FG Wilson sound-proof generator procured for power supply in the Seminary.

Bishop Chikwe was delighted at the level of transformation in the school, particularly the face-lift brought by the renovated All Saints Hostel, a structure he saw last in disrepair during the Foundation Day ceremony of the Seminary in March last year.

Commissioning of the brand new 50kva soundproof generator by the bishop

In his brief speech during the ceremony, the chief shepherd charged the seminarians to appreciate the good work done by Archbishop Anthony J.V. Obinna, through the rector by ensuring that they make good use of the ultra modern facility, which aimed at enhancing both their academic well-being and overall seminary formation.

He pointed out the need for them to always appear neat not only externally but also internally, adding that to keep the hostel and the entire school premises clean should remain their watchword at all times.

The rector, Fr. Barr. Akoronye, in his thank you remark, expressed gladness that the bishop found time to commission the projects. He believed that the projects would boost the image of the seminary as well as helping the students aim high in their academic pursuit.

A cross section of seminarians during the ceremony

Present at the occasion were members of the Archdiocesan Seminary Committee, who included: Rev. Frs. Paschal Mbagwu, Eustace Okere, Bethrand Ujunwa, Bonaventure Opara and Henry Ajaero.

Other priests in attendance were Rev. Frs. Kyrian Agogbuo, Francis Ngere and Martin Agalaba.

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Auxiliary bishop inaugurates St David’s Orodo …Sues for peace in Igboland

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Auxiliary bishop inaugurates St David's Orodo …Sues for peace in Igboland

Auxiliary Catholic bishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Moses Chikwe has advised those fanning the embers of hatred and violence in Imo State and Igbo land as a whole to refrain, stressing that as a people of Christian faith “we’re all part of the sacred body of Christ.”

The message was contained in a homily the bishop delivered last Sunday at St. David’s Catholic Church Ubahaeze Orodo, Mbaitoli LGA, during the official inauguration ceremony of the church; where about 54 candidates received the sacrament of Confirmation.

Bishop Chikwe, who represented Archbishop Anthony J.V. Obinna at the event, anchored his admonition on the day’s feast of the Body & Blood of Christ.

He regretted that in spite of the lengthy years of Christianity in Igbo land, adherents of the religion were yet to grapple with the “simple injunction: Love one another as yourself.”

Speaking directly to Catholics, the auxiliary bishop said: “Majority of us tends to lose sight of the spiritual value of what we receive at Holy Communion. Be reminded that through this sacred act, all of us are unified in the blood of Christ. So let’s give peace a chance. Let’s forgive one another and let’s continue to tolerate each other.”

Reflecting on the Sacrament of Confirmation, Bishop Chikwe, who was flanked at the Mass by Rev. Frs. Philip Opara and Samuel Uzoukwu, parish priest and Archdiocesan Chancellor/Secretary respectively, advised the newly confirmed to give their life completely to the service of God, adding that the spirit of God they received would make them soldiers of Christ.

The bishop had earlier at the Mass presented the Book of Inauguration Decree to the parish priest, following the priest’s installation as pioneer parish priest and inauguration of members of Parish Pastoral Council (PPC).

The inauguration segment featured Archbishop Obinna’s gifts presentation of Ciborium and Chasuble to the parish. Upon receiving the gifts from the auxiliary bishop, the newly installed parish priest and his PPC Chairman, Sir Peter Opara, in a separate reaction, promised to discharge their duties with obedience and faithfulness.

The happy event took another turn with Archbishop’s arrival toward the tail end of the Mass, as his presence elicited happy response from parishioners.

Citing “not too strong” as reason for unable to preside at the Mass, the Owerri Metropolitan, who ensured that he maintained his usual style of honoring parish inauguration ceremony with song composition, led the happy church faithful in the following lyrics: Ubahaeze kele Chineke, Ubahaeze Tobe Jesu, Ubahaeze nara Muonso, Ubahaeze kwusa Ozioma.

The event shifted to the reception ground shortly after Mass with blessing of the Parish rectory.

It should be recalled that St. David’s Ubahaeze, former Station Church under Stella Maris Parish Orodo, on April 13, 2017 was raised to parish status, with Fr. Opara appointed as pioneer parish priest. 

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