…As St. Mary’s Parish Agbala hosts pastoral visit
Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna, has described as unfortunate, the high sense of anxiety pervading the South-East States of the country, stressing that the palpable tension, which was a result of constant blood shedding, destruction of properties and flagrant statements, issued by non-state actors, was an indication that “There’s a vacuum of political leadership in Igbo land.”
Worried by the ugly situation, Archbishop Obinna was of the opinion that those who arrogate to themselves the powers of issuing blatant statements like the “Sit-at-Home order,” had taken over the mantle of leadership across the five states of Igbo land.
“This is an unfortunate development for every well-meaning son and daughter of Igbo land,” the prelate lamented, adding that the worrisome situation could only happen because “those elected in various states to govern the region no longer function as expected.”
Urging the governors to wake up from their leadership slumber, the Archbishop pointed out that greed and selfishness must give way for “purposeful governance,” predicated on “crises-management policy, peaceful dialogue, fairness and mutual understanding.”
“Truly, this is the way forward to retrieve our land from the dungeon of hatred and constant killings we witness these days,” the prelate cautioned.
The appraisal on the socio-political situation in Igbo land was contained in a homily the Archbishop delivered at St. Mary’s Catholic Parish Agbala, Owerri North LGA, Sunday September 19.
The Owerri Metropolitan, who was on a two-day pastoral visit to the parish, used the occasion to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation on about 220 candidates.
Expressing delight to visit the parish once again, after a couple of years, Most Rev. Obinna, reminded the worshipping community of the need to maintain a strong faith in God. This, according to him, would begin with the ability to shun every fetish practice of Osu/Ume/Diala social segregation.
Reiterating his stance against the social caste system, the chief shepherd specifically, enjoined the Agbala traditional ruler, HRH Eze Malachy Onu, who was present at the Mass, to use his royal office in ensuring that the social tag consigned to the dustbin of history.
Highlight of the Mass was examination of the newly confirmed on basic knowledge of catechism, as they were subsequently admonished to preach Christ always with their good deeds.
“As you receive the power of the Holy Spirit, be assured that you’re no longer ordinary members of the church. You’ve been commissioned to preach Christ in words and action.
“So I urge you to remain as good Catholics and participate actively in Church activities,” noted the Archbishop, who was assisted at the Mass by his auxiliary, Most Rev. Moses Chikwe, Rev. Frs. Gerald Amadi (Parish Priest), Samuel Uzoukwu, Collins Anukanti, Cicil Nkwocha, Geoffrey Onukwulu, among others.
The event, which shifted to the reception, with gifts presentation and other social activities, had in attendance the Archbishop’s pastoral team of Sir (Barr) Anthony Emeana, Prince Uche Iwuorisha, Damian Njoku and Maria Assumpta Uwalaka.
Upon his arrival the previous day, Archbishop Obinna, was said to have carried out his usual interactive session with parishioners, a solemn timeout that kicked off with Benediction.
The session followed a separate stop over at St. Albert Station Church Emeke Agbala and the Anambra-Imo-River Basin Catholic community, where he took time to sympathize with the faithful over the death of their Station Church Chairman, Mr. Christopher Uchegbu, who died a few days to the pastoral visit.