History was made on the 10th of September 2021 at Ikeduru as one of the fastest growing parishes in Owerri Archdiocese, St. James Parish Ezenomi Uzoagba, was dedicated.
The excitement of the Catholic faithful, who adorned in their beautiful parish uniform, was demonstrated in their defilement of the early morning rain to witness the epoch making event.
The Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Owerri, Most Rev. Anthony J.V Obinna presided over the Eucharistic celebration to mark the event. He was assisted by the Catholic Bishop of Port-Gentil Diocese, Gabon, Most Rev. Eusebius Chinekezie Manuagwu, who is an indigene of the area.
Other priests who concelebrated the Mass with the Archbishop are the parish priest, Fr. Anthony Nnodim, the Archdiocesan chancellor, Fr. Samuel Uzoukwu and Msgr. Kevin Akagha of St. Mark New Owerri. Others are Frs. Kenneth Alozie, Emmanuel Nwachukwu, Reginald Nnamdi, Kizito Onyeka, Francis Ukaonu, Leo Manu; amongst others.
Archbishop Obinna in his homily congratulated the parishioners on the occasion, recalling, how as an 11-year-old child he rode on a bicycle to worship here, “but today to the glory of God I have come here in a car to dedicate this parish.”
The prelate noted that the rituals carried out during church dedication such as the sprinkling of holy water, anointing the pillars of the church with oil and lighting of candle can best be described as the baptism and confirmation of the church building to consecrate it as a worthy place of worship.
“We are now in a new dawn, no longer in the past. The church is a vehicle for salvation as handed to us by Christ. Therefore embrace the faith in God for your own salvation”, he admonished the congregation.
Highpoint of the Mass was the handover of the parish’s key and building plan by the Church Dedication Chairman, Iche Francis Akalugwu, to the Archbishop. The dedication rituals were heralded with canon shots and loud cheers from the faithful.
The parish priest, Rev. Fr. Anthony Nnodim in a vote of thanks expressed the excitement of the faithful on the occasion. He thanked in a special way, Archbishop Obinna for dedicating the church. He appreciated Bishop Manuagwu for being part of the historic occasion. He appreciated the priests who joined in the celebration and the parishioners who contributed in no small measure to the realization of the occasion.
A prominent figure in the parish, Sir Anthony Onuh, who spoke with our correspondent, showered praises on the immediate parish priest, Rev. Fr Emmanuel Nwachukwu and the parish priest, Fr Anthony Nnodim.
To the parishioners, the former Supreme Knight of the Knights of St. Mulumba, admonished them, to remain strong in faith and continue with the spirit of the dedication, because “they were dedicated with the church.”
The parish Pastoral Council Chairman, Mr. Christian Ogazi in his address at the reception that followed after the Mass, said, “At the close of the last millennium, precisely 1999 at the Mother Parish, St. Joseph Catholic Church Uzoagba, you (Most Rev. Anthony Obinna) put to task the two stations of SS James/Michael to begin to conceive the idea of owning a Parish. This suggestion galvanized the two stations into nurturing this intention. In the year 2007 the parish was inaugurated on the 18th of February by His Grace.”
“His Grace, it may interest you to know that this edifice standing here completed, and dedicated a few hours ago, is the collective efforts of the parishioners of St. James, Mr. Ogazi said while mentioning the names of some of the contributors to the church building.