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You’re mercenary leaders -Archbishop Obinna knocks Nigerian politicians, others at IMSU



Catholic Bishops to FG: Stop crushing the oppressed

Worried by the current security and economic situation in the country, the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna, said the Nigerian political landscape is a haven for leaders, who out of greed and selfish interests approach and dispense leadership functions as mercenaries.

This was even as he identified the ugly attitude as the major reason why the nation has continued to wallow in abject poverty, insecurity, economic recession, among other myriads of challenges.

Archbishop Obinna made the remark last Sunday, while preaching at a Eucharistic celebration to round off his two-day pastoral visit to St. Joseph the Worker Chaplaincy, Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri.

The day was the commemoration of Christ the Good Shepherd and the Owerri Metropolitan used the occasion to highlight the qualities of a good leader, as exemplified by Christ.

He explained that a good shepherd is one who leads in the mind of Christ, laying down his life for those he leads, while the mercenary leader thinks always of himself, lording it over the people without qualms of conscience.

He challenged leaders in all spheres of Nigerian life, particularly those in politics and the academia to decide either to emulate the good shepherd attribute of Christ or remain as mercenary leaders, who bring upon the people they lead untold hardship.

Speaking directly to politicians, he said: “In Nigeria, we don’t have shepherds after the mind of Christ. What we have are mere mercenary shepherds, who think more of themselves and not of the people. This is why pensioners and civil servants would continue to shed tears, begging for economic help.

For those in the academia, he said: “Majority of you have compromised standard and excellence because of worldly beauty and attraction of young girls. Remember these younger generations are watching you. They are bracing up to imitate your blindness and foolishness. Please have a change of heart by embracing Christ, the epitome of good leadership,” the prelate admonished.

Archbishop Obinna, who celebrated the Mass with his auxiliary, Most Rev. Moses Chikwe, the Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Dr. Patrick Mbarah, Rev. Fr. Prof. John Obilor, Rev. Fr. Prof. Philip Ogbonna Cmf, Rev. Fr. Longinus Chinagorom, (Ass. Prof), among other priests, took time to recognize the presence of the IMSU Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Peter Akah.

The Acting VC, who led a team of the University’s Council members to the event, in turn lauded the pastoral efforts of the Archbishop, particularly in deepening the faith, while praying God to sustain him and his auxiliary in their evangelization endeavours.

Reacting to the Archbishop’s homily, Prof. Akah promised to lead IMSU with the fear of God, where high principles and moral standards would be maintained.

Imo State Commissioner for Information, Chief Declan Emelumba was also at the Mass, which saw about 143 candidates with administered the Sacrament of Confirmation.

It should be recalled that upon arrival at the chaplaincy premises the previous day, Most Rev. Obinna was happily received by the Chaplain, Fr. Mbarah, alongside his Chaplaincy Council members, led by Prof. Innocent Okonkwo.

The arrival program featured among other things: Benediction, interactive session, foundation laying ceremony of the ultra-modern Chaplaincy hall as well as blessing of the Nigerian Federation of Catholic Students (NFCS) Quarter Guard and gala night.

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



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



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



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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