Archbishop Obinna Confirms 61 at Blessed Tansi Parish Orji
A total of 61 Parishioners of Blessed Tansi Catholic Church, Ugwu Orji Owerri, on Friday, December 23, 2016, received the Sacrament of Confirmation, administered by His Grace Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri. The prelate who arrived the young fast-growing parish at 6pm was assisted by the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Dr. Benedict Oparaugo, his Assistant, Rev. Eziamauche Onuoha and the priest in residence, Rev. FR. John Bosco Ucheariko.
The Archbishop spent some time examining the candidates to ensure that they had learnt what they ought to, in order to qualify for the sacrament. First, he posed questions to them as a group (Igwe bu ike) then, a few male and female candidates were selected to answer some questions as individuals (ike otu onye).
The chief shepherd in his homily took time to raise their awareness on the evil and condemnable Igbo idolatrous and discriminating practice of Diala-Osu-Ume, which many so-called Christian find it difficult to abandon.
He explained that the water of baptism that washed away the original sins of Adam and Eve (Njo ekele igbo) also destroyed every other inherited bondage, such as Diala-Osu-Ume (Njo ekere igbo), which rears its ugly head especially when it comes to obtaining constant on choice of marriage partner.
The Archbishop called on Christians to see the Christmas period as a time of drawing close to God spiritually, notwithstanding the prevailing recession. “The harsh economic condition should strengthen and not weaken our faith in God”, he admonished. He encouraged the newly confirmed to continue to learn more of the Catholic doctrine and be up and doing in the practice of their faith because nobody knows it all.
Sir Clifford Nwagu, President Catholic Men Organization (CMO) and Mrs. Ihejieto, Vice President Catholic Women Organization (CWO) who sponsored the male and female candidates after being screened publicly, declared their stand as practicing Catholics, which the congregation affirmed too.
Speaking at the occasion, the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Dr. Benedict Oparaugo, on behalf of the parish, thanked the Archbishop for finding time, on a Christmas Eve to come to confirm 61 Christ’s faithful for the Parish. He described what the Chief shepherd has done as rare as well as a great Christmas gift to the parish.
He later informed The Leader: “While our effort to get the candidates well prepared to receive confirmation in a nearby parish could not work, efforts were made to take them to other parishes. To our greatest surprise, when this information got to the Archbishop, like the caring father he is the chief Shepherd, directed that no such transfer of candidates should be made, as he has decided to come to our parish before Christmas to confirm them, a promise which he has kept”. One can see what an amazing grace of God this is.
It would be recalled that on annual, the Archbishop, whom a crowd of parishioners turned out to receive was taken round the church to see on-going structural work which he commended. Fr. Oparaugo said that the Archbishop was delighted that the young church, whose foundation he laid in January 2010 has reached such level of development. What remains now are the windows and painting.
While Christ’s faithful continue in their effort to complete the magnificent church building the growing population of pupils has compelled the parish to embark on a permanent structure for the Tansiane-Tansiane Nursery/Primary/Secondary School started a few years ago.
While thanking His Grace for his fatherly love and concern on Blessed Tansi parish, the parish priest said that the Archbishop has by his special visit made a wonderful Christmas presence to the young parish for which the parish thanked God and remained faithful to His Grace.
…Parish Honours Msgr. Anthony Eke
Meanwhile the Blessed Tansi Catholic Community on Sunday December 18th, 2016, accorded a rousing reception to Rev. Msgr. Anthony Eke, who was the parish priest of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church Orji (Blessed Tansi Mother Church) when their church was carved out as a station.
The visit was in fulfillment of an earlier promise by the Monsignor (aka mpa nke ukwu) to come to the parish to celebrate Mass for them, following his elevation as a Monsignor. It would be recalled that the parish pastoral council led by the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Dr. Benedict Oparaugo had visited him at his parish, St. Helen’s church Irete to request so last year shortly after he was elevated to the rank of Monsignor.
Preaching the homily at the thanksgiving Mass at which he was assisted by the Assistant Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Eziamanche Onuoha and the priest in residence, Rev. Fr. John Bosco … the chief celebrant described Blessed Tansi as a mustard seed.
According to him, God has blessed that mustard seed which took off as a morning prayer group using the Mechanic and Allied Workers Association (MAWA) Hall as a place of prayer and celebration of Holy Mass.
Blessed Tansi church building, he said is one of the best in the Owerri Archdiocese. “Providentially, God gave you a parish priest of distinction, Rev. Fr. Dr. Benedict Oparaugo. I thank you for cooperating with him for the unity that has sustained the parish and all whom God used to save perishing souls at the Mechanic Village which used to be notorious for the evil life of those in it. He thanked all those who played crucial role in assisting the church, including late Engr Richard Ugorji, Umuimeka Orji village for the land acquired.
The chief celebrant drew lessons from the reading of the day in which king Ahaz rejected God’s offer, preferring to seek assistance from Assyria. “Our trust and hope must rest in God who is always ready to intervene in our problems if we receive him.
St. Paul in the second reading stated that Christ to be born will be by the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, through ignorant of how Mary his wife got pregnant accepted the warning of the angel who asked him not to send her away.
Msgr. Eke called on Christ’s faithful to take the opportunity of the Advent to go to confession and receive God’s blessings at Christmas. He condemned the practice of going to confession without adequate preparation.
In his remark at the end of the Mass, the Parish Priest, Fr. Oparaugo expressed the gratitude of parishioners at the visits of Msgr. Eke. He placed a record that the love which the Monsignor had for Blessed Tansi Church still persists till today.
An address of welcome signed by the chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council, Chief Sir Emmanuel Egbuokporo and read by the secretary, Comrade Tony Ezulike recalled how the steering Committees set up by Msgr. Eke acquired the land for the church and a make shift structure erected as temporary roof as place of worship.
The council achievements so far made by the parish which has grown from strength to strength both spiritually and physically. In addition to the magnificent church building nearing completion, the parish has a functional Secretariat, a sacristy, a modern chapel, a story hall, a primary/Nursery/Daycare School whose permanent structure has reached advanced stage.
“We thank God for you and pray that God will continue to give you good health to continue to work for him in his vineyard”.