…Organizers express gratitude
Friday 29th September, 2017 a day that every true Catholic of St. Dominic’s Parish and indeed all inhabitants of Afara, Mbaitoli L.G.A Imo State, will never forget in a hurry. A day with glamour, pomp and pageantry allowed the realization of a long sought and thought dream of every well-meaning Catholic faithful of Afara – the dedication of St. Dominic’s Catholic Church. Little wonder the glistening environs of the Church premises were added more colour, as members of the Church as well as their guests appeared in dazzling colours, spotting locally — made fabrics, with St. Dominic’s picture and that of the Church building boldly emblazoned on them.
His Grace, Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna, the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri whose arrival into the community was heralded by some gunshots just as was the case twenty six years ago, when the Community received the good news that Afara had been granted a parish status; always allowed his ecstasy and hilarity to get better of him all the while the event lasted.
The proceedings of the day were let in by the Pontifical high Mass presided over by Archbishop Obinna which was well attended by a good number of Catholic priests, Rev. Sisters and lay faithful.
While preaching at the mass which the Chief shepherd centered on the essence of church dedication, he re-emphasized his undying willingness to never get tired of the Osu/Diala segregation, stressing that the syndrome was and idolatrous practice needed to exorcise from the psych of every Christian. He regretted that notwithstanding how long Christianity has existed in lgbo Land, a good number of our people are still saddled with the pagan ideology of Osu and Diala Caste system. He reminded he gathered faithful that by the virtue of our baptism, Christ
has given everyone a new breathe of life – a life where everyone is equal before God the father. He then enjoined the faithful that “with the joy of this dedication ceremony in our hearts, may you remember the fetish life style of our fore fathers has been abolished”, He concluded, “be reminded that henceforth, the church remains solely a place of worship where prayers for peace, progress and unity of the Community would Lie offered”.
In attendance at the Mass are the Provincial Superior Claretian Missionaries (cmf), Eastern Nigeria Province Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Nwobi (cmf), the Secretary to Owerri Archdiocese — Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Alphonsus Oha, the only indigenous Priest of the Parish, Rev. Fr. Dr. Walter Opara, The Director of OZISA Newspaper – Rev. Fr. Longinus Chinagorom, the Parish Priest – Rev. Nicholas Chinweze, cmf, His Co-Pastors. Rev. Frs. Emmanuel Ukata and Emmanuel Agwulonu, (cmf) Former Parish Priests and Assistants — Rev. Frs. Anthony Agu (cmf), Anthony Ibeawuchi (cmf), Patrick Ekeogu, cmf (PhD), Rev. Frs. Godwin Uzoma (cmf) and John-Francis Adile, cmf. Also in attendance was the Parish Priest of St. Hilary Catholic Parish, AmaukwuOrodo — Rev. Fr. Peter Otuonye and others too numerous to mention.
The Archdiocesan C.W.O President, Lady Stella Acholonu, Kinghts and Ladies of the church were also in attendance.
On the part of the laity, eminent personalities including HRH Eze M.N Ogu (Eze Udo II OF Afara), Chief Chidi Ngawuihe Chairman/CEO FC Afara Investment, Lagos (Chairman of the occasion), A legal Luminary, Chief (Barr.) and Lolo Ogedi Onyema and Mr. & Mrs. Innocent Osuagwu to mention but a few, graced the occasion.
In his address, the chairman dedication committees, Engr. Ikpamezie-Innocent, whose mood throughout the events of the day depicted extreme joy and gladness expressed his gratitude to Almighty God for making a day like this possible. He appreciated the efforts and the understanding of His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. A.J.V Obinna showcased in being present from the start to the time the days activities came to a close. He commended in no small measure the effort of all priests both past and present of the parish, the entire parishioners, friends and well wishers in ensuring that the days outing was a success. He prayed God to lead each person safely back to his or her respective homes and God to always hear and grant our requests whenever we call on Him in this house of prayer.