History was made in Ohaji/Egbema LGA Imo State as a total number of 50 couples were joined in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Parish Umuagwo – Ohaji. This was courtesy of the Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev Anthony J.V. Obinna, who during his last pastoral visit to the parish called on all those living as husbands and wives without the sacrament of matrimony to avail themselves the opportunity of solemnizing their union.
The mass wedding described as “A Golden Wedding” took place on Saturday March 24, 2018. The parish priest, Rev Fr Raymond Onyekwere received their consent, while Rev Fr. Paschal Onyemelusi, the Catholic Chaplain Abia State University Uturu, presided over the Eucharistic celebration during which the couples were united.
Other concelebrants included: Rev. Frs: Godwin E. Ukaegbu (St Patrick’s College Asaba, Delta State), Benjamin Onyemachi (the principal, Bishop Nwedo Boy’s High School Umuahia), . Kizito Mgbemere (Parish Priest St. Thomas Amuri Arochukwu, Umuahia), Kingsley Ihuoma (Maria Assumpta Umuopara Umuahia), and . Emmanuel Ikenna Nnanabu (Assistant Parish Priest Immaculate Heart of Mary Umuagwo). Rev Sr. Kamsiyonna Nwaogwugwu (DMMM) Seat of Wisdom Seminary Port Harcourt and other Rev Sisters were also present.
The occasion attracted a large number of Christ faithful, including friends and relatives of the couples.
During the homily, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Ikenna Nnanabu, enjoined the couples to love God above all else, for it is the love of God that leads to the love of one’s spouse and by extension, the love of every other person one encounters. He maintained that marital love is natural, awesome, and holy and should reflect the properties of indissolubility, openness to fertility and unity in emulation of the unity of the Blessed Trinity. He equally pointed out that in order to maintain this unity, there should be mutual respect, equality, appreciation, humility, communication, forgiveness, submission, the spirit of sacrifice, endurance and patience between the spouses.
He observed that the success in marital life is not just about finding the right person but it is more of each spouse being the right person and then living a life based on the model of practical Christian love.
The parish priest, Rev. Fr. Raymond Onyekwere in his speech shortly before the end of the Mass, thanked the priests and religious present at the occasion as well as every other person who attended the ceremony. He congratulated the couples and urged them to live a life worthy of their marital Christian vocation.
The couples were not only happy for receiving the sacrament of Holy Matrimony but also, for the wonderful opportunity to resume active participation in the Holy Eucharist. They were grateful to the Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna for giving them the wonderful opportunity to strengthen their vows and faith in God and to be united with Christ in this special way. They also thanked the catechizer, Mr. Hyacinth Nwaneru for his hardwork and effort as their marriage instructor.
Speaking on the occasion, the “Pillar of the church,” Sir Mike Nwobi remarked that the issue of mass wedding is regarded by many Catholics as something of great economic and spiritual significance. This, he said, is based on the fact that couples can now take advantage of it to avoid unnecessary and expensive wedding ceremonies.
The parish CWO President Anastesia Onwuamaegbu and some CWO matrons advised the couples on how to embrace the new life they have started in accordance with the mind of Christ.
The highlights of the event were the cutting of the Golden Wedding cake and different snapshots.