…Honours IMSU Pro-Chancellor, others
Activities marking this year’s Father’s Day of St. Mark’s Catholic Parish New Owerri were rounded off on Sunday May 6 with a thanksgiving Mass and conferment of awards to some deserving parishioners and friends of the parish.
The three day event began on Friday May 4, with a spiritual talk: “A Christian Father; A call to lead God’s family,” presented by Mr. Emeka Ntamere. The lecture was well attended by CMO members.
The next day, Saturday May 5, witnessed an interesting football match between St. Mark’s CMO and their Holy Trinity Parish World Bank counterpart. The match which attracted a large crowd of fans on both sides ended 1-0 in favour of Holy Trinity Parish.
Sunday May 6, was the grand finale with all the trappings of festivity and celebration. The occasion began with a concelebrated Mass presided over by the parish priest, Very Rev. Msgr. Kevin Akagha. He was assisted by Rev. Frs. Benedict Onukwufor (Assistant PP), John Paul Igbokwe of Assumpta Spiritual Year Ogbaku and Emma Esiagu from Okigwe Diocese.
In his homily, Fr. Esiagu urged Christians to appreciate God in all their conditions. He said that if we counted our blessings one by one, we would find good reasons to show that we are God’s choice. “So, for being a special person to God, we have a responsibility to thank Him and reciprocate His mercy by donating to God’s work.” One of God’s works today, he said, was to purchase a N7.5 million CMO bus for evangelization.
There was joy and excitement as the popular Okonko Cultural troupe from Ihitte-Uboma accompanied the Christian fathers and the awardees during offertory procession.
Another highpoint of the celebration was the conferment of various categories of awards to parishioners and friends of the parish. There were five categories of awards – Ezi Enyi, Ezi Nwanyi, Ide CMO, Ezi Nwa and Ezi Onyendu.
One of the awardees is Prince Dr. Alex Mbata, Pro-Chancellor Imo State University. He received the award of “Ezi Enyi St. Mark.” Prince Mbata, a native of Ngwoma Obube and a good friend of Msgr. Akagha, was accompanied to the award reception by his wife Mrs. Mbata, the Vice-Chancellor IMSU, Prof. Adaobi Obasi, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. B.E.B. Nwoke, the Varsity PRO, Sir Ralph Njoku Obi among other academics and friends.
Speaking after receiving the award, Prince Mbata thanked the Catholic community of St. Mark, especially Msgr. Akagha for the honour, and made a handsome donation towards the purchase of CMO bus. Speaking before presenting the award, Msgr. Akagha recalled various contributions of Prince Mbata to the Catholic Church, including his support to Ogbaku Minor Seminary; St. Michael’s Church Ngwoma and St. Mark’s New Owerri during her 2017 Harvest.
After the Mass, other activities shifted to the parish hall where Coach Alphonsus Dike stood in for the chairman, Prof. B.T.O. Ikegwuoha.
In his welcome address, the President of CMO, Blder Andy Osuagwu expressed appreciation with the number of Christian fathers who attended the CMO Second Saturday Mass even though the ratio is still far below the number of Christian fathers in the parish. He pleaded with the CWO members to persuade their husbands to join CMO and play active role.
He expressed gratitude to Msgr. Kevin Akagha and his curate, Fr. Ben Onukwufor for their co-operation. He thanked the Planning Committee led by Mr. Chidiadi Ibe for their commitment and the entire CMO for their support.
In his remarks, Msgr. Akagha commended the CMO President and the organizers of this year’s Father’s Day for a job well done.
In his vote of thanks, the chairman of the organizing committee, Mr. Chidiadi Ibe expressed gratitude to the parishioners for their support.
The Chairman, Parish Pastoral Council, Chief Chris Akaraonye said the new executive of CMO has started off with a clean slate and urged them to maintain the tempo.
Our reporter said the Okonko masquerade from Ihitte-Uboma thrilled the congregation.