Christ’s faithful at Chukwunyere Catholic Parish Mmahu in the Ohaji – Egbema LGA, last Sunday, May 20, 2018, celebrated their Parish Day. The occasion, according to the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Moses Anuna, was designed to give a foretaste of what to expect next year (2019) when the church will go full blast to celebrate its golden Jubilee as a parish. This year’s celebration featured: mini fund launch in aid of the parish through sale of three large size holy pictures of the Sacred Heart, Divine Mercy and the Blessed Virgin Mary. There were offertory processions/donations, march pass by various groups – CMO, CWO, CYON and Mary League, and the showcasing of the Altar boys in their newly sewn uniforms of various colours, as well as dances and calisthenics.
The occasion was used to send forth the Immediate Past Assistant Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Remigius Osuagwu. Eating and drinking as well as football match between the youths of the parish and their counterparts of St. Joseph Catholic Parish Ifeakala took place and ended in a draw.
Rev. Fr. Anuna concelebrated the Holy Mass to mark the occasion, which coincided with this year’s Pentecost Sunday, with the incoming Assistant, Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Justin Alilionu and the predecessor Rev. Fr. Osuagwu. Rev. Fr. Chijioke Onuoha, Parish Priest of St. Anthony’s Church Obokofia, also graced the occasion.
Preaching he homily, Fr. Osuagwu called on Christ’s faithful to live according to the gospel so that the Holy Spirit of God, whose descent on Christ’s disciples was being celebrated that day may dwell in their hearts. He said that the Holy Spirit who came on Pentecost Day with various gifts, will do the same for everyone who allows the peace of Christ to dwell in his heart. The Holy Spirit is ever ready with its seven gifts Fr. Osuagwu made it clear that God has given every one of us his own gift, which should be used to serve God and uplift humanity.
During the sendforth organized for Fr. Osuagwu, gifts in cash and kind were presented to him by individuals and groups, including the Parish Pastoral Coucil. In his response, Fr. Osuagwu expressed gratitude at the gestures and recalled with delight the cooperation he received when he worked in their midst. He urged them to continue to support their parish priest and extend the same cooperation to his successor.
Interacting with The Leader at the end of the celebration, the parish priest, Fr. Anuma thanked God for the occasion which he described as huge success, as it has raised the hope of the parishioners for the Golden Jubilee which is fast approaching. He commended his parishioners for their wonderful cooperation and sacrifices in identifying with the parish in all its projects in recent weeks. Activities since this month including: CMO Day, Owerri Archdiocesan Priestly re-collection hosted by the parish, sendforth for the former Assistant Parish Priest and proposed visit in aid of the Spiritual Year Seminary, Ogbaku. He listed some of his achievements since assumption of duty one year ago to include: commencement of a new Father’s House, constructing the best grotto in Imo State, lockup stores, fencing of church, new generating set and purchase of three buses.
In a brief history of the parish which he read, Chief Ifenyirinwoke C.U., Chairman Finance Committee, traced the history of their church to 1940 when it was a Catechetical outreach under the Sacred Heart Parish Oguta Egbema, according to records was later included in the area covered by the Ahoada Parish when Port Harcourt was carved out of the Old Owerri Diocese in 1961. The first Bishop of the new Port Harcourt Diocese Late Bishop Godfrey Okoye then posted Rev. Fr. Vincent Ezeonyia C.SSp. (Later Bishop of Aba Diocese) as the pioneer parish priest when the Chukwunyere church was granted a parish status in 1969. Subsequent developments relocated the parish back to the Owerri Diocese under Late Bishop Mark.
Picture: Holy pictures of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Devine Mercy and Blessed Virgin Mary, displayed for sale during the Parish Day celebration. Ist. & 4th from left are: Rev. Fr. Moses Anuna and Ezinna Ifenyirinwoke C.U.