… Condemns wanton killings of Christians
The Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria, Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, held her 4th Triennial Provincial Laity Day celebration and installation of Ambassadors of Laity, tagged Okigwe 2018, on Saturday 12th May 2018, at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception Podium Okigwe, Imo State.
The celebration began with a pontifical Eucharistic Mass which the Okigwe Diocesan Vicar-General, Fr. Dr. Cajethan Ehiem stood-in for Most Rev. S.A. Amatu, Bishop of the host diocese, assisted by Fr. Prof. Austin Echema (Owerri Provincial Laity Chaplain), host Diocesan Chaplain Msgr. Greg Ohagwu, Fr. Prof. Simon Anyanwu (Chancellor Okigwe Diocese), and Diocesan Laity chaplains.
In a homily, Fr. Ehiem expressed gratitude to the Metropolitan of Owerri, His Grace Most Rev Anthony JV Obinna, for his consistent support to the laity. He dwelt extensively on the role of the laity in church, and noted that the lay person is indispensable if there must be a meaningful church, since it is the lay faithful that nurture the domestic (family) church to build-up the local church. He urged the lay faithful to persevere in building-up the church of tomorrow (the youth) and ensure that they do not stray to the wrong path, and also to actively read the Bible and preach the Goodnews.
Fr. Ehiem charged the lay faithful not to shy away from the electoral process and be part of governance. To the award recipients, he enjoined them to remain true ambassadors of the church as envisaged.
Many priests were present, among them Msgr. Jerry Ofoegbu, Fr. Ifediba, Fr. Francis Maduagwu et al. The CMO, CWO and other organizations at the Provincial, Diocesan and Parish strata were prominent on the occasion.
Owerri Provincial Officers of the CLCN led by the President, Mr. Dominic Okoro (npom) were on ground to execute the project, among them Mr. Laz Ugochukwu (Secretary), Prince John Egbuta, Bro Clement Okolie, Mr. Joseph Okeke, Barr Chisara Egwim, Mrs. Iwuchukwu Ann, et al.
In his welcome address, the Provincial President, Mr. Dominic Okoro tressed the genesis of provincial body, its organizational structure and activities. He said a patron and Ambassadors of the Laity would be installed on the occasion, comprising men and women who have excelled in various walks of life.
Mr. Okoro condemned in strong terms wanton killings of Christians in Nigeria and regretted that the Federal Government has abandoned its primary role of protecting lives and properties of her citizens and called for a rethink. He appreciated the host Diocese, Okigwe, especially the Local Ordinary Most Rev. S.A. Amatu for hospitality, and wished all present a happy celebration.
The chairman of the occasion, Prof. Maurice Iwu, earlier in his opening remarks called on Catholics to take their security and personal defense seriously since they have become the endangered species, and enjoined Christians to take active part in politics to positively influence society.
Over 45 Ambassadors of the Laity were installed including Prof. Jude Njoku, while Prof. Maurice Iwu was installed the Owerri Provincial Patron of the Laity.