Annunciation Catholic Parish World Bank, Owerri played host to members and friends of the Owerri Archdiocesan Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary Association on Saturday June 9. The annual celebration was preceded with a 9-day novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Provincial Chaplain of the Association, Rev. Fr. Basil Opurum presided at the Mass with the Assistant Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Eziamuche Onuoha, and Rev. Fr. Alex Okere concelebrating.
Delivering the homily, Fr. Okere harped on love as what characterizes the Sacred Heart of Jesus and that of Mary, adding that everyone including saints and sinners alike could bear testimony of the two Hearts of love on them. He said Christ manifested this at his death and till today, he has continued to show us the unconditional love that is beyond human comprehension.
Fr. Okere said that the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary signify obedience to God and submission to His will, adding that anyone who shows devotion to these hearts bears and live every day with qualities of the hearts.
Stressing the need for members of the Association to remain committed to the mission of the apostolate, the homilist assured them that there would be neither regret nor disappointment to members who live godly life and show wholehearted devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary. He challenged them to see themselves as carriers of Christ’s love that will easily be felt by those around them.
Highlight of the Mass celebration was the unveiling of the association’s sticker and the conferment of an award of honour to some distinguished benefactors and friends of the association.
A release by the Association Archdiocesan Promoter and member of the organizing committee, Sir Jideofor Okoro (KSM) gave the names of the awardees to include: Mrs. Nwakama Maryann, Mr. Ugo Eruekeme, HRH Eze John Nwosu, Mrs. Celine Onyewuchi, Sur. Joseph Odeh, Mrs. Emelda Nwaigwe, Lady Angela Iheanacho, Sir Jude Nwachukwu (KSJ), Chief & Lolo Ihim family, Capt. A.I. Nwosu family, Engr. Julius Onyewudiala, Mr. Sergius Ohakwe. Others are: Sir & Lady Patrick Unegbu (KSJI), Sir & Lady Kojo Nworgu (KSM), Prof. Obiajulu Emejulu, Dr. S.P.U. Nkwerem, Dr. (Mrs.) Nwokeji Shiela, Bro. Kalu Ibeh and Ann Onuoha.
The celebration which brought together members from various parishes and chaplaincies in the Archdiocese was followed with a reception where cake cutting exercise, dance presentation by the children wing of the association better known as Tarcisians, a speech on the year’s theme and the burning of prayer petition were some of the highpoints of the celebration.
In his address at the occasion, the Archdiocesan President, Ezinna Peter-Mary Njoku, announced the establishment of the association in St. Raphael Catholic Chaplaincy FMC Owerri, adding that other parishes will follow suit in no distant time. He said the celebration hinges on God’s love and mercy with a call to members to model their hearts to that of Jesus and Mary.
Ezinna Njoku while congratulating the awardees, expressed his gratitude to the chaplain, Fr. Basil Opurum, the host parish priest and his associates, Fr. Bonaventure Opara and F. Eziamuche Onuoha respectively for their show of hospitality.
This reporter spoke to the chaplain, Rev. Fr. Basil Opurum on reasons for this year’s theme and the growth of the Association in the Archdiocese.
According to him, it is aimed at rekindling hope in the people and letting them know that it is only in Christ one could derive consolation at this most trying and difficult time in our country. Judging from the strength of membership of the association and its coordination, Fr. Basil said the association is growing tremendously in the Archdiocese.
Present at the celebration were the Association National Registrar, Mr. Michael Umeh and the Provincial President Bro. Ajuruchi Peter.