Knights of St. John International, St. Benedict Commandery 777 and their Ladies Auxiliary LAUX 762 Uratta, celebrated the birth of their patron, St. John the Baptist on Sunday 24th June 2018, at the Holy Family Catholic Church, Uratta, Owerri North LGA.
The feast commenced with the Holy Mass, officiated by Rev. Fr. Theodore Ihenetu, the Assistant Parish Priest. In his homily he revealed that the birth of John the Baptist was the fulfillment of a promise and prophecy of God, who ordained him to be a forerunner of Christ. He charged knights and ladies to emulate the humility and sacrifice in the life of their patron saint, proclaiming that just as God ordained John the Baptist, he has also positioned knights and ladies to be a blessing unto the church.
Other high points of the Mass included the thanksgiving procession and the pledge by Chief Sir Hendricks Unegbu to single handedly fix the church’s roofings destroyed by natural disaster on behalf of the Order.
Sir Unegbu noted that the condition of the church’s roof above the altar is a challenge to the knights, which thus, informed his decision to personally remedy the situation.
The second part of the ceremony was held in a well decorated Hall inside the church premises, where the Worthy President, Capt. Finbar Ogunta, in his speech thanked knights and ladies for supporting the event, stating that the ceremony is to celebrate their mentor, St. John the Baptist, whose birth heralded the birth of Christianity and the knighthood.
The event, which had in attendance the Spiritual Adviser of the Commandery, Rev. Fr. Samuel Agu, the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Gerard Onyekwere and his Assistant Rev. Fr. Theodore Ihenetu, also featured a lecture titled “The Life and Mission of St. John the Baptist,” delivered by Sir Barnabas Akuwudike.
Akuwudike stated that the birth of St. John the Baptist is one of the greatest events in Christianity. “Saint John the Baptist as a forerunner of Christ, exemplified humility by bringing himself down for Jesus to rise. Hence, it is important that as Knights, Ladies, Cadets and Juniors we live our lives humility and service to the church and the society at all times.” He concluded.
Rev. Fr. Samuel Agu and Rev. Fr. Gerard Onyekwere, who took their turns to speak, implored the knights to follow the footsteps of John the Baptist, by living out his virtuous life through projecting Christ to the people in every facet of life. They also congratulated and thanked the knights for their contributions both in cash and in kind towards the good of the church.
Another highpoint of the feast was the cutting of St. John the Baptist’s birthday cake by members of the Noble Order, alongside the priests present.
While responding to questions, the Worthy President, Capt. Finbar Ogunta and the Respected President Lady Doris Unegbu disclosed that the success of the event was as a result of the unity that prevails in the Commandery.
Affirming that the event is the first of its kind, they promised that there will be more celebrations of this kind with better packages in the nearest future.
The feast ended on pleasant note, as members of the Noble Order engaged in merriment and photographs.