… As parish priest marks birthday
Not minding the number of years they have lived under one roof as man and woman, huge presence of family members, parishioners and friends as well as well-wishers witnessed the official marriage ceremony of 16 couples at SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Parish Obube, Owerri North LGA, Saturday July 29.
The merry mood within the Catholic community commenced the previous day with a birthday thanksgiving ceremony of their parish priest, Rev. Fr. Jude Ihejieto and rounded off with the mass wedding.
The parish priest who presided and received the marriage vows was assisted by Rev. Fr. Boniface Okea.
Informing the gathering of Christ faithful his heartfelt joy to mark his birthday with the mass wedding, Fr. Ihejieto while introducing the Mass thanked God for the privilege of priesthood and the opportunity to serve among the people of God. He commended the couples for “finally stepping forward to tie your nuptial knot after living together for years.”
Preaching at the Mass, Fr. Okea who joined his voice with the chief celebrant on the issue of cohabitation without the sacrament of matrimony described the act as “mere existing together” and not “living together. He opined that the right of living together between man and woman stems from the blessings which could only be imparted during the sacrament of Holy Matrimony,
Expressing delight that finally each of the couples willingly accepted to commit their marital life to God, the Ngwoma born priest reminded them that the sacrament of marriage was nothing but one that reminds married partners their life commitment to God and each other. “Brothers and sisters remember there’s no more going back. Since you’ve willingly come to bless and cement your marriage, before God and the people I ask God to keep you united till death do you part,” the homilist who punctuated his sermon with popular melodious marriage songs prayed.
Moving on to highlight ugly incidents which he said had continued to wreak havoc on family values, Fr. Okea informed the couples, particularly the women the need to compliment their husband’s efforts in family building. He noted that occupying oneself with meaningful hand work would help to guard and protect families against external influence. “Try and be a source of blessing to your family. Stop being idle and engage in things that can add value to your home,” the priest reiterated.
The traditional ruler of the community, Eze Jude Nworgu and Sir Canice Ibe, Chairman, Parish Pastoral Council were among dignitaries at the event. The Chairman, who in a brief chat shortly after the Mass expressed joy with the number of fellow parishioners who embraced the sacrament further thanked their parish priest for initiating the program.
The newly wedded couples are: Mr. & Mrs. Magnus Onyenobi , Mr. & Mrs. Japheth Ewelike , Mr. & Mrs. Erasmus Opara, Mr. & Mrs. Brendan Onyenobi, Mr. & Mrs. Francis Oparaocha, Mr. & Mrs. Charles Nkwocha, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Okere, Mr. & Mrs. Ambrose Oriaku, Mr. & Mrs. Theophilus Ewelike, Mr. & Mrs. Noel Ekeji, Mr. & Mrs. Martin Iwuamadi, Mr. & Mrs. Luke Nwaigwe, Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Onyeozirila, Mr. & Mrs. Patrick Opara, Mr. & Mrs. Emmanuel Anyanwu, Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Igbolelenwa.