The Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Nkwo-Emeke, Emekuku in Owerri-North LGA, has inaugurated its Parish Pastoral Council.
The epoch-making event which attracted dignitaries from the six stations of the Parish and presided over by the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Justin Dike C.S.Sp. took place, Sunday March 8.
The high point of the celebration was the filing out of council members to the Altar where the entire congregation prayed for them while the chief celebrant sprinkled holy water on them and blessed them.
Preaching the homily at the Inauguration Mass, Fr. Dike charged the councilors to be creative and resourceful, serving their fellow Parishioners with dedication and humility.
He enjoined them to look around, identify the needs and render them assistance. “God is offering you the feet of your fellow Parishioners to wash and you must do so in humility and dedication”, advised the Parish Priest.
The homilist warned them to expect criticisms and unpleasant surprises from, some of those they are to serve, adding quickly that constructive criticisms can encourage healthy competition. Fr. Dike advised the leaders of the various groups to know their members by name and even their homes. He tasked them to speed work on the permanent Church building, expressing the hope that the foundation will have been laid by Easter this year.
Fr. Dike drew lessons from that Sunday’s readings. He explained that since Christ is the Head of the Church and all believers his body parts, it is the duty of each one to keep the body of Christ holy without waiting till Jesus picks up the whip, as he did at the Temple of Jerusalem to drive away those who defiled it.
The Parish Priest also noted that God does not share his glory with anyone else and so need his children to make out time to be with him in prayer to receive their blessings. The precious time spent by many keeping vigil at television programmes or sports could be used for private prayers.
He advised Christians not to be haters of the Cross of Jesus, but to realize that it is the means of salvation. Fr. Dike condemned the corruption and atrocities found everywhere in Nigeria, including the intimidation and harassment of the masses by law enforcement agents.
Sir Ambrose Ejiogu, whom the Parish Priest described as the father the Parish was invited to advice the new council and also pray for their success. Sir Ejiogu enjoined the councilors to show love and humility in service. He urged them to speed up work on the Church building project, assuring them that God will reward them for their dedication to duty.
The 12-member Pastoral Council consists of de Kevin-Mary Nwamara, Chairman; Nze Patrick Njemanze, Secretary; Chief Emmanuel Aririguzo , Chairman (CMO); Mr. Chris Ibe, Secretary (CMO); Lady Edith Ajaero, President (CWO); Mrs. Ijeoma Nze, Secretary (CWO).
Others Mr. Okechukwu Oriagu, President – CYON; Mr. Jude Ajaero, Secretary – CYON; Miss Theresa Onyeneke, President – Mary League; Miss Fechi Ike, Secretary – Mary League; Mr. Bernard Ibe, Finance Committee Chairman; Mr. Raphael Ibeh, Secretary, Finance Committee 1; Mr. George Egbuchulam, Parish Catechizer and Mr. Anthony Avugara, Station Catechist are also members.