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THE EXPERIENCE OF PARDON RENEWS THE SOUL

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Pastor's Corner with Fr. MarkThe love of God towards men is so gratuitous that we cannot claim to have it directly.  It is absolute so much that we can never say that we will miss it.  Human love on the contrary is so limited and closed by our egoism.  It rarely pushes beyond strict justice or outside of moralizing severity that we easily imagine a vindicator – God and a religion based on fear.  Who among us still recognizes that the “grace” which he asks from God means “tenderness” of God and “mercy” for the sinner?  Only an attentive reading of the Word of God can help us to appreciate the unfailing mercy of God.

The Jews used the term “hessed” to indicate the merciful love of God towards the people.  This term indicates the benevolence, the solidarity, the reciprocal love which should exist between members of the same family or a society, disposed to helping each other with love and generosity.  God manifests this benevolence above all by choosing Israel as His people, leaving its merits out of consideration, He establishes with it a pact of love and fidelity (Dt 7:7-15).

 

A LOVE NOT CONDITIONED BY OUR AGREEMENT

The correspondence of Israel to the love of God, which does not abound yet exists, is also identified with the same term “hessed”.  In this case it signifies thankfulness, filial love, fidelity.  However, even when Israel does not keep the alliance, God remains faithful and pardons always exercising “hessed”- merciful goodness.  The people, sinful and unfaithful, could always hope in divine help because of this merciful goodness.  The goodness therefore becomes the tenderness and mercy which God has for the sinner while He offers him salvation drawing him away from sin and continuously offers him new ways more efficient to triumph over evil and so finally respond to the demands of the alliance.  In such a way goodness becomes mercy for the sinner.  The religion of man is no longer based on a title of justice but only on the love of God.  Luke, the evangelist of divine tenderness, multiplies accounts which show Jesus in search of the most abandoned, of the poor, and of sinners, and by so doing releases the basis of our religion which is the attitude of those caught up in the vortex of God’s love.

 

DO WE STILL HAVE NEED FOR PARDON?

There is no need to be pardoned if we are not conscious of betraying someone who loves us.  But does man today still feel loved?  There is in contemporary society a diffused sense of restlessness owed to the impersonal character of our civilization.  We in the age of urbanization, continuous contact with crowds, on the streets, everywhere.  Men are continuously living side by side but remain anonymous neighbours, separated by high-barbed-wired walls and coldness.  There is a multitude, however, everyone is enclosed in his own affairs with his weariness, fatigue and delusion, often with his anguish.  It is not possible to count persons who are not loved by anybody, for whom there is no consideration if not for economic efficiency.  Many people know that when they are no longer useful nobody is interested in them again.  Yet happiness begins when one is recognized, esteemed, appreciated and above all loved.  There is not true “human experience” without exchange, dialogue, confidence and true reciprocal love.  Only love is capable of transforming but on the condition of being gratuitous and free.

 

A GOD OF OPEN ARMS

Christ revealed to us a God as we want it.  A God who is love and mercy.  He is a person who has difficulty finding a place in our society which because of this exactly has this vital need.  Apparently, He does not serve, He is not useful, does not bring honours, and not in the line of inflation: however He gives us all, He gives us what no scientific analysis, no technological progress and no development of the human sciences can ever give us.  To feel singularly loved in an absolute way.  When we realize that God loves us in this way, then we know that to be far from him and from others for human reasons is to lose time and lose God.  Therefore, the need to ask for pardon springs forth spontaneously.

God bless you!

 

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USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas

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USAID averts 25,000 unwanted pregnancies in Ebonyi, Kogi

…Umuagwo Varsity of Agric kicks-off October

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun Covid-19 testing in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, “in a bid to reduce the impact of community spread of the virus in the rural areas of the state.

The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba disclosed this in Owerri while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Weekly Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday.

Chief Emelumba said so far, the USAID officials have carried out reasonable number of testing in Njaba LGA and reported that all those tested came out negative and that the council prayed that the result from other Local Government Areas will be the same.

He announced that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take off of the Imo State University for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in October this year.

According to him, the approval underscores the efforts which the Imo State Government ably led by Governor Hope Uzodinma has made towards the establishment of a second university for the state.

Recently, the NUC panel was in Imo State to carry out the necessary verification exercises on the state facilities, human and physical infrastructures.

Mr. Declan Emelumba, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha, Commissioner for Health Dr. Damaris Osunkwo and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, informed that the Executive Council is happy that something new is happening in the Education Sector of the State.

Emelumba said that the Imo State University of Science and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo will take off by October when other universities would be resuming for a new academic session.

In the same vein, the Council has approved the immediate relocation of Faculty of Engineering Imo State University Owerri to its permanent site at Okigwe, stressing that Government has put all processes and facilities on ground to ensure the immediate take–off of the faculty.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has inaugurated a new Governing Council, for the Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri.

At the inauguration ceremony on Monday, August 31, the governor named Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji as the Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Other members of the Council include: Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chief Tony Ezenna, Prof. (Ven.) Chinedu Nebo, Sir. Louis Ezeigwe, Chief Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Dr. (Mrs.) Uwandu Uzoma, Ugoeze Victoria Adaku Ekezie, Prof. Adaobi Obasi (Vice Chancellor) and others.

Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Uzodimma said the choice of the members is to infuse fresh air into the university because “It is in dire need to bounce back to reckoning.”
He added that the choice of the members was because they have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour and that they have earned solid reputation as men and women of substance in their individual trade, indices that qualified them for the appointment.

He challenged the members to bring their reputation to bear on the University, bearing in mind the task for good quality scholarship in Imo State University as well as service to humanity.

The Governor urged the members to deploy their individual accomplishments, excellence, expertise, passion for service as effectively as necessary to actualize the dream of his administration of having a highly reputable University comparable to the best Universities in the World.

He also requested the Council to “restore in words and deeds the motto of Imo State University, which is Excellence in Service”.

“Imo State University currently is a classical example of a failed University,” Governor Uzodimma said but strongly believed that “with a star studded Governing Council such as the one inaugurated there is no doubt that Imo is on the track to realize the dreams of her founding fathers.”

He further enjoined the Council members to quickly hit the ground running and come up with policies and programmes that will reassure Imo people that the University that made them proud 20 years back is on track as he assured them of Government partnership in this regard.

In an acceptance speech, on behalf of the Council, the Chairman, Most Rev. Ugorji who is the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia thanked the Governor for the absolute confidence reposed in them by giving them the assignment and acknowledged that though the task is daunting he has a strong belief that with the calibre of members of the Council and support of the management, staff and students the University will be returned to a centre of excellence which was the dream of the founding fathers.

He said that Imo State University deserves the best and that he and his members as inaugurated will work acidulously to ensure that the target of the governor in making Imo State University one of the best universities in Africa is realised.

He congratulated fellow members and promised that God’s willing, they will not fail the government and people of Imo State.

Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, and other members of the expanded State Executive Council.

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