The Parish Priest, Very Rev. Msgr. Cyriacus Uzoma, the Catholic faithful of St. Anthony’s Parish, and the entire members of the Uboma Clan, on September 17, 2023, warmly welcomed His Lordship, Most Rev. Solomon Amamchukwu Amatu, the Catholic Bishop of Okigwe Diocese on his Pastoral visit to their parish.
The bishop arrived the parish at 9:42 am, and solemnly began the Holy Mass at exactly 10:00 am. It was indeed a joyous moment for the faithful of the parish as this was the Bishop’s only official visit to their parish in this capacity within the last five years.
Speaking during his homily, the bishop spoke on the paramount importance of the virtue of forgiveness among Christians. He stressed the indispensability of this virtue for any true Christian life. In his words, ‘one who is unable to forgive his neighbours their offences against him, has nothing doing on the confessional.’ Finally, he emphasized the imperative from the Gospel reading ‘…so will my heavenly father do to each of you if you do not forgive one other from your hearts.’ On this count, the Diocesan Bishop called on the gathered congregation to long for and embrace the virtue of forgiveness. He specifically, called on couples, relatives and colleagues at all levels, to accommodate each other in the spirit of forgiveness. This call is imperative; without which, the bishop says, there arises the need for serious fears regarding the implications of the above statement of Jesus in the Gospel reading.
Other highlights of the event include:
– the solemn Confirmation of 114 Candidates, following their success in the Bishop’s rigorous cross-examination on the catechism of the Church
– solemn Blessing of the foundation for a new Fathers’ house in the parish
– warm reception of His Lordship by the Parish Council
The other priests whose presence greased the ceremony include:
– Very Rev. Fr. Bartholomew Nnaemedo, the Vicar General II
– Very Rev. Fr. Princewill Iwuanyanwu, the Diocesan Chancellor/Secretary
– Very Rev. Fr. Chibuike Uwakwe, the Diocesan Financial Administrator
– Very Rev. Msgr. Cletus Ehiem, the Diocesan Finance Consultant
– Rev. Fr. Michael Ukaji, the Assistant Parish Priest
– Rev. Fr. Paul Ukommadu, the Principal of All Saints Secondary School Uboma.
Other distinguished guests include:
– The Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chike Olemgbe
– member representing Owerri North State Constituency, Hon. Kelechi Ofurum, and a host of other political entourage.