December 17, 2023, was a very lively and joyful day at St. Lawrence’s Parish, Umuduru/Umuokpra Nsu, as the Parish Priest, the parishioners, the Catholic faithful and the entire members of the Community warmly welcomed the presence of His Lordship, Most Rev. Solomon Amamchukwu Amatu, the Catholic Bishop of Okigwe Diocese on his Pastoral visit to their parish.
The different homes were emptied of inhabitants, as they were out en mass, to welcome their Father in faith, Most Rev. S. A. Amatu, the incumbent Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Okigwe.
The Holy Mass, presided by the bishop, commenced at their parish church building at 10:00 am with Vicar General, Very Rev. Fr. Bartholomew Nnaemedo, and the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Uchendu, flanking the bishop, among other con-celebrants.
Speaking during his homily, the bishop decried the current insecurity in our land, and identified it as a major factor trying to hinder the Christmas joy for us; especially since it would discourage our brothers and sisters from coming home for the Christmas celebration. He also spoke about the right manner of preparation to be made for the coming Christmas celebration. Contrary to the belief that it’s a period to become rich by extorting from others, the bishop emphasized that it’s rather a moment for spiritual and continuous preparation for the final coming of Christ. The Christmas Confessions organised at this period, is the Church’s own imput in helping us prepare our hearts and be ready for Christ, our coming Lord.
Finally, the bishop pointed out the significance of John’s response to the inquiry into his identity. John knew his place as a forerunner and did not allow the euphoria in the people’s assumptions to carry him away from it. He maintained his position and pointed towards Christ, the saviour. Humility stands out as the hallmark of true Christian faith. This attitude of John is an invitation to Christians, to eschew of forms of pride, and embrace true humility after the example of Christ, who humbled himself to assume our fallible state at his incarnation, which we celebrate.
Other highlights of the event include:
– the solemn Confirmation of 35 Candidates
– an Address of welcome and packages of goodwill presented to the bishop
– photoshots of the bishop with the newly confirmed and the priests, and guests present
– warm reception of His Lordship by the Parish Council, at the end of the ceremony.
The other priests who were present for the ceremony include:
– Very Rev. Fr. Princewill Iwuanyanwu, Chancellor/Secretary
– Very Rev. Fr. Chibuike Uwakwe, Diocesan Finance Administrator
– Very Rev. Msgr. Cletus Ehiem (Finance Consultant)