By Nna Anulumadu
The Laity Council of Nigeria last Saturday, July 7th, eulogised the Chief Shepherd of Onitsha Archdiocese His Grace Most Rev Valerian Okeke for giving them a big treat and good hosting on their 151st National Executive Meeting held at Madonna Renewal Center Nkpor, Idemili North LGA Anambra state.
The meeting with the theme, “the hour of Glory: Suffering in the life of a Christian” witnessed representatives from various dioceses of the country.
The Chief host His Grace Most Rev Valerian Okeke who was represented by Episcopal Vicar, Dunukofia region Very Rev Aloysius Ikekwe in a speech commended the Laity Council for their efforts in sustaining the existence of the council. He also enjoined Catholic lay faithful to be steadfast in prayers especially now the citizens of the country are groaning over hardship.
The national chaplain of CLCN Rev Fr Augustine Ifediba in his remarks eulogised Archbishop Valerian Okeke for hosting them, describing him as a lovely and caring Chief Shepherd. He also extolled the Onitsha Archdiocesan chaplain Rev Fr Celestine Aniofor for his welcoming dispositions and display of magnanimity.
The national president Hon. Sir Henry Hoomlong Yunkwp (KSJI) JP in his address rained accolades on the Archbishop of Onitsha, the Archdiocesan chaplain, Archdiocesan executives for giving them a deserving reception.
The president Onitsha Archdiocesan Laity Council Mr Obiefuna Onyekachi in his address formally welcomed and appreciated the priests and the lay faithful in attendance. Connecting the theme of the meeting to the current hardship the citizens of the country are passing through, Mr Obiefuna reminded Christians that cross is the bridge between earth and heaven/ suffering and glory. According to him, Christians in Nigeria should therefore not let their suffering go to waste, but rather unite them to the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ. ” This is the time for Christians to return fully to the ways of Christ and do a way with the prevalent mindless search for quick escape from their suffering which many a times include via fetish means.”
A participant Chief Dr Mike Omenugha ( Obama Nnobi) who spoke to Trinitas correspondent described the meeting as necessity, stating that the gathering provided the laity Council an opportunity to chat a new course on so many issues affecting not just Christians but Masses of the country.
Also an executive member of Onitsha Archdiocesan Laity Council Hon. Ben Chikezie (Uzuakpudun ) who spoke to Trinitas disclosed that the meeting was a huge success. He also expressed joy that delegates from various dioceses felt at home during the gathering.
During deliberations, the national Council appealed to South East governors to come together and tackle the issue of insecurity in the region as the situation is getting worst by the day coupled with incessant sit -at – home that is currently affecting the region adversely. They also appealed to church leaders to join hands in managing the insecurity situation as government alone may not offer hundred percent solution to insecurity.