By Ononye VC
The Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha most Rev Valerian Okeke during the week hosted representatives of the Catholic Churchs’ Pastoral Agents who were in the Archdiocese for their Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Pastoral Agents are referred to as those who assist the church in various ways in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Archbishop Valerian Okeke opened the AGM with a mass where his homily was anchored on the need for steadfastness in faith and the assurance that all sorrows will eventually turn into joy.
On the prevailing situation in the country,the Archbishop said the Catholic Church will always insist on truth and justice and admonished the faithful to be careful not to be in a hurry to join a wrongful majority.
“Don’t dance to the tune of what people like because the majority can sometimes be wrong”.
The Archbishop told the delegates to feel at home and rest assured of their safety and comfort while the meeting lasted.
Later in his welcome address, Archbishop Valerian Okeke reminded the delegates that each and everyone of them present was part of the five units of the Pastoral Agents Department of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria.
According to him,”The church in Nigeria expects you to put in your best in your assigned roles,to collaborate with the other members of your Unit as well as the members of other Units of the department.”
The department he said,could be likened to one hand with five different fingers,each of which needs the others for optimum performance,and all of which work for the overall interest of the whole body such that this year’s AGM’s theme is,”Collaboration in mission” since no part of the church can function optimally in isolation.
In his remarks,the Director,Pastoral Agents Department,Catholic Secretariat,Nigeria,Rev Fr Augustine Okochi thanked the Archbishop for receiving the delegates and celebrating the opening mass for them.
According to him,the Archbishop has always played a fatherly role when beckoned upon.
Explaining further about the Pastoral Agents Department,Rev Fr Augustine Okochi said the department is made up of five different units or committees such as the clergy unit,the Laity unit,youth unit and the seminary unit.
Each of the unit he said, represents an arm of the church.
According to Fr Okochi,the meeting brings all arms of the units together to be able to meet,plan,discuss and to ensure that things are working in accordance with the guidance of the church.
Fr Okochi said a resolution of the meeting would be transmitted to the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).
Other bishops who co-hosted the meeting and were expected to attend are,most Rev Godfrey Onah,most Rev Wilfred Anagbe,most Rev John Ayah and most Rev Patrick Elue.