By Chioma Ajafuo
The Catholic Bishop of Issele-Uku, Most Rev. Michael Odogwu Elue recently held a closing session of diocesan inquiry for the canonization of Rev. Fr. Abraham Anselm Isidahome Ojefua, a servant of God and the founder of the prestigious Order of Knight of St. Mulumba who died in 1988. The event which took place at St. Paul Cathedral, Issele-Uku, Delta witnessed the presence of priests, committee members, members of the Knights of St. Mulumba, and numerous members of the lay faithful of the diocese and other personalities in the diocese. The event began with a Eucharistic celebration which had Bishop Elue as the chief celebrant and concelebrated by thirteen other priests from within and outside Issele-Uku diocese. Preaching during the homily, Bishop Elue noted that it was a beautiful thing that the occasion coincided with the day the universal Church celebrates the feast of Holy Apostles, Ss Simon and Jude, the inmost circle of the Lord’s followers and disciples, appointed to be the principal assistants and supporters of God’s divine mission and work in the world. He added that Ss. Simon and Jude were ordinary men, called by God to greatness and they dedicated themselves to the service of God but today, they are truly our great role models and inspirations. According to the Prelate, marking the closing series of the activities toward this process of canonization points to the sterling virtues and exemplary life of Fr. Abraham Ojefua and his services to the church and to God which are note worthy. In the Bishop’s words, “We trust in God hoping that with prayer God might approve our proposals and consider him saintly enough as to allow these qualities of his to the emulation of the body of Christ and the Church. Continuing, Bishop Elue called on the congregation to emulate the examples of Ss. Jude and Simon, the other apostles and many other saints, holy men and women of God in our own lives, while encouraging all to be exemplary in their ways of life and actions as all are called to be saints. However, the prelate urged the congregation to always strive to be worthy of God by doing what is right, just, and good in the sight of God and men alike while tasking them on greater responsibility, dedication in living a holy life thereby helping one another on their journey to eternal life. Bishop Elue equally, reminded the faithful to bear in mind that on the mountain that the Lord of host has prepared for all people, a banquet of rich food and fine wine (Is 25:6) which requires a daily and constant effort and struggle in order to get to the top of the mountain. The Bishop commended the committee for a good job done towards the inquiry for the beautification and canonization of the God’s monk and servant, Fr Anselm Abraham Ojefua, while asking God to fulfill our desires. As the Mass progressed, members of the tribunal took an oath of office before the bishop, pledging to continue to discharge their duties without fear or favour to the glory of God and service to humanity. In few words, the Postulator, Rev. Fr. Peter Ndinwa thanked the Bishop for recruiting competent hands in the committee and also appreciated members of the committee for the work well done and all those who have contributed their time, talent and treasure to that effect and prayed the good Lord to bless and reward them abundantly. The chairman of the committee, Sir Ikemefune welcomed all to the occasion and summarized the progress made so far and called for more prayers and financial support to the cause while hoping that the will of God be done in the entire process. It will be recalled that on the 18th of November, 2019, Bishop Elue appointed Rev. Fr. Peter Ndinwa the Postulator for the cause for the canonization of the servant of God, Rev. Fr. Anselm Abraham Ojefua. On the 18th of May, 2020 a libelous was presented to the Bishop by the postulator on behalf of the actor, brothers and sisters of the knight of Saint Mulumba. On the 17th of June, 2020, a Votum on the advisability to initiate the cause was obtained from the Catholic Bishops of the province while on the 28th of October, 2020, a Nihil Obstat was gotten from Rome to initiate the cause.