By Nna Anulumadu
Ogbunike Catholic community was in a joyous mood last Sunday as members turned out in large numbers to officially receive the new Bishop of Aguleri diocese, Bishop Denis Chidi Isizoh.
The historical reception which took place at St Vincent Parish Ogbunike attracted the presence of entire Catholics from three parishes in the community including St. Stephen, St Michael and St Vincent, the host Parish.
In a wholesome welcome address, the Catholic community expressed gratitude to the mother Church for appointing and installing their illustrious son as the maiden Bishop of Aguleri diocese, describing the development as a huge blessing to the town. They also commended the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha led by His Grace Most Rev Valerian Okeke for facilitating the creation of Aguleri diocese and the subsequent installation of Most Rev. Dennis Isizoh as it’s first Bishop.
The Chancellor of the new diocese, Very Rev Fr Innocent Egbunike who spoke at the event, extolled the mother Church for installing Bishop Isizoh to shepherd Aguleri diocese, describing Bishop Isizoh as a prelate with wealth of knowledge and experience. He also stated that he has no doubt that the Bishop will develop the diocese beyond expectations owing to his intelligence and endearing personality. He called on Ogbunike people to support their illustrious son Bishop Isizoh to succeed, reminding them that the Church gifting them a Bishop is a call for them to be more committed to their faith and live an exemplary life. He further enjoined Ogbunike people to be proud of the prelate since his new office is divinely arranged.
Also, the Parish Priest, St Stephen’s Parish, Ogbunike, Fr Augustine Ezeanya, in his remarks, described Bishop Isizoh as the highest gift to Ogbunike Community. Describing him as an apostle of Christ who is extraordinarily intelligent and endowed with uncommon wisdom, he charged the people of Ogbunike to be proud of his epicopacy.
The Parish Priest of the host Parish, Fr Augustine Ogbunuku, in his contribution said they are happy to receive the prelate, describing him as a local ordinary who started from humble beginning as a village boy to become a priest of God. He called on the community to be at front line of championing the propagation of the gospel like people who have been highly gifted. “Every Ogbunike person should live a life worthy of the gift of a Bishop.”
A resident Priest at the host Parish, Very Rev Fr Hilary Anisiobi also expressed profound joy at witnessing the reception, describing Bishop Isizoh as a blessing to the community.
The Organizer CWO Nkwelle zone Mrs Rosemary AveMaria Chigbo who spoke to Trinitas said they are elated over the gift of the Bishop, pledging their support to his epicopacy.
Chief Dr. Aniwetalu Onunkwo and Mr Chinedu Nwora in their separate remarks said they were overjoyed over the new Bishop of Aguleri who happens to be their brother, enjoining community members to hold tenaciously to God since the gitf of Bishop Isizoh to them is sign that God is with the community.
Bishop Isizoh earlier in his sermon told the story of his life and how he was called by God to work in his vineyard, disclosing that he reached this position because of his obedience to the church. His words:” I was not a township boy. I grew up in the village and did all the domestic duties. In other words, my journey to priesthood that translated to Bishopric is a miracle. Every human being whether in the village or town has the gift to become great and shine. Just work hard, listen to the voice of God and be guided by Him. Also be patient and never lose hope, you will succeed at the end”. He thanked Ogbunike people for staging a colourful reception for him, promising to be taking care of their spiritual needs.