By Nna Anulumadu
Catholic community of Sacred Heart parish was set agog last Sunday, November 12, 2023 when the parishioners staged a spectacular event to celebrate 75 years of existence their parish existence.
The historical event saw the presence of Archbishop of Onitsha, His Grace Most Rev Valerian Okeke, governor Chukwuma Soludo, Anambra state speaker Rt Hon. Somtochukwu Udeze and other dignitaries.
Preaching at the Mass, Archbishop Okeke
described Jubilee as a time of thanksgiving, grace, liberation and forgiveness. He traced the history of jubilee celebration back to the period the Israelites arrived the promise land and was asked by God to celebrate jubilee of their freedom from the hands of Egyptians. He charged parishioners to share from the blessings of the jubilee by forgiving those that wronged unconditionally so that the good Lord will also free them from any bondage or shackles of evil limiting their progress and blessings.
In an address shortly after the Mass, the Catholic community expressed unalloyed gratitude to the Archbishop for his presence and for his unflinching support to the parish. The address also highlighted some of the accomplishments the parish achieved under the current parish priest Fr Martin Ikeagu which included erecting of the magnificent jubilee house that was commissioned same day and beautification of the compound.
The Archbishop in his response, commended the parish priest Rev Fr Martin Ikeagu for his committed efforts in developing the parish structurally, spiritually and otherwise. He appreciated the parishioners for supporting every project the parish embarked on.
The parish priest in his remarks, praised the Archbishop for celebrating with them, inspite of his tight schedules. He equally extolled the parishioners for their faith, supports and cooperation that contributed to the success of the event, describing them as people of goodwill.
Fr Ikeagu who later spoke to Trinitas described the event as a celebration of 75 years of planting the seed of faith in that community. He enjoined the parishioners to remain committed to their faith and look forward to their centenary celebration.
The Anambra state governor Prof. Soludo who was represented at the event in his speech felicitated the parishioners and pledged his support.
Rev Fr Dr. Izunna Okonkwo ( CEO St Charles Borromeo Specialist hospital Onitsha) who spoke to Trinitas correspondent, congratulated the parish, observing that the parish has really embraced the culture of excellence. He commended the parish priest for moving the parish to an unprecedented height.
The vice chairman parish council Chidi Mmadunatu and the parish CWO president Lady Ifeoma Adimora in their similar remarks, said they are elated to be part of the historical event. They commended their parish priest for his hard work and dedication to duty which motivated the parishioners greatly.
Also, the parish CMO chairman Jude Ezeilo and Br. Boniface Nwankwo in their separate contributions said they are overwhelmed, testifying that at 75, their parish has moved beyond preaching the gospel to empowerment of the youth, through the instrumentality of the current parish priest Fr Ikeagu.
The parish as part of their jubilee celebration, doled out merit awards to former parish priests and some parishioners who played outstanding roles toward the development of parish.
Meanwhile, a total number of 689 candidates received sacrament of confirmation at the jubilee Mass.