By Chinwe Nnamani

The last Sunday of every liturgical year is dedicated to the celebration of the kingship of Christ, (Christ the King of the Universe). That is, His sovereign power and authority not only over those who believe in Him on earth, but also over the universe, because His is the principle, the centre and the end of creation and human history. This year’s feast was spectacular, as it marked the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy in all Catholic Dioceses world over.

Pope Francis on Sunday brought to a close the Catholic Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy by shutting the Holy Door at Saint Peter which was opened on 8th December, 2015. The Jubilee Year of Mercy witnessed the Pope holding special Masses, spending time with the downtrodden, the  refugees, victim of sex trafficking, the sick, the elderly, and vulnerable children.

The Catholic Diocese of Enugu also ended the Jubilee Year of Mercy with the solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe. The celebration began with procession from parishes, led by the parish priests carrying the Blessed Sacrament with the religious and the lay faithful, singing, dancing for the Christ the King of the universe. The different parishes that made up Enugu Deanery proceeded from their parishes to the Holy Ghost Cathedral, Ogui, Enugu. The event happened simultaneously in the six deaneries of the Diocese; Agbani, Agu-obu Owa, Emene, Enugu, Nkwo Nike and Udi denearies.

After the procession in Enugu deanery, the Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. C. V. C. Onaga urged the people to reconcile and forgive one another. He pointed out that, though sometimes it is difficult to forget the wrong, people should always try to forgive and forget whenever offended. His Lordship also stressed that; the Year of Mercy should not end with reconciliation and forgiveness.

Furthermore, he informed the congregation that, two young women were consecrated to the Order of Virgins during the year.  This Order was not new in the Church, but this is the first of its kind in Enugu Diocese. He continued that for a young female virgin to be consecrated, she must have reached the age of forty who must have a source of income to meet her own needs.

He also informed the people of God that in 1989, one of the senior seminarians to be ordained Deacon (Rev Anike) dropped out of the seminary, and after twenty-seven years he came back asking to be accepted back. After much deliberation and in the spirit of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, his request was accepted and he will be ordained Deacon by December, 2017.  His Lordship continued that the Bishops of Awgu, Nsukka and Enugu also visited the Governor of Enugu State, His Excellency, Rt Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to request that some of the prisoners in Enugu State whose offences are mild should be pardoned.  Though the Governor informed them that those who have been convicted for murder may not be pardoned but he assured them that a lot will be pardoned by December, 2017, those whose offences are mild, those in awaiting trial and those who have almost served their sentences. He thanked all who joined the procession from their different parishes to the Cathedral.

The Jubilee Year of Mercy and the solemnity of Christ the King were brought to an end with the blessing of the people with the Blessed Sacrament by the Chief Shepherd, Most Rev. C.V.C. Onaga.