•    52 Unique Nuclear Families Recognised.
•    6 Catechists Commisioned

By Adonis Onyejide

The 2016 Enugu Catholic Diocesan Marriage and Family Life Commission, with the theme: “The Family: Agent of Mercy and Harmony” and other parish activities started on Saturday, the 10th of September, with His Excellency, Bishop Emeritus, Most Rev. Dr. A. O. Gbuji’s inaugural lecture and the key note address, eventually ended on Sunday 18th 2016; with grand finale thanksgiving Mass celebration. Also 52 Unique Nuclear Families were recognised and 6 Diocesan catechists were as well commissioned by the bishop.

The ceremony for the grand finale commenced with the celebration of Holy Eucharist presided over by the good shepherd of the Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. C.V.C. Onaga, with his bosom friend Catholic Bishop of Ilorin Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Ayomaria in attendance, assisted by Fr. Ignatius B. C. Okota and Fr. Mich Ngwu (Umuchukwu) and other priests including the Cathedral administrator Very Rev. Dr. Msgr. G. C. Ogbuene. In his opening remarks, the Bishop introduced his visiting Bishop, congratulated the Marriage and Life Commission for working assiduously in preparing and selecting the Unique couples. He also thanked the Director of Ugwu Di Nso Pastoral Centre for producing another 6 Catechists for the Diocese. Equally the lay faithful were appreciated for coming together for the historic celebrations.

The Holy Mass progressed with the Readings, and the gospel taken from (Lk 16: 10-13). In his brief homily, the Bishop reminded the people to be responsible with smaller jobs given to them and that will attract bigger jobs. He used that opportunity to inform the congregation of the communiqué issued at the Catholic Bishops Conference held recently. He also urged the people to go back to farming and he insisted consumption of natural foods to reduce blood sugar. He concluded by urging people to follow the instructions of the Catholic Church. After which he commissioned the Catechists. The newly commissioned catechists were Duruoha Callistus of St Michaels Awh-Imezi, Ibezimako Christian of St Mary’s Parish Achi, Jude Igwe of St Peter’s Parish Abori, Grace N. Nneji of St. Jude’s parish Akpugo, Joseph Ugwunnaji of St Aloysius parish G. R. A. Enugu, and Leonard Ihionu of Virgo Potens Parish, Achara Layout Enugu. Renewal of marriage vow to all married was also exercised and the recognition of the Unique Family couples followed.  Certificates were as well given to those who passed out from Billing Natural family Method training by the Bishop. Other highlights were the group photograph with the bishop and the catechists and the recognised Unique Families.

In a short interview with the coordinating priest Rev. Fr. Dr. I. B. C. Okuta who is also the parish priest of Maria Assumpta, Achara Layout, Enugu; he was excited over the success of the family week celebration in the parishes. He attributed the success to the wonderful support of the Bishop, Most Rev Dr. C. V. C Onaga, his fatherly care and concern for the well being of Marriage and Family Life Commission. He also thanked his committee headed by Hon. Amechi Achara for their hard work inspite of the challenges. He urged those parishes that did not participate this year 2016 to endeavour to follow next year 2017. He finally prayed for the intercession of our mother Blessed Virgin Mary to help us protect marriage and family life under threat of false secularism and globalisation. In another interview with one of the beneficiaries of the award, Pillar Ikechukwu  Okeke, (a retired Police Officer) from Holy Family Catholic Church Umuabu-Udi L. G A, he was happy about the award. He thanked the Catholic Diocese of Enugu for such prestigious award to deserved couples. He concluded with thanking God and the organisers that started the journey for him.

Finally, Dr Mrs. Dame Ngozi Agu(COH) was cornered for a brief chat with Choice Flame Newspaper correspondent, Prince Onyejide on the happening of the day. Dr. Mrs. Dame Ngozi Agu(COH) was one of the merit awardees. In her word: I feel overwhelmed, fulfilled, saturated. In short, I am happy for today’s event, where another feather was added to my existing feathers. To me it is an encouragement. I felt reluctant to have the award ab initio, I have gotten enough from my home parish, Urban Parish, C. W. O etc, based on my performances, but the peak of all is the award and honour, the one from the Pontiff in Rome, where a small person like me was recognised. I commend the Bishop for his efforts. I describe him as the gift to Enugu Catholic Diocese. To the organisers and the good people of Enugu Diocese, I, my husband and my entire family are proud of you.

On the advice to mothers, she advised all mothers to be role model, monitor their children and make sure they become assets to the society. Thank you.

Bishop flanked by Fr. I. B. C Okuta and Fr. Mich Ngwu

Chief S. I Agu and Dame Dr. Mrs Ngozi Agu at the ceremony

cross section of Unique Nuclear Families

Dr. Emeasuba delivering lecture at St. Mary' Trans-Ekulu

Family Committee at offertory procession

Family Week Participants At St. Mary's Trans-Ekulu

Procession to the Holy Mass

Some Unique Family and friends at the event

The Bishops and the Commissioned Catechists