By Ononye VC/Nna Anulummadu
Catholic fathers in the Archdiocese of Onitsha during the week joined millions of others across the globe to celebrate the Father’s Day last Sunday.
It was a day set aside to honour fathers for their role in role in the society and contribution towards advancement of mankind,social,religious and economic development.
In his remarks at the St Joseph Parish Abatete,while delivering a sermon to mark the Fathering Sunday,Archbishop Valerian Okeke said that the gift of fatherhood is a special gift from God to the world,explaining that every fathers day calls for a thanksgiving.
The Archbishop charged fathers not to relent in their fatherly roles by providing, protecting and caring for their homes always.
At the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha,Catholic Fathers trooped out as early as 7am for a thanksgiving mass for the gift of fatherhood and to pray for spiritual and material sustenance and divine guidance.
The celebration was rather low key due to Covid-19 restrictions but the Catholic fathers demonstrated great faith and respected the Covid-19 guidelines and protocols.
At the St Mary’s Catholic Church Onitsha Inland Town,the entire environment was in a festive mood.
The Catholic fathers under the leadership of Sir James Igweike rolled out drums during the thanksgiving procession and the entire congregation was in ecstatic frenzy while the fathers danced to the altar.
Their wives and children acknowledged by clapping while some danced along with them.
The Episcopal Vicar of Onitsha Region and Parish Priest of St Mary’s Catholic Church, Onitsha Inland Town,Very Rev Fr Johnbosco Okafor in a homily during the mass pointed out so many issues that could drive away fathers from their homes.
This include a wife’s cantankerous nature,disobedience, dirtiness and inability to cook well by their wives.
Fr Johnbosco spoke of the need for discipline at homes which fathers should meet out to their children to better their upbringing.
He said that lack of home training has ruined many children the result of which they roam about the streets and engage in many vices.
He charged fathers to be in control of their families quoting relevant Bible verses and urged women to cooperate with their husbands to raise responsible children for a better society.
Speaking after the mass,the Chairman of CMO,St Mary’s Parish,Sir Engr Osita James Igweike assured that members of the CMO will put into good use the sermon of their Parish Priest.
He announced that the Parish CMO has been able to purchase a casket lowering device worth N1.2million for the Parish which could be hired by funeral undertakers or bereaved families at the Parish.
Highlight of the Parish CMO fathers day include beauty contest,quiz and entertainment.