By Ononye VC
It was a full day today at the St Joseph Catholic Church, Odoakpu Onitsha where the Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha Most Rev Valerian Okeke flagged off the Laity Week, 2021.The Archbishop was represented by the Chancellor of the Archdiocese Very Rev Fr Prudentius Emeka Aroh.
In a brief remark at the beginning of the mass,the Archbishop said it was a day specially reserved to remember the lay faithful who form 99 percent of the church while the priests and religious form only 1percent.
According to the Archbishop,It would have been difficult to stand the church without the Laity.He thanked the lay faithful for all their efforts in moving the church forward.
In a powerful and marathon homily,Rev Fr Mike Okagbue lamented the very bad state of the country and recommended that Nigerians must get back to the word of God if they must escape from the lingering economic and political quagmire.
“We must get back to God.That is the only weapon we have to fight the current bad economic and political situation in the country”.
According to Fr Okagbue,”the word of God will give us hope.The word of God will meet us at the point of our needs.If everyone is telling us lies,God will not tell us lies since those who trust in the Lord will never be disappointed”, he pointed out.
Fr Okagbue pointed out further that those who think that the people in government are our redeemers are making mistakes since according to him,they are the ones that are rather creating the problems and suffering of the masses.
He urged members of the Laity not to despair in their duties that it was only God that will reward them and not man.He told them that anybody who puts his hope on man was only seeking disappointment at the unexpected time.
The cleric said further” In the situation in Nigeria,it is darkness everywhere.No health-care, no water,poor electricity,bad roads and general decay of infrastructure “
The word of God he maintained, must be processing ssed to get the product we want.
He gave 7 point guide of processing the word of God into reality.They include believing, thinking about it,praying about it talking about it,thanking God among others.
In his contribution, the Onitsha Archdiocesan Laity Council Chaplain,Very Rev Fr Celestine Aniofor (Ochiagha) thanked the Archbishop for making his presence felt through the Chancellor, Very Rev Fr Prudentius Aroh.
He also expressed gratitude to the Parish Priest of St Joseph Catholic Church,Very Rev Fr Obiagwu and his vicars for hosting the flag off.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Catholic Laity Council, Archdiocese of Onitsha,Engr Leo Obiefuna expressed gratitude to the Archbishop, Most Rev Valerian Okeke for the successful flag off.He also thanked the homilist Fr Mike Okagbue for his wonderful homily and his presence inspite of the short notice given to him.
The President General of Catholic Men Organisation Archdiocese of Onitsha Sir Ifeanyi Nnajiaku delivered a talk at the launching of the Laity WeStb booklets.The President General of CYON as also present so was the representative of the CWO Dame Angela Orakwue.