Prelate pays visit to St Joseph Seminary, Special Science School Awka Etiti.
By Nna Anulumadu/ Chimezie Uzonwanne
The Archbishop of Onitsha His Grace Most Rev Valerian. M Okeke penultimate Friday, March 19th, 2021 inaugurated the year of St Joseph in Onitsha Archdiocese.
The inauguration was performed during his pastoral visit to St Joseph’s Seminary, Special Science School Awka-etiti where dozens of priests and hundreds of faithful mostly from Dunukofia and Nnobi regions joined students in witnessing the the spectacular event.
In his Homily, Archbishop Val disclosed that the Holy Mother church through Pope Francis had earlier inaugurated year of St Joseph late last year to be observed between December 8, 2020 and December 8, 2021, stating that with the grass root inauguration at Awka Etiti, Onitsha Archdiocese has officially joined the mother church in observing the year of St Joseph.
According to him, the holy mother Church is still thanking God for the gift of St Joseph ( The husband Of Our Blessed Mother Mary), who was declared the patron Saint of the universal Church by Pope Pius ix in 1870, adding that the same Pope in his encyclical, stated that St Joseph can protect the church the way he protected the Homily Family, encouraging faithful to pray to St Joseph to intercede for the universal Church and that eventually increased devotion to St Joseph.
The prelate described St Joseph as a humble cum down to earth father who was so submissive to God’s instructions and directives, posting that his type of person is not common. St Joseph he said was a virgin father, a great provider, a mentor, a just man, a compassionate father who set justice aside, a good teacher, a man of faith, a protector, a patient man and a man of divine love, charity and forgiveness.
He urged faithful to emulate the life style of St Joseph.
In a welcome address presented shortly after the Mass, the rector of the Seminary Rev Fr Anthony Okoye expressed profound gratitude to the Archbishop for his usual magnanimity to the school starting from the time it was handed over to the church, revealing that all the delapidated buildings have been rebuilt while new gigantic class room blocks are now in place through the massive support of the Archbishop.
Fr. Anthony Okoye commended the former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi who gave the school back to the church and with subventions. The rector also eulogized the incumbent Governor Chief Willie Obiano for extending helping hands to the school.
In a separate interview with the press, the rector charged the students to work hard and pay serious attention to the demands of education as that is a sure way to excel in life and change our country for good. He revealed that his students are excelling academically, winning Laurels in academic competition in the state, assuring that parents of the wards will never regret sending their children to St Joseph Seminary, Special Science School Awka Etiti.
Engr. JohnBosco Onunkwo who chaired the event in a speech eulogized Archbishop for rebuilding the school, describing such gesture as the highest investment for humanity, stating that the church is doing great in restoring education. The students of the school he said are very lucky since they stand the chance of getting the best formation educationally, morally and otherwise.
The school P T DChairman Ilo Richmond who spoke to the press expressed happiness over the quality education the school is impacting on students. He charged students to always be law abiding and remain focused.
SS3 student of the school Martin Emmanuel who also spoke to Trinitas testified that their school is doing great academically, while the rector Fr Anthony Okoye is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the students receive the best education.
High point of the occasion was the unveiling of the statue of St Joseph mounted at the school premises.