…Catholic Empowerment Network pledges to assist SMEs

By Chukwudum Ebele

The Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, His Lordship, Most Rev. Hilary Paul Odili Okeke has donated over 135million naira which was the personal fund realized from his birthday celebrations towards the building of Blessed Iwene Tansi Priests’ Centre, Nnewi.

Addressing a team of journalist, the Director of Communications, Nnewi Diocese, Rev, Fr. Martin Onwudiwe revealed that the progress of work recorded at Priests’ Centre was hugely because of the personal donations of the prelate who saw it as necessary to build an ultra modern complex which will house an Old Priests’ home and a guest house for priests in the diocese.

“Our Lord Bishop Hilary had a vision of building a befitting home where elderly priests who were on retirement from active service could live. He decided to jumpstart the project when he celebrated his 70thbirthday four years ago, donating all the proceeds cum monetary gifts generated during his birthday celebrations yearly.

”He will make his own cash donation and ensure that all the gifts from colleagues, friends and well wishers be channeled towards building the edifice. Just like today he made a personal donation of 2million as he clocked 74 years. According to his welcome address from 2017 till now our Lord’s bishop has donated not lesser than 135million naira for the Priest’s Centre.

“Also, Chief Alloysius Ikegwuonu, Bishop Ozubulu also made a cash donation of about 15million proposing that it be used to build a bungalow at the Priests centre. We the Catholic Communication Centre, Nnewi Diocese has also donated some millions of naira as our little contribution to the ongoing Priests’ Centre construction”, said Fr. Onwudiwe.

Moreover, the Chairman of Bishop Hilary Okeke 74th birthday celebration and Parish priest St. Francis of Assisi, Egbema Ozubulu, Rev. Fr. Daniel Ileka after eulogizing the prelate as a visionary, focused and tireless Bishop wished him healthier and fruitful years saying that as many who continue to follow the wise counsels of the prelate will never make mistakes.

Fr. Ileka who is the Chairman BOT. Catholic Empowerment Network, CEN, a subsidiary of Assumption Foundation also called on the laity to fight poverty by shunning idleness and embracing CEN saying that the foundation was willing to assist Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) in packaging, promotion and marketing their products and services.

“The goal of CEN is to eradicate poverty among the laity, empower them with skills, use our wide contacts and connections to assist and promote those who have products in order to boost their market opportunities. So as faithfuls are fed spiritually they are also empowered financially. Jesus said give them food to eat after some days of preaching”, said Fr. Ileka.

Dignitaries who graced the birthday celebration include Occasion Chairman, Nze Akachukwu Nwankpo (Oputaifeadi), Prof Kingsley Moghalu, Prof Fidelis Okafor, Chief Udeaja, Modern living Furnitures, Eze Mentus Mbonu among others.


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