Archbishop Valerian Okeke:
A deserving 20th Anniversary Celebration…
On the 9th of February 2002,Most Rev Valerian Maduka Okeke was consecrated Coadjutor Archbishop of Onitsha and on September 01,2003,he was enthroned as the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province.
It would amount to stating the obvious to say that on the achievement of his 20th Episcopal Anniversary,that Archbishop Valerian Okeke has done wonderfully well and passionately demonstrating and living out his motto,”that that they may have life”(John 10:10).
Commemoration of the Episcopal ordination of Archbishop Valerian Okeke is really a thing of joy and something to give thanks to God.
Since he assumed office as the Chief Shepherd of the Archdiocese of Onitsha,he accelerated the spiritual and physical development of the faithful.
This began at the early stage of his episcopacy where he facilitated the upgrading of the Holy Trinity Cathedral to a Basilica.He capped it with convocking the first and second Synod in the Archdiocese.
He is a sure- footed apostle who took the mantle of leadership from his predecessors and sustained the sacred heritage of his forebears.
Under his episcopacy,the Archbishop has in so many ways affected the lives of the people of God positively and beyond expected measure; in education,health, spiritually,infrastructure and charity.
Archbishop Valerian Okeke is a promoter of excellence and decency.
This is proven in the many exploits the Archdiocese has achieved in education.
Apart from improving on the old mission schools which were handed over to him by the state government (which he was instrumental to),he built new schools, equipped them and produced brilliant students that are known to have won many laurels across the globe.We may not have said enough without mentioning that thousands of students have benefitted from his scholarship programme.That he erected the massive Holy Family Youth Village hostels in Amansea,near the Nnamdi Azikiwe University is a clear testimony of his love for the welfare and growth of the youths.
At the top of the Archbishop’s agenda on education is the on-going Bishop Shanahan University project in Onitsha.
Also, top on the list of the Archbishop’s achievement is the erection of the Radio Sapientia and the commissioning of the Sapientia Television station.
The Radio Sapientia has become a rallying point for genuine and reliable dissemination of information and entertainment across the Southeast and beyond.The Radio Sapientia has become a top-notch effective crusader for good governance and fight for injustice that prevails in it’s area of coverage and the society in general.
The many commendable charity works of the Archbishop readily come to mind.
We remember vividly how in the recent time,how the Archbishop erected a beautiful bungalow at Nteje for a young girl without upper limbs.The Archbishop’s gesture was not only an enduring magnanimity but an exemplary show of humaneness.
During the flood disaster which displaced many residents across the riverine areas,the Archbishop donated generously for the welfare of the victins in terms of food, mattresses and accommodation.
One of the Archbishop’s dedicated project on charity and welfare is his Prison Apostolate.
Apart from paying regular visits to the Onitsha federal Prisons now Correctional Centre with lorry loads of welfare materials,Archbishop Valerian Okeke has erected a multimillion Naira huge Skill Acquisition Centre where he expects the inmates to acquire skills that would enable them to be useful after serving out their sentences.
Through the instrumentality of the Archbishop,the Onitsha Correctional Centre has become an examination centre for junior and Senior secondary school examinations.
On healthcare,Archbishop Valerian Okeke took giant leaps in upgrading the St Charles Borromeo Hospital to the status of a teaching hospital with a school of nursing to go with it.
The Archbishop’s vision for the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha is inexhaustible and cannot be adequately stated here.
We cannot wait to mention other inspiring projects like the Oluchukwu Microfinance Bank with branches across the parishes,the Oluchukwu Oil and Gas and the AVOMA Music Academy.
On this 20th anniversary of his episcopacy,we are celebrating an agent of change and a man of excellence.
We are celebrating a pastor and preacher whose gospel on humility and gratitude know no bounds.
We are celebrating a great pastor,shephard and an indefatigable man of peace,integrity and messenger of Christ Jesus.
Your’s,is a deserving 20th anniversary celebration.