By Nna Anulumadu
It was indeed a special day on Sunday, August, 8, 2021 when the former Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese now a cardinal, His Emence Francis Cardinal Arinze paid pastoral visit to Catholic Community of St. Charles Boromeo Hospital Chaplaincy Onitsha, Anambra State during which he interacted with them and answered bothering issues concerning their faith as Catholic laity. .
In his homily at the Holy Mass which he presided over, Cardinal Arinze emphasized profoundly on the imperatives of Holy Eucharistic as the highest among all the sacraments, pointing out that it works wonder in our every day lives.
He further enumerated the benefits of Holy Eucharistic as; it makes us be nearer to Jesus Christ, it increases our spiritual lives, it reduces the urge of committing sin and provides express tickets to Heaven, reminding that Jesus Christ made it clear that whoever eats His flesh and drinks His blood would have eternal life and He would raise the person at the last day.
He also admonished that one has to prepare very well before receiving Holy Communion which he noted that there are two ways of preparation ; preparation in the flesh and spiritual preparation.
” If you are not in a state of grace, do not receive Holy communion other wise what you received is in vain. You must prepare for it. Do not receive because others are receiving”
He commended St. Charles Boromeo Hospital Management for their doggedness in caring for the sick persons, revealing that the reasons why Catholic Church specialised in building Hospitals is because they value lives and always take care for the sick and indegents persons like the way Jesus Christ did when he was on Earth.
In his appreciation speech, the CEO of St. Charles Boromeo Specialist Hospital Onitsha, Rev. Fr. Izunna Okonkwo eulogized God, stating that they were overwhelmed by receiving His Cardinal Arinze ” Ochoudo world wide” which he said is their Father in Faith.
He disclosed that he prayed and blessed them to rekindled their faith to continue their work for caring for the sick in the hospital, just as he explained that they are not only elated for his visit but what he has done for the Hospital.
The cleric noted that His Emence Francis Cardinal Arinze was the first Africa proprietor of the Hospital, adding that he brought late Pope John Paul 11 in 1982 when he was the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, praying God to keep him alive for Roman Catholic Church.
Similarly, the priest in charge of St. Charles Boromeo Hospital Chaplaincy Onitsha, Rev. Fr. Boniface Okafor averred that the visit of Cardinal Arinze in the Chaplaincy was a remarkable event, positing that the visit was the first time of its kind since he was working in the Chaplaincy.
He expressed optimism that the visit of the Cardinal would attract more people in the Chaplaincy, solidify their faith in God and bring about more spiritual growth.