By Ononye VC

Archdiocese of Onitsha on Saturday 11th June 2022 celebrated the annual Bishop Shanahan Day.It was a day set aside to venerate and pray for the cause of Sainthood of the Servant of God,Bishop Shanahan,whose gigantic and indelible missionary works in the then Southern Nigeria, particularly Onitsha,endeared him to all.The theme of this year’s celebration is,”Bishop Shanahan and the passionate Love of God”.Priests,the Religious and members of the lay faithful from various dioceses converged on the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity Onitsha to celebrate.The Chief celebrant was the Episcopal Vicar of Onitsha and parish priest of St Mary’s Catholic Church,Very Rev Fr Johnbosco Okafor with the Chancellor of the Archdiocese Very Rev Fr Dr Prudentius Aroh,the Archdiocesan Director of Social Communications Rev Fr Dr George Adimike and many other priests in attendance.In his opening remarks,the Chancellor,Fr Prudentius Aroh welcomed all visitors to the Basilica and pointed out five important things about the Shanahan Day celebration.According to Fr Aroh,Archbishop Valerian Okeke’s mindset for the celebration include among others,to thank God for the early missionaries who brought light and letting us out of darkness,celebration of the Basilica status of the former Cathedral and a special day of plenary indulgence.Others are,offering special prayers for the Sainthood of Bishop Shanahan and for a special miracle to happen in his name and in the lives of the faithful and for all to emulate the footsteps of Bishop Shanahan.In a homily,the Onitsha Archdiocesan Director of Social Communications,Rev Fr Dr George Adimike described Bishop Shanahan as one who was driven by passion,creativity and profoundity in his missionary works.According to Fr Adimike,Bishop Shanahan was “seduced” by the Holy Spirit such that he braved the odds to arrive in this part of the world to evangelise and convert souls to Christ with his forerunners like Fr Leguene and others.Fr Adimike who described Bishop Shanahan as the St Paul of Igbo land challenged youths to emulate Bishop Shanahan and go the extra mile to achieve their aims.He thanked the Holy Ghost Father’s led to the ocassion by Rev Fr Olikenyi for continuing in the footsteps of Bishop Shanahan.Earlier,the Postulator of the Bishop Shanahan Day event,Sr Cathrine Asomugha conducted a lecture on the life and times of Bishop Shanahan.Students,teachers,the clergy,religious and various groups participated at the lecture which preceded the mass.Highlight on the event was special prayers for the sick.

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