By Ononye VC
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has honoured 15 Nigerians by awarding them the prestigious Papal Knights and Dames of St Gregory and St Sylvester.
All the awardees are from Delta state.
The Director of Communications, Catholic Diocese of Issele-Uku, Nigeria, Rev Fr Charles Uganwa, disclosed this in a statement in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
He said, “Some were also honoured with Papal Medals. These men and women have distinguished themselves in faith and morals and have contributed immensely to the growth of the Church and society.
“The awardees are: Patrick Ikemefuna, Okechukwu Ofili, Epiphany Azinge, SAN, Benedict Chukwuma, John U T Okolo, and Joseph Emuezie. Others are: Henrienta Odume, Rosaline Bozimo, Henrienta Ajuebon, Caroline Sotunde Patience Elumeze, Carol Enuha, Justina Nwaobi, NES, Elizabeth Okwuadi and Suzanna Nwabude.
“The Bishop of Issele-Uku diocese, Most Rev Michael Elue will on behalf of the Holy Father perform their investiture ceremony within a Eucharistic celebration which will take place at St Paul Cathedral, Issele-Uku on Saturday, June 18
“They have also selflessly helped in bringing positive development to Nigeria in all ramifications. The honour given to them is, therefore, a clarion call on them to further gird their loins in the defence of Christ in all ramifications at all times as his soldier.”
Rev Fr Uganwa said the ceremony which is expected to kick off at 10 am is expected to attract many from all walks of life.
He said these honourees, and many others, have been instrumental to the physical and spiritual development of the local Church thereby helping in no small measures in grassroots evangelisation in the diocese.
He added that as soldiers of Christ and the Church, Knights are expected to be fired with a fervent zeal of the Holy Spirit for the social apostolate, holding in high esteem professional competence, family and civic sense, virtues related to social behaviour, such as honesty, sense of justice, sincerity, courtesy and moral courage without which there can be no religious or social apostolate.