The Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, Uche Ekwunife, PhD, Thursday, February 10, 2022, joined the entire priests, religious, laity and notable dignitaries to attend the installation Mass of Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Most Rev Jonas Benson Okoye.
The Installation Mass of Bishop Okoye as the second Bishop of the diocese which was held at Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral, Nnewi was officiated by the representative of Pope Francis, Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi and assisted by Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, and Metropolitan of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke.
The epoch-making ceremony was also graced by the executive governor of Anambra state, HE Willie Obiano, former governor and Vice Presidential candidate of PDP in the last general elections, HE Peter Obi, Anambra Governor-Elect, Prof Charles Soludo amongst others.
Delivering the sermon, Archbishop Filipazzi preached that the supernatural vision of the church was important, adding that the church is the body of Christ. He charged the new bishop to carry out his Episcopal responsibilities in the way of God, while reminding the congregation that the church was deeply rooted in Christ.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the Mass, Ekwunife described Bishop Okoye’s installation as a remarkable phase in the history of the diocese, encouraging the new bishop to embrace the responsibilities God has entrusted upon his shoulders with humility, love and dedication.
The federal lawmaker noted that she was grateful and privileged to witness the special ceremony in the diocese, saying that the Adazi-Nnukwu born bishop would fit into the shoes left behind by the Bishop Emeritus, Most Rev Hillary Odili Okeke. She reiterated her commitment to always support the church to ensure its growth and development.
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The Chairman Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation further on behalf of her family and good people of Anambra Central Senatorial District congratulated the Catholic community of Nnewi on their 20th anniversary of creation as a diocese.
Earlier, the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Archbishop Augustine Akabueze charged the Catholic faithful to give the new bishop the corporation needed for the spread of the gospel. He further eulogized the people of Nnewi for their passion towards community development, urging Bishop Okoye to tap into the goodwill.