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Practice Your Faith With Mercy And Compassion -Archbishop Val Urges Faithful At Chrism Mass. -Reels Out Gods Abundant Blessings On Archdiocese Of Onitsha
Author: By Ononye V.C
Published on: Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The Archbishop of Onitsha and Metropolitan of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev Valerian Okeke has urged Christian faithful to practice their faith with mercy and compassion in all their dealings with their fellow human beings as well as make it a guiding principle as commanded by Jesus Christ.

The Archbishops injunction formed the main theme of his homily before a mammoth crowd of faithful at the Basilica Square, Onitsha where he presided over the Chrism/Cathedraticum

mass with the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha, Most Rev Denis Isizoh and hundreds of priests concelebrating.

According to the Archbishop, his message which focused on Mercy, was a proclamation by Pope Francis on April 11,2015 through a 'Papal Bull' that eventually translated into dedication of entrance doors of churches across the dioceses the world over as Special Doors of Mercy of God.

The Archbishop while expatiating the ordinary and spiritual meaning of Mercy, defined it as 'virtue and companion in action'.

According to him, Mercy inspires human love in order to make things better. Virtue he said, perfects a human being to make him a better person.

He explained further, 'Mercy can be defined as kindness or forgiveness shown to someone when punishment is justified. It is also when you discharge kind deeds for other people suffering disadvantage. It is an essential form of love when Love and Mercy meet'.

The Archbishop pointed out that justice without mercy amounts to wickedness just as mercy and justice should go together.

The huge congregation was visibly excited when the Archbishop mildly criticized church groups, societies and organizations who fail to show mercy to their indigent members when they were alive only to demand clearance fees from their relatives before attending their funeral.

He pointed out that burial of the dead and show of compassion are corporal works of mercy.

The Archbishop urged parishes, zones and organizations to do the needful by creating 'Foundations Of Mercy' as a way of helping indigent members of the church.

In the early part of his homily, Archbishop Val enumerated Gods various numerous blessings to the Archdiocese of Onitsha in the year 2015.

According to him, they include, the Golden Jubilee Celebration of Francis Cardinal Arinze who he said was the first Bishop to attain such level in Africa as well as one of the living 40 post ordination of  ordination catholic bishops around the word.

He enumerated other blessings such as the Episcopal ordination of Most Rev Denis Isizoh as the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha, the celebration of 130 anniversary of the arrival of early missionaries, investiture of new Papal Knights and erection of a new Bishops lodge at the St Joseph Catholic Church Aguleri.

Highlight of the Chrism Mass was the blessing of the Chrism Oil, the oil of the sick(viaticum) and Catechumen.

Also as part of the highlight, priests of the Archdiocese renewed their vow of priestly ordination while the Archbishop distributed his special Lenten pastoral booklet to heads of organizations, government officials and church workers.

Meanwhile the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity Parish, Onitsha, has taken the first position in this year’s Cathedraticum thanksgiving with 210 cows to the Archbishop.

Trailing behind with the second position is St Mary's Catholic Church, Inland town Onitsha with 160 cows while Sacred Heart Parish, Onitsha came behind with 156 cows.

Interestingly, Catholic Head teachers, teachers and workers under the Onitsha North Education Catholic Community led by the Education Secretary, Onitsha North Local Government, Lady Ngozi Nwanosike, added much color to the event as they presented 3 cows to the Archbishop and displayed splendid show of custom and tradition by primary school children to entertain the faithful who demonstrated great appreciation.


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