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St. Stephen’S Parish Federal Housing Estate, 3-3 Onitsha Hosts Archbishop Val. -667 Candidates Confirmed.
Author: By Nna Anulumadu/Ebuka Onuabuchi
Published on: Wednesday, April 06, 2016

It was a colorful event on Sunday March 13, 2016 at St. Stephen’s Parish Federal Housing Estate 3-3 Onitsha when the Catholic Community played host to the Chief Shepherd of Onitsha Archdiocese Most Rev. Dr. Valerian M. Okeke who paid a pastoral visit to the parish.

                The event which kicks started with a Holy Mass witnessed the Confirmation of candidates, commissioning and blessing of the new rectory, new school complex among other things.

                In his Homily, Archbishop Val called on the people of God to always live a life of forgiveness, compassion, stressing that is very important to show mercy to everyone around us irrespective of their attitudes and behaviors.

                “Whoever that wants to grow in faith should not dwell in the past. Forget the past and think of the new beginning”.

                Recalling that Christ did not condemn the adulterer that was brought before Him, the Prelate enjoined faithful not to condemn or judge anyone, instead show mercy.

                “We should always accept that we are sinners and hide not ourselves from Christ so that He will be merciful to us”.

                In an address jointly signed by the parish Priest Rev. Fr. Victor Mbanisi, vice chairman parish Council Sir Eugene C. Nwankwo (KSM) and the secretary Dr. Angela Akunnia Obodozie (LSM) the parish poured encomiums on the Archbishop for his tremendous achievements, positing that he has transformed Onitsha Archdiocese and raised it to an enviable height.

                Describing the Prelate as amiable, ebullient, indefatigable, committed, versatile, hardworking, dedicated, generous, accommodating and peaceful Chief Shepherd, the Catholic community noted that he has touched every facet of human life mainly; religious, education, health, economic, social and political.

                The parish in addition highlighted their recent achievements including completion and commissioning of the new Fathers’ house, completion of one of the buildings in the Marian Village, erection of a two-storey class room block and completion of the 5th two storey building jointly built by the parish and Knights of St. John International (KSJI), commencement of a new ultra modern church building nearing completion among other things.

                The parishioners via the address requested the Archbishop to assist them in pleading with governor of Anambra Chief Dr. Willie Obiano to direct the road contractor handling the construction of St. Stephen’s Drive to complete it.

                Responding, the Archbishop commended the Catholic community for the numerous achievements they have recorded so far within a short time, stating that their parish Priest Fr. Mbanisi is hardworking. He pledged to look into their needs and urged them not to relent in supporting the church projects.

                The parish Priest Rev. Fr. Victor Mbanisi in his remarks thanked the Archbishop for visiting them. His words “I am very much excited and happy for receiving the Prelate. He is a loving and a kind father. The people of God here are cooperative, generous and supportive. I will continue to appreciate them. The parish Priest further expressed optimism that the visit of the Prelate will pave way for a more united and committed Catholic community.

                The parish C.M.O chairman Silvanus Mmaduabuchukwu Okeke and Mr. Kingsley Kanenechukwu in their similar remarks said they are elated over the visit, adding that the presence of the Archbishop has brought more blessings to them.

                Also the secretary parish council Dr. (Mrs.) Obodozie expressed gratitude to the Prelate, describing him as an angel of peace. In the same vein, she commended the parish Priest, describing him as humble, intelligent, hardworking, painstaking, calculative, committed man of God who loves children.

                Featured at the event include cultural dance by different groups.

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