CATHOLIC Laity Council of Nigeria, St. Michael De Archangel Parish, Fegge, Onitsha, Sunday, honoured 100 distinguished personalities, who have contributed in their different capacities, both spiritual and infrastructural, to the growth of the parish.
The award ceremony held at the church compound was part of activities lined-up to commemorate twenty-five years of existence of the laity council in the parish.
Germane among the award recipients were Governor Willie Obiano and wife, Ebelechukwu; Senator Victor Umeh, Dr. Nkem Okeke (Deputy Governor of Anambra State), Dame Rosemary Odunukwu (RECDOT Director), Senator Stella Oduah and HRM Barr. Dr. Emeka Onuorah (Igwe Chinyere-Eze II of Oraukwu), among others who were honoured as Grand Patrons, Grand Matrons, Patrons and Patronesses o f the laity council of the parish.
14 deserving personalities were also honoured post humus for leaving indelible marks in the sands of time during their life time. Eight priests, who served at different times in the parish were also honoured as “Nna Okwukwe”. The eight priests include Msgnr Emma Nwosu, Fr. Peter Okolo, Fr. Jeremiah Nwosu, Fr. Johnbosco Okafor, Fr. Vitus Oguji, Fr. Augustine Nweke and Fr. Justine Oguama.
38 individuals were also honoured as “Ambassadors” of the church during the event. Among others, they include Ikechukwu Mofus Ezeoba, Okey Anusionwu, Prof. Solomon Chukwulobe (SSG), Sir Norbert Obi (APGA Chairman), and Chris-Mary Okeke.
Mr. and Mrs. Damian Ofonagoro, Mr. and Mrs Azodo, Chief and Mrs Ifechukwu Obi Anofenze as well as Mr and Mrs Linus Ikwueme, among others were given special plaques as “Unique Couples”.
In his address during the event, Bro. C.Y.C Onyekwe, President, Catholic Laity Council of Nigerian of the parish, described the laity council as umbrella covering all lay faithful of the church.
The president pointed that the awardees were some of the people that toiled day and night to see that the laity and the parish grow from strength to strength; adding that they helped the community, zones, statutory bodies and societies in the parish to grow in faith and in population; and have never lagged behind in any archdiocesan, regional and zonal activities.
While receiving his award as Grand Patron”, Senator Victor Umeh commended the laity of the parish for growing in length and breadth over the years, especially for their efforts in growing the parish. He also promised to identify with the parish continuously.
Governor Willie Obiano, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Prof. Solomon Chukwulobelu, praised the parish on the silver jubilee celebration and for the honoure bestowed on him, his wife and some individuals in his government. He pledged that his administration will continue to partner with the church for the good of the society.
An award recipient, Prince Emeka Udedeme, former PG of Oraukwu community and Director- General, Victor Umeh campaign Organization, said the honour will spur him into greater service of God and humanity.
Another recipient, Hon. (Sir) Ifeanyichukwu Nnajiaku, who is the president of CMO in Onitsha Archdiocese and 2nd vice-president of the CMO in Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, said the honour from the laity council is an indication that no good work goes unnoticed.
The Chaplain of the laity council at St. Michael’s Parish, Fegge, Onitsha, Rev. Fr. Sylvanus Eruchalu, in his own remark, thanked God Almighty for making the event a huge success. He also commended the laity in the parish, especially the organizing committee of the 25th anniversary for a job well done.
Earlier in his homily during a holy mass that preceded the ceremony, the Parish Priest of St. Michael’s Parish, Rev. Fr. Dr Jude Mgbobukwa, said that at 25, the parish laity has made memorable achievements in various fields of human endevour. The success story of the parish, he said, is rooted on the willing co-operation of the laity; adding that the church will not lose sight of the contributions of the parishioners in the structural, infrastructural and spiritual development of the parish evidenced in the parish being rated high in the Archdiocese of Onitsha