Ahamefule Chime, Onitsha
Twenty eight people in Nnewi Catholic Diocese last weekend received papal Awards for their selfless service to the church and humanity. The recipients comprising men and women from the laity and the religious received their honours through the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, his Lordship Most Rev. Dr. Hilary Okeke.
In his homily during a church service the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Rev. Dr. Hilary Okeke said that the recognition of the twentyeight people conferred with the papal honours was simply a mystery of the church, adding that though they had been recognized by the Pope for their contributions to the church, stressing that there were still others within the church whose contributions have been recognized by God. He told the recipients to see their award as a call to improve on their contributions to the church and humanity.
The awards came in several categories, such as: Knighthood of the Order of St Gregory the Great, Knighthood of the Order of St Sylvester, Pro- Ecclesia et Pontifice medalists and Benemerenti medalists, including four priests who were elevated to the position of Monsignor.
Speaking to the press on behalf of other recipients, Labour Party candidate for Nnewi North Local Government in the last Anambra State Local Government Election, Lady Gloria Ifeoma Ofodeme expressed delight in receiving the award along other recipients, adding that the award would spur them higher to greater responsibilities.
The Lady who is still in court to recover her “stolen” mandate stated that no force would dampen her spirit to continue to contribute her quota to the upliftment of humanity and charged other recipients not to betray the confidence reposed in them by the church. Many dignitaries attended the occasion which included the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, former Governor of the state, Mr. Peter Obi, the Vice-Chancellor, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Prof. Fidelis Okafor among others