By Staff Reporter
His Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Donatus A. Ogun, (O.S.A.), the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Uromi has elevated Corpus Christi Catholic Church Emiala-Ekpoma, formerly an outstation of Mary the Queen Parish, Ekpoma, to the status of a Mass Centre with the appointment and presentation of Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Ovienloba to the people as the priest-in-charge of the Mass Centre.
The event took place on Sunday 13th August, 2017 at a Mass celebrated by the Vicar General, Very Rev. Fr. Francis Omonlumen and concelebrated by Very Rev. Fr. Patrick Ebhote, the Dean of Ekpoma Deanery, Rev. Fr. Moses Aburime (OCD), the Parish Priest of Mary the Queen Parish, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Peter Alli, the Dean of Irrua Deanery, Rev. Fr. Gregory Abuya, Secretary to the Bishop and Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Ovienloba, the Priest-in-charge of the Mass Centre. Rev. Fr. Andrew Ogbenbe, the Parish Priest of St Theresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church, Ukoni and other priests also joined in the celebration.
In his address, the Vicar General who stood in for the Bishop announced to the congregation that the day was meant to present the Priest-in-charge to the people of Emiala and appreciate God for His benevolence to them and to the diocese. As the people of Emiala celebrated the autonomy granted their Church as an independent Mass Centre with a resident priest, the Vicar General admonished them to follow God’s guidance and not derail. He extended his appreciation to His Royal Highness, Zaiki Barr. Anthony Ehizojie II, the Onojie of Ekpoma Kingdom who was represented by some of his Chiefs.
He prayed God to take charge of the challenges facing the people, urging them to desist from violent situations which include bite-biting, gossiping amongst others. He reminded all of the fact that God cannot be present where there is violence. Speaking further, the Vicar General noted that the Church’s spiritual life and the doctrines of the Church are to be cherished. He prayed God to bless all the lay faithful of the church.
The Vicar General, on behalf of the Bishop, appreciated the Carmelite Order for the work of evangelization they have done since they came to Ekpoma in 1994. He enjoined Rev. Fr. Moses Aburime (OCD) to extend the Bishop’s appreciation to the Carmelite Order. He equally appreciated the lay faithful of Corpus Christi Catholic Church (C.C.C.C.), Emiala for their zeal to evangelize souls for God. He made a passionate appeal to Ekpoma people to make land available for the Bishop to establish Churches and other infrastructures for the wellbeing of the people. The Vicar General also encouraged the people of Emiala to work harder to erect a Rectory so that the Mass Centre could become a Parish very soon. He announced that St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Ukpenu will be under the pastoral care of the priest in-Charge of C.C.C.C., Emiala as an outstation.
The celebration climaxed with the handing over of the keys by the Parish Priest of Mary the Queen Parish Rev. Fr. Moses Aburime (OCD) to the Vicar General, Very Rev. Fr. Francis Omonlumen who in turn handed the keys over to the Priest in-charge, Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Ovienloba. This was followed with the blessing of the father’s House by the Vicar-General after the Mass. There was sumptuous entertainment for everyone to crown the joyful celebration.