The annual event which commenced with the Holy Mass at 10.00AM, on March 15, 2016, witnessed a large turn out of Clergy, Religious and parishioners of the deanery. Also present at the occasion were the Vicar General of the diocese – Very Rev. Fr Francis Omonlumen, the Chancellor of the diocese – Very Rev. Fr Dr Hilary Odenore and the Dean of the deanery – Very Rev. Fr Dr Joseph Ehimen.
In his speech, the Dean, Very Rev. Fr Dr Joseph Ehimen welcomed all present at the occasion beginning with the Bishop and especially priests and parishioners of Okpebho Deanery who were present. He particularly acknowledged all those who made the celebration possible with their presence and donations, especially the priest and parishioners of St Teresa – Ukoni, the host parish for the enormous energy and effort they put into preparation and hosting.
In his homily, Rev. Fr Dr Augustine Akhogba remarked that the cathedraticum of this year was a special one in the life of the diocese as she marks her 10 years of existence this year. He gave thanks to God for his blessings and for the gift of life, for our families and our diocese, especially for Bishop Ogun who recently marked his first anniversary as a Bishop and as our Chief Shepherd. To this effect, the whole church community gave a standing ovation and a rendition in congratulations to the Bishop; the gesture which he returned in a high spirit of gratitude.
Fr Akhogba gave the etymology of cathedraticum in his homily. It is of Latin origin from the root word “cathedra” – meaning chair or throne or seat. From the earliest days of the Church, this word has been used to refer to the episcopal seat of the Bishop, the teacher and leader of the diocese. “ The celebration of the cathedraticum is a significant ceremony in the life of any diocese. At this celebration, the Catholic faithful of a particular diocese gather around their Bishop to pray with him and bless him materially to aid his work of charity to the poor and needy”, Fr Akhogba said. He then encouraged all to be generous in giving, and while doing so, to put the poor and the needy in mind as this is the aim of the celebration through the Bishop.
Towards the close of the Mass, after the thanksgiving processions by various parishes, institutions and lay-apostolate groups, Bishop Ogun stood up to acknowledge and appreciate immensely, the magnanimity of the donations and contributions of all and the unquantifiable sacrifice put in by all, and he prayed for them dearly.
A high-point of the event was the display of the star price for the raffle draw event for the 10th anniversary celebration of the diocese – a brand new Kia Rio car which was appreciated by all.
Report is by Doris Edith Okosun