Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor (5th right) and sister director of Awka Diocesan Catechists, Sr. Nneka Arenye pose with newly commission Catechist atfter the investiture and installation at REPACCO. Okpuno.
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has likened catechists in the Roman Catholic Church as salt and urged them to act as such by preserving and keeping the Catholic faith alive.
Bishop Ezeokafor made the analogy between Catholic Catechists and Salt while commissioning about 15 new catechists at the closing ceremony of the 2017 annual retreat of Awka Diocesan Catechists held at the Retreat, Pastoral and Conference Centre, Okpuno on Friday, October 20, 2017. The 2017 one-week seminar and retreat for all catechists in Awka Diocese commenced on Sunday, October 15, 2017.
In his Homily, during the concelebrated Holy Mass, Bishop Ezeokafor emphasized the importance of catechists in the Catholic Church and charged the lay faithful to always support their parish catechists as they supported their priests. He advised catechists to be steadfast in their duties and work for the salvation of their soul.
Enumerating the characteristics of a good catechist, Bishop Ezeokafor charged them to use their duties and responsibilities as church catechists to make heaven, even as he prayed God to give them sufficient grace to carry out their duties effectively.
The newly commissioned Catechists collectively promised the Diocesan Bishop in the presence of the lay faithful to adhere to the ethical conduct guiding the affairs of Catechists in the diocese, assuring that their exemplary life style in their various communities would lead people to Christ.
Speaking earlier during the retreat on the qualities of a good Catechist, the Director of Awka Diocesan Catechists' Association, Sr. Nneka Arenye, identified commitment, dedication, mastery of content, good command of language, punctuality, organization, positive reinforcement, role model and possession of conscience as qualities they must have to excel.
In an address of welcome, Sr. Arenye described the retreat as a time set aside for the Catechists to be with God and thank and appreciate him for their lives. She urged them to use the moment as a period of reflection to look deeper into their lives and see how they had fallen short of God's glory. Worries and troubles of life, according to the Sister Director, should be left to God.
The one week retreat was greatly devoted to spiritual exercise and renewal of the Catechists to remain devoted to their calling as church teachers.