Two years after the creation of the parish, the chief shepherd of Awka Catholic Diocese, Most Rev Dr Paulinus Chukwueneka Ezeokafor, on Sunday 15, 2017, made his maiden pastoral visit to St Gregory De Great Parish, Akwaeze, Anaocha L.G.A, Anambra State during which he inaugurated the parish, performed the Foundation Stone Laying ceremony of the Church building that was built and donated to the parish by Chief Engr. Gregory Izundu Udemba (Owelle Akwaeze) and raised 164 faithful to soldiers of Christ through the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The Catholic bishop, who had the chancellor of the diocese, Rev Fr Francis Chidume; the assistant chancellor, Rev Fr Anthony Ezeokeke, among others in his entourage, also blessed Grotto of Our Lady of Fatima that was built and donated to the parish by Chief Sir Ikenna Okafor (Ide Akwaeze) and the Chapel of Perpetual Adoration that was built and donated to the parish by Mr. Ifedi (Chamberlin) Ndikwomfuh.
He lauded the three donors for their beautiful and worthwhile donations to the Church, and described the church building as very simple, very neat and very nice. The bishop prayed the visit would fill the parish with unique God's blessing and good tidings.
The donor of the church building, Chief Engr Gregory Udemba, Owelle Akwaeze ( 4th from the right), poses with his family members and relatives, and Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor (5th from the right) in front of the beautiful St Gregory De Great Church building. 1st from the left is Dr Amaka Akudo, who represented Gov Willie Obiano.
The bishop, who stressed the importance of private devotion in the life of every faithful, noted that the chapel of perpetual Adoration and the BVM Grotto were ideal places for private prayers and where the faithful commune personally with God. This was even as he charged all on constant devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and constant honour to Blessed Virgin Mary, our mother, who was honoured by God.
Basing his reflections on the readings of the Sunday, Bishop Ezeokafor in his homily, advised all to worship and serve God in moments of lack and plenty, as well as bear their crosses in faith so as to partake in the banquet which God prepared for His people on the holy mountain.
He urged all to be steadfast in good works, as well as work out their salvation in fear and trembling, saying that God who created man without his cooperation, need the cooperation of every individual for his or her salvation.
The visibly joyous Catholic prelate, commended the parish C.W.O for the perimeter fencing of the Church premises and commended the various benefactors of the parish, among who was Lady Rose Ofoedu for their donations and supports that contributed to the unprecedented growth of the two years old parish.
He expressed his delight over the rapport, spirit of togetherness that existed between the new parish and her mother parish, St Michael's Parish, Akwaeze, and prayed that such be sustained. The bishop called for consistent effort for actualization of the needed hall, interlocking of the compound, among others for the dedication of the church building soonest.
In his remarks, the host parish priest, Rev Fr Ignatius Ezeakacha, thanked the bishop for his love and care, and extolled the numerous donors and supporters of the parish as well as the entire parishioners for their goodwill. He prayed for God's blessings on all.
Among the dignitaries that graced the occasion was the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Dr Willie Obiano, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Special Duties & Internally Generated Revenue, Dr Mrs. Amaka Akudo.
Highlights of the event which had Chief Ifenna Ikegwuonu (Ife Akwaeze) as the chairman of the occasion were presentation of gifts to the bishop and honouring of Chief Udemba, Chief Okafor and Mr. Ndikwomfuh with distinguished awards by the parish.