Jubilation as Bishop Okpaleke installed Bishop of Ekwulobia Catholic diocese

Odogwu Emeka Odogwu

It was glorious for Roman Catholic congregation in Anambra yesterday as Emeritus Bishop of Ahiara Diocese, Peter Ebere Okpaleke was formally installed as the first bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia amidst pomp and ceremony.

La creme de la creme of the society attended with strict adherence to social distancing at the installation which took place at St Joseph’ Catholic Cathedral, Ekwulobia.

The security at the venue was tight even as the congregation observed all the COVID-19 precautionary measures.

As well the planning committee allowed entry only representatives of government institutions, communities ,religious, statutory bodies and societies at the mass.

It was like a masquerade outing as almost all the attendees covered their faces with face masks ,and maintained social distance as well as washed their hands with sanitisers before entering the church.

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Governor Willie Obiano if Anambra state said there was much work ahead and charged the bishop to lead the flock with the fear of God, even as he advised the priests and the laity to walk strongly with faith, obey the bishop and also imbibe team spirit as the only way to achieve any meaningful progress in the new diocese.

www.odogwublog.com reports that Bishop Okpaleke in his remarks after the installation urged the people of Ekwulobia not to see the diocese as reverend father’s church but a house of God for all where everyone is important and taken seriously.

He said the diocese will take the issue of evangelization seriously in order to build a community of love where service is open to all in the society including other denominations.

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He thanked the Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha Province, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, Bishop of Awka, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, others bishops, priests for their support and solidarity.

He specifically mentioned the Anglican Bishop of Aguata Diocese, Rt Rev Samuel Ezeofor who was physically present for the spirit of evangelism he has.

He recalled the two wonderful decisions of Bishop Ezeokafor of Awka Diocese whom he disclosed allowed all the priests irrespective of their diocesan origin to continue in their places of assignment till the next pastoral year beginning on October 4th and the involvement of the two dioceses of Awka and Ekwulobia in the inauguration of the new diocese. This he said had set a foundation for mutual communion and relationship between the two dioceses.

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He called for cooperation of all and sundry to help him in his episcopacy, noting that he could not do it alone and announced the appointment of about 15 priests into various diocesan functions which he said would take off immediately.

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