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We rededicate ourselves whenever we dedicate churches – Archbishop Okeke

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CATHOLIC Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, has said that Christians rededicate themselves whenever they dedicate Church buildings. 

Okeke made this remark in his homily during Church dedication at St. Theresa’s Parish, Mba Farm at 3-3, Onitsha.

He added that not only the Church was being dedicated, but “our body also because we are the temple of God”.

The Archbishop defined dedication as “surrendering totally to God, to become his own.

“Dedication started in the bible when David wanted to build a Church for God, which God refused because his hands were soiled with blood. “God later allowed Solomon to build it which he did; after the erection of the Church, Solomon prayed wholeheartedly to God to answer every prayer from that Church to which God accepted.”

He also talked about how Hannah, wife of Elkanah, who gave birth to Samuel after years of barrenness and dedicated the Child to God.

Rev. Okeke added that any desecration of the church like sacrificing to idol, called for rededication of that Church.

He urged the faithful to always keep the Church holy by living holy life, being prayerful, doing charity works, receiving holy communion, so that God would always be with them, and for them to take God’s word to all crannies of the earth.

Parish Priest, Rev. Fr Emmanuel Ndubuisi said that dedication was a great ceremony, because once such a structure was built, it would be dedicated to God.

“I thank God who made me to complete the Church for divine worship as it signified a Church on earth that reflects a church in heaven.”

Dr Chris Afam Mba, Managing Director Vicafam Mba Farms 3-3, landlord said it was in 1958 that his late father invited an Irish missionary, Fr. Smith to establish Church and schools on the land for peasant farmers in the community.

According to him the thatched school is the only building on the Onitsha – Nkwelle road until 1997, when it became an outstation of Holy Trinity under Onitsha Archdiocese.

“We plan to establish a big compound for nursery, primary and secondary schools for children to nurture their talents.

He added that he would consult with the Archbishops of the Catholic and Anglican Churches to establish schools free of charge for children; teach them morals, cloth and feed them so as to catch them young.

“With this, the face of Nigeria can be changed.”

The CMO Chairman of the parish, Mr Joseph Amadiegwu in a remark, thanked all that made the event successful.

The event featured the anointing of the Alter with Chrism oil — rubbing it on the 12 walls, as well as burning of incense.

There was also beautification of the Church, lighting up the premises, signing of the record book for the dedication and handing it over to the parish priest.

 

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