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Onitsha Catholic Archdiocese, foundation give succour to the needy

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CATHOLIC Archdiocese of Onitsha has wiped off the strains of hunger and bitterness occasioned by COVID-19 on the faces of thousands of less privileged persons with the splashing of bags of 25 kg rice on them as a measure towards cushioning the harmful effects of the lockdown occasioned by the pandemic.

  The palliatives which was its third phase, was procured by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, His Grace, Most Rev. Valerian Maduka Okeke and his Hungarian collaborators, Afreka Humanitarian Foundation, led by Dr. Reka Fodor.

  No fewer than 3,000 indigent ones benefitted from the distribution exercise which took place at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity Square, Archdiocesan Secretariat, Onitsha.

  In his opening remarks to kick-start the exercise, the Archbishop, flanked by Catholic priests, disclosed that the palliatives were being distributed to the vulnerable ones without discrimination, irrespective of religious denominations, tribe or ethnicity.

  According to him, “since the wave of COVID-19 did not discriminate against any continent, country or tribe, the church is under obligation to take care of the less privileged ones in the society during a societal pandemic of this nature.

  “Our Lord Jesus Christ mandated us in the Gospel of St. John, Chapter 10 verse 10 and in Matthew 14, verses 13-21 to feed the hungry as he fed 5,000 followers, stressing that without the people, there would be no church, hence the need to seek the welfare of the fateful and the people “he said.

  Giving words of hope and consolation to the cheering crowd, Archbishop Okeke assured them that before they exhaust their lot, God would provide more to replenish their stock. ” I am going to pray for you to have your stock replaced because God has no reason to allow you go hungry at any point in time”.

  He expressed gratitude to the leader of Afreka Humanitarian Foundation, Dr. Reka Fodor and her team for collaborating with the Archdiocese and their love for humanity, even as he also commended the management of Orange Drugs for partnering with the Archdiocese.

  Coordinator of the Palliatives Distribution Project and Vice-Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Basil Ekwunife explained that Archbishop Okeke has the passion to reach out to the less privileged ones and giving them sense of belonging whenever a disaster of this nature occurs.

  Also, the Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Very Rev. Fr. Prudentius Aroh noted that charitable works are the hallmark of Archbishop Okeke even before his episcopacy, adding that the era of COVID-19 is not the time to abandon the flock but to draw them closer, identify them and give them comfort no matter how little it is in this time of need.

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