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Bishop Nwokolo confirms inmates in Onitsha

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…Fetes them with gifts

By Patricia, Osegbue, Juliana Nwachukwu and Ogochukwu Mokwugwo

 NO FEWER than 25 inmates of Onitsha Correctional Centre, on Sunday, received the sacrament of confirmation from the Bishop on the Niger, Rt. Rev. Dr Owen Nwokolo.

  The bishop also admitted 23 male inmates into the Anglican Boys’ Fellowship (AYF) of the diocese.

  During the sermon that preceded the ceremonial rites, Bishop Nwokolo explained that without the Holy Spirit which is imparted at confirmation, it would be hard for one to be a Christian.

“Baptism which precedes confirmation means burying us in Christ in water. It symbolises cleansing and refreshness. Christ said that without Him we can do nothing.

“Baptism and confirmation were the beginning of man’s journey to God. We were born in sin, but through the water of Christ we are saved. Baptism is death to sin and resurrection unto life.

“So, if we are dead unto sin, we should avoid sin at all costs, knowing that our nature has been buried in the death of Christ. We should, therefore, include ourselves as those who died with Christ.”

  The prelate admonished the communicants not to allow sin to rule their lives any more, advising them not to give their lives to Satan.

“From today, don’t present yourselves to satan as instrument and don’t allow him to use your body as instrument. When you obey these injunctions, you are, in fact, moving toward God.”

Bishop Nwokolo encouraged the inmates to have faith in God as he has not forgotten their plights, adding that one day God would remember them.

  The prelate presented two cows, 56 coolers of rice, 160 pieces of mats and 110 blankets to the inmates.

  Also, each of the newly confirmed inmates received a copy of the Holy Bible and Book of the Common Prayer (Ekpere na Abụ).

While receiving the items, the Controller of Corrections, Anambra State Command,  C.C. Pat Chukwuemeka commended the bishop and the Diocese on the Niger for their generosity.

The controller, who was represented by the Public Relations Officer, Nigerian Correctional Services, Superintendent Francis Ekezie noted that the presence of the diocese was highly appreciated by authorities of the Nigerian Correctional Centre.

He added that the efforts of the church in helping to restore the inmates was commendable, appealing to them not to relent, especially in re-engineering the spiritual and moral lives of the people.

  The controller urged the inmates to reciprocate the good spiritedness of the church by positively responding to various spiritual and moral teachings which they have regularly received from the benefactor.

Chaplain of the Chapel of Restoration, Ven. John Nkwoemezie, who was represented by the Assistant Chaplain, Rev. Canon Cornelius Eze, explained that the current year’s outing superseded the previous years.

  Ven. Nkwoemezie noted that apart from the deep moral and spiritual tones of this year’s candidates, the presentation of the Holy Bible and ‘Ekpere na Abụ’ added glamour to the ceremony.

  He commended Bishop Nwokolo for making out time to think about the welfare of the inmates as well as consider it worthwhile to reach out to them and share spiritual and material blessings with them.

  The chaplain appealed for volunteer church workers to help the chaplaincy’s weekly ministrations, lamenting that the place needed more hands to help beef up the services of the chaplaincy in the centre.

  The bishop was accompanied by his wife, Dr. Nonyelum Nwokolo, a team of his ministers and numerous parishioners from across the diocese.

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