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Catholic Church Enhances Good Culture - Priests, Prof Okonkwor

Culture is dynamic you would say. And culture, apart from being cultural and racial has the type of spices that make it add value to human race. Every group of people, from primitive to civilized, have their own ways of life. stressed further, every organized sect, religion and people, from nuclear family to ụmụnna, and from departments to societies are organized, the desiderata of the basic human life and activities in form of culture. Below is an account of cultural activities of a church group that took place in an area Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria, in the past; which is intended to be annual event. Read it with the above caption:

Catholic Church Enhances Good Culture - Priests, Prof Okonkwor

…..St Martin's Wins Ifitedunu Catholic Deanery Maiden Cultural Carnival

- St Gabriel's Ifitedunu, St Simon's Ukpo Runners- Up

*21 Commission Members Inaugurated

By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba

Catholic Church and its tradition have been described as culture enhancing. The President General of

Awka Diocesan Cultural Commission (ADCC), Prof Oby Okonkwor, the Secretary General of ADCC, Rev

Fr Obinna Dike, the Dean of Ifitedunu Catholic Deanery, Very Rev Fr Alfred Anazodo and the Chaplain of

Ifitedunu Deanery Cultural Commission, Rev Fr

Vincent Ifeanyi Udemezue stated this during the maiden cultural carnival of Ifitedunu Deanery last

Sunday, July 28, 2013.

The cultural carnival aimed at revitalizing the almost dead good aspects of Igbo culture in line with the

ADCC's objective of evangelization through culture, held at St Gabriel's Catholic Church, Ifitedunu in

Dunukofia L.G.A, the deanery headquarter, during which 21 members of the deanery commission was

inaugurated, saw the seven parishes that make up Ifitedunu deanery compete in various pure Igbo

cultural events.

Speaking on the occasion, the President General of ADCC, Prof Okonkwor noted that what the Catholic

Church portrays are the good aspects of Igbo culture. She pointed out that Igbo language; greeting,

dressing, dancing, food and child upbringing are part of these good aspects of the culture which the

ADCC that was established by the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor

promotes in the church.

Prof Okonkwor enjoined the newly inaugurated deanery commission members to justify the confidence

reposed in them and extend their apostolate to parishes for optimum grassroot evangelization.

Also speaking, the Secretary General of the ADCC, Rev Fr Obinna Dike, corroborated the fact that

Catholic Church itself is culture, noting that the celebration of the Mass and the musical instruments

that accompany the liturgy are cultural. Fr Dike who is the assistant director of Fides Communications,

Okpuno stressed the need for the faithful to worship God with those good tenets of Igbo culture that

gave the Igbos edge over others.

In his remark, the dean of the deanery, Very Rev Fr Anazodo said that the event was to showcase those

good aspects of Igbo culture, noting that enculturation cannot be separated from Igbo culture. The

chaplain of the deanery cultural commission, Rev Fr Udemezue on his part averred that Igbo culture

cannot be separated from the liturgy and enjoined Igbo faithful to worship God judiciously with their

God-given talents as well as to add to the Church celebration those good aspects of Igbo culture for its

growth.

In the keenly contested Igbo cultural competition, the youngest parish of the deanery, St Martin's

Catholic Parish, Ifitedunu defeated other six parishes to emerge the winner with 85%. St Gabriel's

Parish, Ifitedunu won the 2nd position with 82.6% while St Simon's Parish, Ukpo came 3rd with 80.7%.

Other results were St Michael's Parish, Nawgu 4th position with 79.2%, St Mary's Parish, Ifitedunu 5th

position with 75.7%, St Joseph's Parish, Ukpo 6th position with 68.8% and St Theresa's Parish, Ukwulu

7th position with 66.6%. They were judged in performance, costume, time management and special

features. The best two parishes are expected to represent the deanery in the Awka Diocesan cultural

carnival coming up later in the year.

Earlier, during the concelebrated Holy Mass led by Rev Fr Christopher Azolibe, the Parish Priest of St

Gabriel's Catholic Parish, Ifitedunu, Rev Fr Michael Anozie, the Parish Priest of St John's Parish, Abba in

his homily of the 17th Sunday of the year stressed the need for persistence and steadfastness in prayers

among Christians, noting that the importance of prayer cannot be over emphasized. It is because of the

importance of prayer in the life of Christians that Jesus Christ while on His earthly mission prayed always

in calm places and further taught the disciples how to pray, Fr Anozie stated.

Drawing from the readings, the homilist regretted that the sins of homosexuality, lesbianism and

other immoralities for which God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah are eating deep into the society,

especially in America and Europe where the governments have legalized same sex marriage. Fr Anozie

attributed the cases of murder, robbery, kidnap and get rich at all cost syndrome in the society to lack of

contentment among people, noting that no individual would surpass God's destiny for him.

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The letter made available to Fides has it that the venue for all the matches will be in St. Mary’s field at Nwagu Agulu and it is expected that each player has to be a registered member of the parish youth, mercenaries are not allowed. Again, the list of the players must be signed by the Parish Priest or the Parish Youth Chaplain.

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Tuesday evenings are special at St Anthony Catholic Church Enugwu-ukwu and environs. As from half hour of three in the afternoon, there is a traffic build up. You can see them – young and old, tall and short, fat and thin, huge and pint, all alighting from their cars and lacing their boot and wears, heading to the football field and volleyball court. Among them are lawyers, lecturers, coaches, administrators, musicians, engineers, architects, name them. They are however bonded by two significant binding factors-Catholic Priesthood and Sports.

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