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Bishop Ezeokafor Celebrates New Yam Festival ....Urges Ndigbo to Uphold Cultural Heritage




Welcomes 2017/2018 Episcopal Household Seminarians.

     
BY ABUCHI ONWUMELU OF FIDES NEWSPAPER

Awka Diocesan priests, religious, out-going and in-coming episcopal household recently filed out at St. Patrick's Catholic Cathedral's refectory to witness the celebration of Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor's annual Iwaji or celebration of the new yam. The visibly happy priests were seen in their numbers adorning all manner of traditional attires.

     Speaking immediately after cutting the roast new yam and declaring it open for consumption, the chief shepherd of Awka Diocese expressed gratitude to God for his mercies and good health and for allowing them to participate in another round of iwaji celebration.

    Bishop Ezeokafor who described yam as the king of all crops, said the period of iwaji was actually a period of thanksgiving to God for His benevolence and for granting the farmers bountiful harvest, noting that he (Bishop Ezeokafor) would continue to appreciate culture and tradition which he described it as Igbos' identity.

     The Catholic prelate who ate the roast yam with well garnished local sauce in the full glare of those who came to celebrate with him, urged Ndigbo to uphold their cultural heritage, noting that it was only an insane fellow and dimwit that would undermine their culture.
The man of God announced that the celebration at the cathedral would be carried out simultaneously in all the parishes in Awka Diocese, noting that he was not alone in the celebration.

     The Local Ordinary flanked by the Awka Diocesan Chancellor, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Francis Chidume; his secretary, Rev. Fr. Dr. Michael Monwe; Cathedral Administrator, Very Rev. Fr. Matthew Attansey; and Msgr. J.P.C. Nzomiwu, said he saw nothing wrong in people celebrating their culture, provided it was not done in a fetish way.

     Bishop Ezeokafor called on government at all levels to give culture a facelift by providing incentives and also to pay adequate attention to the celebrants.

      Meanwhile, Bishop Ezeokafor on the occasion received the 2017/2018 episcopal household seminarians (Three senior and nine junior seminarians). This is even as the diocese appreciated the out-gone seminarians who served in the year 2016/2017 with gifts and cash items approved by Bishop Ezeokafor

    The out-gone seminarians are as follows: Seniors - Anthony Nwokeocha (Secretariat); Paschal Okekeazi (CADADD).

      Juniors - Augustine Amaduche; Livinus Ezeigwe; John Kennedy Ezeifediba ; Celestine Neme; Donald Umeozulu; Jude Orizu; Thomas Okete; Cletus Nwafor and Ikeotuonye Anthony.

 
     Newly received seminarians are as follows: Seniors- Izuchukwu Nichodemus (Secretariat); Nwobodo Peter (CADADD); Ezeamachi Siriacus (Cathedral Parish), Juniors - Ezeanya Callistus; Okeke Hyginus; Nwolisa Augustine; Obiefuna Henry; Ezeokafor Jude; Okeke Vitalis; Onoammadu Augustine; Uzoeghe Fredkenneth and Ekekorah Augustine.

Photo caption: Bishop Ezeokafor of Awka Catholic Diocese middle, cuts the yam to herald the celebration of the new yam.

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