Bishop Ezeokafor celebrates new yam festival, thanks God for bountiful harvest


… Welcomes 2022/2023 Episcopal Household Seminarians

Awka Diocesan Priests, Religious, 2021/2022 out-going and 2022/2023 in-coming Episcopal Household last Tuesday, September 6, 2022 filed out at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral’s refectory to witnessed the celebration of the annual iwaji festival by the Bishop of the diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor.

The visibly elated priests were seen in their numbers adorning all manner of traditional attires.

Speaking during the event, Bishop Ezeokafor expressed gratitude to God for the gift of life and also for the bountiful harvest, saying that God had actually blessed and rewarded their handwork, adding that there was dignity in labour.

“We are grateful to God for this. He has shown that he loves and reward hard work. We are appreciative of what God has done. You cannot do with your culture. We hold our culture and tradition in high esteem. This is 14 to15 years I have celebrated this special season. New yam festival is what we are here to celebrate”, he said.

Receiving and appreciating the 2021/2022, 2022/2023 Episcopal Household Seminarians, the Local Ordinary charged the incoming Seminarians to be of good conduct and work towards surpassing their predecessors, noting that they would be recognized and appreciated for putting in their best at the end of their stay, even as he commended the outgoing Seminarians for carrying out their assignments to the best of their abilities.

In their separate speeches, the Chancellor of the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Charles Ndubuisi, Bishop Ezeokafor’s Secretary, Rev. Fr. Evaristus Ifeanacho, the Cathedral Administrator, Rev. Fr. Patrick Okafor, Financial Administrator, Rev. Paulinus Okonkwo, the Bursar of the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Michael Oguno, former Cathedral Administrator, Rev. Fr. Patrick Chukwuma and a lecturer in the department of Igbo, African and Communication studies, Faculty of Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Rev. Fr. Dr. Patrick Umezi extolled the bishop for his fatherly love and care as well as the way and manner he was piloting the affairs of the Diocese.

They advised the new Seminarians to be useful to themselves, community, church and Society at large, emphasizing that there was no short cut to success.

The names of the outgoing Seminarians are as follows: Onyema Victor, Onah James, Okafor James, Anyaorah Anthony, Ezeofia Gregory, Okafor Francis, Ebede Paul, Nwoguh Gabriel Henry, Dim Shalom, Obodo Bonaventure, Okechukwu Kenneth and Iredobia Bernard.

The 2022/2023 incoming Seminarians: Aguinam Johnpaul, Amaechi Valerian, Mmadubuike David, Nwafor Francis, Onuigbo Emmanuel, Okoye Romanus, Nwankwo John Mary, Oji Johnpaul and Ogbu Edward.

Speaking on behalf of the outgoing Seminarians, Dim Shalom thanked God for mercy and blessings and for seeing them through. He applauded the bishop, priests and religious for their guidance and asked God to reward them abundantly.

Presentation of cash and gift items to the outgoing Seminarians, cutting and eating the new yam with well garnished sauce by the bishop, rendering of beautiful rendition by the Bishop Ezeokafor’s St. Patrick’s Choir formed the highpoints of the occasion.

Photo: L-R: The Cathedral Administrator, Rev. Fr. Patrick Okafor, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, the Chancellor of the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Charles Ndubuisi, Msgr. JPC Nzomiwu, and the Bursar of the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Michael Oguno (holding the microphone for the bishop as he cuts the new yam).

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