Chairman of centenary planning committee, Professor Austin Nonyelu, at a news conference at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka yesterday, said the event will come to a climax with a Concelebrated Mass to be officiated by the Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor, to be assisted by many Bishops and over 100 priests from the various parts of the country on April 16 at the Cathedral.
According to the chairman, prominent Nigerians, including Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, minister of employment, Senator Chris Ngige, former Governor Peter Obi, former national chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, among many others, are expected to grace the weeklong event.
Nonyelu, who described 2016 as a special year for Awka people and those residing in the city, observed that the Catholic Church had grown substantially over the years with notable infrastructure, accompanied with spiritual and human development.
Going down memory lane, Nonyelu explained that the church was brought into Awka by a Warrant Chief, Ofodile Nwamaleru, who invited Reverend Father Bubendoff from Aguleri to establish the Catholic Church in Awka, adding that Ofodile also provided the first place of worship for the church in the area.
He said that as at the beginning of this year, there were 27 indigenous priests of Awka, in addition to many educational and health institutions, adding that despite some challenges, the church was still growing at a tremendous rate.
Secretary of centenary committee, Mr. Uba Anene explained that 43 persons would receive awards as part of the activities during the celebration, adding that among the awardees would be Chief Ofodile who would be honoured posthumously for bringing the Catholic Church to Awka.