The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, has advocated for adequate preparation for marriages by intending couples so as to ensure lasting successful marriage.
The Catholic Prelate, who made the call in his homily of the concelebrated thanksgiving Mass to mark the Silver Jubilee Wedding Anniversary of Mr. Chika and Mrs. Chinenye Okonkwo (Nneoma Maternity Ekwulobia), at St. Joseph’s Pro-Cathedral Parish, Ekwulobia, Aguata Local Government Area Anambra State, stated the need for intending couples to attach strict importance to marriage course and other necessary preparations for marriage so as not to fall prey to broken marriages.
Bishop Ezeokafor regretted that many intending couples of the contemporary society, spent much time to prepare for wedding ceremony which was for only a day, instead of preparing for marriage which was for a life time.
The Bishop noted that adequate preparation for marriage, understanding, trust and prayer, were keys to successful marriages.
According to Bishop Ezeokafor, lack of the needed preparation would lead to negative influences such as faulty family life, lack of family rapport and even the evil of same sex marriage.
He congratulated the silver jubilee celebrants, Mr. Chika and Mrs. Chinenye Okonkwo (Nee Chiegboka) on the historic event, and urged them to hold on to the ideal marriage and family of God which their union stood for.
The Catholic Prelate, who commended the couple for deeming it worthwhile to equally celebrate their matrimonial God children with papal blessing and other gifts at the event, said such was what sustained unity of marriage.
In his remarks, the Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Pro-Cathedral Parish, Ekwulobia and Episcopal Vicar of Ekwulobia Catholic Region, Rev. Fr. Ignatius Onwuatuegwu, described Mr. Chika & Chinenye Okonkwo Family as the family of Awka Catholic Diocese and Ekwulobia Community.
According to Rev. Fr. Onwuatuegwu, the family had been consistent in her exemplary spirituality as well as philanthropy and support to the Church, Ekwulobia Community and many families in society.
He identified the foundation of the St. Dominic’s Catholic Church building, Ekwulobia; painting of the Bishop’s Court in Ekwulobia and painting of the St. Joseph’s Parish Rectory, Ekwulobia, as some of the projects sponsored by the family.
Rev Fr Onwuatugwu commended Nneoma for her care and support to the choir, Block Rosary Crusade and the Lay Readers Association, she is their patroness, saying that she has been outstanding in her philanthropy and care for many.
PIX 1: Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor (right), commends Chika & Chinenye Okonkwo Family, shortly before he presented the papal blessing certificate which the couple gave to the 10 other couples they are their matrimonial God parents. The bishop is flanked on the left by silver jubilee celebrants (2nd & 3rd left), and some of the Okonkwos matrimonial God children.