Holy Childhood Association of St. Mary's Parish, Aguluezechukwu, Aguata LGA, Anambra State was inaugurated on Sunday, September 2, 2018 during the Pastoral Visit of Bishop Ezeokafor to the parish.
Bishop Ezeokafor during the visit administered the Sacrament of Confirmation on 85 deserving faithful and blessed the Security House and Sacramental Store constructed through the effort of the Parish Pastoral Council led by the energetic Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Anthony Mmuoh.
The inauguration of Holy Childhood Association, confirmation of 85 deserving faithful, blessing of Security House and Sacramental Store were part of activities billed to commemorate the patron feast day of St. Mary's Parish, Aguluezechukwu.
Inaugurating members of the association, Bishop Ezeokafor called on parents to devout more time in the upbringing of children, who he described as the future of the world. He noted that the existence of children gives hope to the adult fold that there were people that would replace them.
He tasked the children to imbibe the guiding principles of HCA and develop the habit of helping others in line with their motto: children helping children. He beckoned on them to ignite the fire of God in them as it promotes ones positive deeds. He emphasized the importance of the association, saying that it aids children to develop the sense of care and affection towards others who they are better than.
Speaking at the event, Bishop Ezeokafor explained that HCA, an umbrella that unites children together, helps them to form a formidable force as they provide a source of hope to other children who might have lost their parents or affected adversely by natural disaster.
He maintained that the membership of the organization would enable the children carryout evangelical works as the mission bag given to them was for them to save. Money saved through these mission bags according to the Diocesan Bishop was strictly for charity works.
He thanked parents of HCA members in the parish for availing their children the opportunity of being members of the association and for providing them with the required uniform.
On projects carried out, Bishop Ezeokafor commended the efforts of the parishioners, saying that their commitment and dedication to the church of God had brought massive structural transformation in the parish. He noted that the small population of the parishioners didn't limit their efforts and sacrifices to God, stating that such was a pointer of their zealousness and service to God.
Earlier in his homily, Bishop Ezeokafor charged Christian flocks to always allow their daily conduct to reflect the faith which they profess and desist from being mere church goers. He urged them to be steadfast in carrying out the commandments of God and to have good disposition towards others. He maintained that one can train the inner thoughts through prayers, constant reception of the sacrament and imitating the lives of the saints. He described laws as instrument for proper conduct of man's existence and important tool for peaceful co-existence of societal members.
In his remark, the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Cyril Nsofor pointed out the distinct traits of a good Christian and tasked the newly confirmed on the importance of visiting the chapel.
In an address of welcome, the Parish Pastoral Council thanked the bishop for finding time to visit the parish and benefactors who have distinguished themselves in making the parish what it was. They disclosed how Fr. Anthony Mmuoh who was sent by the bishop to the Parish 3 years ago had united the once troubled and divided parish. They revealed the various growth attained in the spiritual life of the parishioners, education and land acquired over the years.
Speaking to Fides, Fr. Anthony Mmuoh, noted that the inauguration of HCA arm in the parish would enable the church to catch the children at their infant stage for them to grow up in the fear and knowledge of God. He noted that children who are trained in the fear of God would make the society better in their adulthood by engaging transformative ideas. He disclosed the various programmes which the parish had put in place to enable the children actualize the purpose of their creation. He expressed optimism that the group following their inauguration would become more active in both the deanery and diocesan HCA activities.