The beautiful emergence of social media has made it possible that the Fr Bishop, Most Rev Godfrey Igwebuike Onah could be doing many things at the same time for the people of God at different parts of the world. On Saturday, 25th June 2022, he was at St. Paul’s Parish Mbu in Isi Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State, attending to his flock. In almost the same period, he was found on social media addressing the Igbo Catholics living in America with affection, encouraging them to keep the light shining and the flag flying.
In his kind and soothing words, he reminded them that the Priest is not directing them because he is any better, rather it is because he has been trained to do so, and that he (the Priest) knows that it is his calling. He made this statement on the occasion of their annual reflection titled” The Role of Priests on the Pastoral Guidance of Christian Catholic Communities in Diaspora”. In his words “the Priest does not preach to you because he thinks he is too holy… As an ordained minister, he teaches what Christ and his Church taught us to do, including himself the Priest, in order to encourage God’s people towards the right direction even though he is still struggling”. For a better clarification, he informed them that no doctor encourages someone to take too much alcohol or smoke simply because he or she does it. Far more significantly, the Fr Bishop stated “the world best tennis player has a coach. If he is the best, he plays better than his coach but without the coach, he will not be the best”.
However, the Fr Bishop admonished Igbo Catholics in America to assist their priests in their own capacity, towards attaining God’s kingdom for everyone is struggling to become holy and gain eternal life.
In addition, the Fr Bishop, Most Rev Godfrey Igwebuike Onah appreciated the efforts that the Igbo Catholics living in America make, even as immigrants, to gather the right values that they learn from the culture of Christ and the culture of our people (Igbo), and employ them in the priceless formation of their children. He therefore remarked that such important parental training could be felt in the manner in which their children, though living in America read and speak Igbo more fluently than the children of those who claim to be living in Urban areas even within Igbo context, and think that the only sign of education is to deprive their children from Igbo language and culture. As a beloved Father in Faith, the Fr Bishop enjoin them to remain steadfast to Deuteronomy 6:4-7 which says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise”.
By Teclus Ike Ugwueze