By Simdi Gloria
The Catholic cathedral of Nsukka will be dedicating its 5,500 capacity building on Thursday.
And dignitaries to grace the event are south East Governors, Catholic Bishops amongst others.
Most Rev Francis Okoro, the Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese started the cathedral in 1991 and it became completed 29 years after by the incumbent Bishop, Most Rev Godfrey.
In a statement by the Vicar -General of the diocese, Rev Father Greg Nnamani, measures, and proper arrangements have been put in place to ensure that safety protocols put up by the World Health Organization, NCDC, and other health organizations are complied with during the event.
“Francis Emmanuel Ogbonnaya Okobo, the bishop emeritus of the Diocese started the building of the cathedral. He was consecrated the first bishop of the cathedral on 6th January 1991 at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, and installed on 2nd February 1991.
“Okobo reigned until 13th April 2013, when Pope Francis appointed Godfrey Igwebuike Onah, as the second bishop of Nsukka Diocese. Under his episcopate, the cathedral would be dedicated. It is a thing of joy and we give glory to God Almighty for making it possible.
“We thank the Catholic faithful in Nsukka Diocese, good spirited individuals, especially, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, and organisations who supported the massive project.
“This cathedral after dedication will represent the image of Nsukka,” he said.
He mentioned finance as a challenge when it comes to the huge project which made the then, Bishop Okobo to assign one Sunday in a year for the faithful to contribute to the project.
This Sunday was called the Diocesan Project Sunday and every Kobo realized from it was channeled to the building project.
A fund raising program was also organized every easter where every well to do Nsukka indigene was invited. Much money was raised but it still wasn’t enough. It was in this condition that the new Bishop came.
The New bishop stopped every work on the building as the roof was sometimes blown away and the floor of the church vibrated at some point. He assembled a team of experts who reviewed the cathedral architecture and made some adjustments.
Though there were the challenges of raising money for the completion. The new Bishop diverted all pastoral visit funds into the building and also donations made by the faithful who came to visit the Bishop.
He said, “We have invited the Catholic bishops and who is who in the Catholic Church for the dedication of the cathedral. We also invited governors of the South East and other highly placed political figures in Nigeria for this dedication; including people of other faiths,”
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