In a moving homily, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the Reverend Sisters who spearheaded the reconstruction of Ave Maria Eye Clinic.
He extended his gratitude to Msgr. Obiora Ike and others who made the initiative possible. His Lordship prayed that the hospital, now transformed into an eye specialist facility, would follow in the footsteps of Christ in curing the sick.
He recalled a time when the clinic served both eye infection and mental health patients before the decision was made to specialize in ophthalmological care. He emphasized their faith and the human effort involved, leaving the rest to God. He offered prayers for the dedicated workers and the patients, encouraging them to maintain their faith in the healing process.
The Bishop concluded by urging the Reverend Sisters in charge to provide professional care to the patients and promised a collaborative effort to ensure the delivery of the best ophthalmological care.
Rev. Sr. Stella Maris Onwubiko, DMMM, welcomed the attendees with a speech that refreshed the memories of all present regarding the transformation of the dilapidated structure of the former Ave Maria Dental Center into a state-of-the-art eye hospital. The hospital is now well-equipped with high-quality resources to provide comprehensive and specialist eye care services, accessible and affordable to all, irrespective of age, gender, or economic status. The primary purpose of this transformation is to promote healthy eyes and ensure good vision in all individuals with compassion and excellence.
Rev. Sr. Stella highlighted the mission of the new structure: to excel in delivering quality eye care services with a vision to promote healthy eyes and good vision. She also mentioned that Ave Maria Clinic has provided care to over 15,000 individuals with various eye diseases, including cataracts, glaucoma, allergic eyes, and refractive errors. More than 40% of these patients received these services, including cataract surgeries, at no cost, thanks to the support of generous sponsors.
Furthermore, the hospital aspires to become a source of hope and fulfillment for the blind and visually challenged by providing a rehabilitation center for education and vocational training. To this end, Rev. Sr. Stella requested the prayers and support of the Diocese for the construction of a Catholic school for the blind in Enugu.
She extended her heartfelt gratitude to the major sponsors, including Msgr. Obiora Ike, CIDJAP, and the Swiss Catholic NGO, and invited priests and all attendees to patronize and refer individuals to the hospital, emphasizing its capacity to provide reliable eye care services at an affordable cost. The Ave Maria Eye Specialist Hospital stands as a beacon of hope and compassion, ensuring the well-being of the community it serves.