By Chikezie Ogbonna
In a heartwarming display of gratitude and celebration, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga celebrated a special new year mass with the elderly at the Enugu Old People’s Home, managed by the Little Sisters of the Poor. The occasion, marking the solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, resonated with a profound sense of blessing and the spirit of the new year.
The Bishop, in his homily, drew a symbolic connection between the circumcision of Christ after his birth and the profound blessings bestowed upon humanity. As the faithful ushered in the new year, his message resonated with the hope for abundant blessings upon blessings.
Addressing the faithful, Bishop Onaga emphasized the importance of forgiveness as the year commenced. He urged everyone to let go of grievances from the past year, noting that one’s perception of the world influences how the world perceives them. Encouraging a positive start to the year, he stressed the power of happiness in shaping one’s life, cautioning against allowing sadness to cast a shadow.
“Christ is the God of light, and we should allow that light to illuminate our lives,” His Lordship proclaimed. He called upon the community to pledge to be beacons of light in the midst of darkness, spreading happiness and joy to those around them.
A special focus was directed towards the elderly residents of the home. His Lordship expressed profound gratitude for the opportunity to celebrate the new year with them, attributing their presence to the care and support they received. He thanked the Little Sisters of the Poor, acknowledging their relentless efforts in providing love and care that had sustained the elderly throughout the previous year.
Bishop extended his appreciation to the generous benefactors who contributed to the well-being of the home. As a charitable institution, he emphasized the vital role played by these individuals in ensuring the continued existence and success of the Old People’s Home.
Among those recognized for their support was the close parish of St. Paul’s Parish Awkunanaw, whose contributions were acknowledged with heartfelt gratitude. Additionally, the Bishop expressed thanks to the Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, whose wife had previously visited the home, reinforcing the sense of community and support.
“This year is a year of blessings upon blessings!” the Bishop declared, encapsulating the overarching theme of hope and positivity that characterized the Thanksgiving celebration.
As the community as well as the faithful in Enugu Diocese embarks on the new year, the Bishop’s words serve as a gentle reminder of the power of unity, forgiveness, and the enduring light that can dispel the darkness in our lives and in the world.