St. Theresa of the Child Jesus to visit all dioceses in Nigeria
History was made on Sunday, March 24, 2019 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Aba, where the national Council of St. Theresa’s Society (Society of the Little Way- to Heaven) gathered together to inaugurate the statues of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, donated to all the dioceses in Nigeria by Sister Theresa Chukwudi. The Mass was officiated by Very Rev. Fr. Peter Obinna Umekwe, the Chief Editor of Rex Newspaper with the following co-celebrants MSGR Leo Ezeji, Rev. Fr. Andrew Eze, Nsukka Diocesan Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Stephen Nwaala, Aba Diocesan Chaplain, and other lovers of St. Theresa: Rev. Fr. Augustine Nwankpa, Fr. Jude Ali, Fr. Clement Okeke, Fr. Kelvin Okechi, and the Acting National Chaplain of St. Theresa’s Society, Rev. Fr. John Damian Adizie, of the Holy Spirit, OCD.
In his homily, Fr. Adizie described St. Theresa of the Child Jesus as an Apostle of Love, who spent her life promoting the gospel of love. In a world where there is so much hatred and violence, a world where people are struggling for power and recognitions, St. Theresa of the Child Jesus discovered her vocation as love. When she finally found her vocation, she exclaimed, “O Jesus, my love, at last I have found my vocation: my vocation is love. Certainly, I have found my place in the Church, and it’s you, O God, Who has given me this place. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love…” St. Theresa promised to spend her heaven doing good on earth. She has reconciled so many families and nations through her powerful message of love. She is indeed an ambassador of love!
Love, according to Fr. Adizie is the solution to all the problems in Nigeria. The major problem of Nigeria, according to him, is hatred. Political hatred is hatred against people of different political parties. The hatred between the ruling party and members of the opposition party is so deadly that none of them is ready to accept defeat. So many people died during the general elections because of hatred. Ballot boxes and human beings were set ablaze in the process. The government has just declared war against hate speech.
So many people have lost their lives through Religious hatred. The extreme Islamic group known as Boko Haram is still terrorising people. In the last election, it was obvious that people voted based on their religious beliefs and background. It takes special grace for Muslims to accept a Christian leader. The Christians themselves are beginning to develop hatred for Muslim leaders, because most of the key positions are occupied by Muslims. The clash between the herdsmen and the farmers, which results in destruction of lives and properties, is a clear indication of the reign of hatred.
What Nigeria needs right now and urgently is the gospel of love. This gospel can only be found in the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ as expanded by St. Theresa of the Child Jesus. No amount of hatred and hostility will solve the problem at hand. According to Rev. Fr. Adizie, the journey of St. Theresa in all the dioceses in Nigeria is a journey of love, peace and unity. It is a journey of peaceful co-existence and reconciliation. With this journey, we are determined to plant the seed of love in all the dioceses in Nigeria. Through the intercession of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus and of all the saints, Nigeria will be delivered from the spirit of hatred, violence and hostility – in Jesus name – Amen!
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