The Catholic Diocese of Warri in Delta State is in a festive mood ahead of tomorrow’s Thursday episcopal ordination and installation of the bishop-elect of the diocese, Rt. Rev. Monsignor Anthony Ovayero Ewherido.
Recall that the Apostolic Administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Warri, Most Rev. Augustine Akubueze, on Wednesday, December 28, 2022, broke the news of the appointment of Ewherido by Pope Francis, to replace Bishop John Oke’Oghene Afarheha, who retired in the second quarter of 2022.
The chairman of the installation planning committee, Very Rev Fr. (Prof.) Jude Obuinu, at a press conference, said the Holy Martyrs of Uganda Minor Seminary, Effurun, Delta State, is the venue for the biggest celebration of Catholics in the Diocese of Warri.
Flanked by the Financial Administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Warri and member of the planning committee, Very Rev Fr. Dr. Jude Sagbodje; Director of Communications, Catholic Diocese of Warri and Chairman, Publicity Sub-Committee, and former Delta commissioner for information and member planning committee, Chief Emuobonuvie Enamuotor, Fr Obuinu said guests are expected to sit by 9am for the celebration of the Holy Mass which begins at 10am.
The Professor of Counselling and Director of Counselling at the Delta State University (DELSU) Abraka, disclosed his committee working with sub-committees has concluded arrangements to ensure a successful outing.
On security, he said relevant security agencies have been contacted to forestall any security breach adding that Ewherido’s “appointment is a blessing to the diocese and the body of Christ” carved out of the Benin Diocese in 1964 by Pope Paul VI.
He said, “The forthcoming event of the episcopal ordination and installation of our new bishop is a great event for us. We are excited about it and feel blessed by it because, once again, we are taking major steps forward in developing the Catholic faith in Warri Diocese.
“It is coming up on February 9, 2023. All the Catholic bishops in Nigeria will be here, both retired and in active service. Except for this who for some special reasons cannot attend. The papal noncio will be here as one of the principal celebrants of the ceremony.
“We are expecting dignitaries from within the state and around the country. And all well-meaning sons and daughters. We praying for a hitch-free engagement. There’s going to be tight security to ensure a hitch-free ceremony.”
When asked if there is any controversy surrounding the appointment of Ewherido as the bishop-elect of the Catholic Diocese of Warri, Fr Obuinu, said, “The appointment of our bishop-elect, Rt. Rev. Monsignor Anthony Ovayero Ewherido has been celebrated. There is no iota of controversy. He is a son of the soil, he is a gentleman, he is intelligent, he is exposed, he is well-read, he has worked both within this country (Nigeria) and outside this country.
“He schooled within this country and outside this country; spent some years in the United States of America and has visited many countries. And so, he (Ewherido) is a round perk in a round hole. He fits in absolutely very, very well. So, there is no controversy of any kind with lay people, clergy, the religious even non-Catholics celebrate his appointment because the Ewheridos are popular people in Catholic Church, Warri Diocese.”
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