A Catholic Priest, the Rev. Fr. Malachy Okonkwo, has described marriage as a great institution that requires a lot of prayers, patience and obedience for it to be sustained.
Speaking at the 20th marriage anniversary Thanksgiving Mass in honour of the Special Assistant (Media) to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Comrade Fidelis Egugbo on Wednesday at Maris Schools, Amachai, Okpanam, Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State, the Priest noted that every day in marriage should be celebrated and used to thank God.
While noting that there were some marriages that did not last beyond the reception ground, the Catholic Priest commended Mr and Mrs Egugbo for “managing and adjusting to each other’s faults these 20 years.”
He emphasized that prayers, patience and understanding should not be toyed with for marriages to survive the test of time and prayed that the couple should celebrate golden jubilee and beyond, in marriage, in good health, peace and love.
In a sermon at the celebration of the Holy Mass, the first to be celebrated in Maris Hall, the Rev. Fr. Solomon Ugummadu observed that the day’s event was of great significant as the Feast of the day was that of Immaculate Conception.
He said, “Today, we celebrate the power of obedience over the power of disobedience.
“We should avoid sin because, the moment we commit sin, we go into hiding.
“We are created in the image and likeness of God and for us to enjoy the beauty of God, the paradise that God created, it must be in perfect obedience to God.
“Mary is given to us as perfect example of what it means to be obedient to God; we must never live our lives out of His mercy, if we do that, we walk alone.”
The Commissioner for Information in Delta State, Mr Charles Aniagwu, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary in his Ministry, Mr Paul Osahon, during the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols that was held immediately after the Thanksgiving Mass, congratulated the Egugbos on their anniversary and commended the management of Maris Schools for organizing a beautiful Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, which put a lot of persons in the mood for Christmas.
He observed that the management of the school was doing a lot in providing quality education in the neighbourhood.
Also speaking, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Mr Olisa Ifeajika said, “this is my first time of coming to Maris Schools and I am dazed with what is happening here; the children that sang twice and the soloist, you guys are wonderful.”
He also commended Fidelis Egugbo, for what he is doing to support the growth of education and called on the people to support Maris Schools.
The Chief Press Secretary said: “we ask the good people of God to please, support this project, it is a project for tomorrow, a project for our children.”
He noted that Maris Schools “is predicated in Jesus; Jesus is everything.
“I thank you all for coming out; it means that we are Godly people and no matter how remote Jesus is, we will go and look for Him. Glory to Jesus!”
Some of those who attended the event were Rev. Frs. Malachy Okonkwo, Mark Nwoko, Hilary Ibegbulem, and Solomon Ugummadu. Rev. Fr. John Konyeke and Rev. Fr. Cyril Anene sent in goodwill messages.
Wife of the Deputy Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Mrs. Ann Ochor, wife of the Commissioner for Primary Education in the state, Mrs Anwuli Ossai, Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ndokwa West chapter, Ogbuefi Lucky Okuji and his daughter, Ndidi were at the event.
The Permanent Secretary, Government House and Protocols, Sir Eddy Ogidi-Gbegbaje sent a high-powered representation at the occasion which was also attended by Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Protocol to Governor Okowa, Hon. Collins Iwebunor, SSA, Media to Governor Okowa, Mr Nelson Egware, Special Assistants, Media, Mr Ossai Success and Miss Ufuoma Onovughakpo. Renowned Nollywood Actor, Kenneth Chukwu and the Senior Pastor, The Great Gospel Ministry International, Pastor Dan Ohanugor were also at the event.
Also, Comrade Sam Ijeh, an aide to the Secretary to Delta State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah was there with his close friend, Comrade Patrick Nwanze, Editor, The Pointer Newspapers.
The General Manager of The Pointer Newspapers, Mr Monday Uwagwu, Dr. Kemi Emina of University of Ibadan Alumni Association, former Vice Chairman, Oshimili South Local Government Area, Ezeji Emmanuel Udorah, former Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor, Mr Jonathan Ochonogor, renowned politicians, Chief Henry Okechukwu, Barr. Greg Ikoko, Chief J. P. Ukpabi, Mr B.M.O. Ebonwu, Henry Omosor, Edwin Ojobo, P.A.B. Iyawa and Emmanuel Edemu who are strong members of Knights of St. John’s International also spent time at the event.
Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council, Comrade Mike Ikeogwu, Chairman of Asaba Correspondents Chapel of NUJ, Comrade Dominic Adewole and his Information Chapel counterpart, Comrade Kenneth Obieh, Chairman of NUJ, Delta Broadcasting Service Chapter, Comrade Pere Botu and his National Orientation Agency’s counterpart, Comrade Abel John-Gold, Comrade Nkem Nweke of Delta Rainbow Television, Warri; Comrade Okungbowa Aiwerie of The Nation Newspaper, Information Communication Technology expert, Mr Paul Eboh and his family, the triplets – Ndidi and Ego, the Egugbos- Anthony, Augustine and wife, Rawlings and wife; Mr Uche Igba, Mr Kingsley Nwosa, and Ozulonye Nwosa were also at the event which was professionally anchored by Mr Steve Nwaeke of Protocols Department, Government House, Asaba and Miss Brenda Okolie of Trend FM, Asaba.
Parents of pupils and students of Maris Schools, including teachers in the school played active roles during the events of the day.