Rev. Fr. Dr. Ignatius B. C. Okuta
Queen of the Apostles Seminary Imezi-Owa
God established the Church in Christ, in unity of the Holy Spirit to help in human salvation. The Church has a humble beginning. Since the birth of Christ in Bethlehem, the flight to Egypt, the early life at Nazareth, the proclamation of the word, great entry into Jerusalem, death, resurrection, ascension and descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, a great change for good has overcome the world. The Gospel message continues to resonate in the world despite all the challenges. This will continue till the end of time. The mandate to proclaim the good news has been given to the Apostles, to our predecessors and even to us today. “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt. 28, 18-18; Mk 16, 15). Jesus saying that he is with us until the end of time manifests the essence of evangelisation, the mission to bring the Gospel message to all the ends of earth. To proclaim the Gospel message becomes every body’s business – the good, the bad, the ugly; small, medium and great; adolescent, middle age, adult and the aged.
We celebrate this Good news in many forms of anniversaries, jubilees and Centenary. Abor community celebrates it today as a Centenary. A centenary celebration is a great thing in the lives of those especially who live to celebrate it. It is something very remarkable and significant in one’s life. It helps to reform or transform lives. If a person has been living a lax life or leis affair attitude in the things of faith and moral, it becomes a time of total change of life. Fr Celestine A. Obi, one of the Editors of A Hundred Years of the Catholic Church in Eastern Nigeria 1885 – 1985, observes that: “A Centenary Celebration is a significant milestone, an event memorable for many reasons: it is an occasion for jubilation, for public prayer of gratitude, for reflection and reappraisal, as well as a time for drawing up new plans for greater progress in the decades to come. A hundred years is not a hundred days.” (C.A. Obi ed., 1985). A Centenary Celebration is a thing of joy and happiness especially to those who celebrate it. As we celebrate out birthday, silver, golden and diamond jubilees with joy, that of the Centenary will be greater. Centenary is a time of sober, individual and a “societal examination of conscience and the manifestation of greater maturity in the Faith and Christian living.” (Ibid.).
The core of Catholic Centenary celebration is the sacraments. There are also sacramentals. One cannot talk of Church’s Centenary celebration without talking about the history and sacramental life of that Church. Church sacraments make Centenary celebration worthwhile. There are seven sacraments such as: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Penance and Reconciliation, Anointing (Unction): The Pastoral Care of the Sick, Matrimony and Holy Orders. Sacramentals are different from sacraments. Sacraments are instituted by Christ while sacramentals are instituted by the Church to prepare us for sacraments. In sacramentals, different things and circumstances are sanctified and they prepare us for the receptions of the goods of sacraments. ‘Sacramental’ has its Latin root as sacramentalia, and it is defined as “sacred signs instituted by the Church. They prepare men to receive the fruit of the sacraments and to sanctify different circumstances of life.” (CCC no. 1677). Sacramentals refer to Christian sacred objects and prayers, especially as observed in the Catholic tradition. (R.R. Ekstrom, 2000). The Church instituted the sacramentals to sanctify certain ministries, states, places and things, which are helpful for human salvation and sanctification. (CCC no. 1668; I.C. Okuta 2012).
As Abor community celebrates the Centenary of the Church, we are reminded of the first time Abor accepted the good news and holy Eucharist was celebrated in her land. It is a thing of joy, a thing to always give God the glory and kudos to our ancestors, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters who received the gospel message and passed it to us.
The Church in the Post Modern World Vis a Vis Abor Christian Community
The Church in the Modern World”, Gaudium et spes, a Vatican II document published in December 7, 1965, points to the solidarity of the Church with the whole human family, a call to universal salvation (Gs, no. 24: AAS (1966), 1044-1045). “The joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the men of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted in any way, are the joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well.” (Gs no. 1). The gospel message is meant for all, the rich, poor, sick and healthy. It is not eating and drinking but full of power, glory and praise. This means that both the evangeliser and the evangelised have to suffer for their salvation. “If you want to be a follower of mine you have to carry your cross and follow me.” St. Paul made it clear that, at all times and in every race, those who fear God and do the right thing are acceptable to him. God wills that all should be holy men and women, to serve him in holiness of life. He meant to save them individually and in communion (1 Cor. 11, 25).
There are different models of the Church. Some of these models include:
- the Church as the Sanctuary of God, an edifice;
- the Church as Communion; the Church as the People of God;
- the Church as a Mystical Body of Christ;
- the Church as a Family of God; and
- the Church as a Hierarchical Reality.
The common understanding of the Church is that it is a sanctuary of God, a temple of God, an edifice, a basilica or a building. This is seen in the feast of the dedication of churches, such as, SS Peter and Paul and Lateran Basilica Rome. When people celebrate their Church as an anniversary or centenary, they renovate, restructure or decorate their Church because it a place set apart for God for worship. They put Church towers and other ornaments that beatify the Church. The attention paid to the church as an edifice is good but more attention is necessary in the Church as the body of Christ. This is because this building may come to pass but that of the Spirit will not pass away.
We as a church have a role to play in this postmodern world. The Church in the post modern world has a great challenge to live in communion, be a school of communion and to make the world a better place. “To make the Church the home and school of communion: that is, the greatest challenge facing us in the millennium which has now begun, if we wish to be faithful to God’s plan and to respond to the world’s deepest yearnings” (Novo millennio ineunte, no. 43: AAS 93 (2001), 296-298). To celebrate a Centenary is not only to be happy to have existed through these years despite storms and turbulence of life but also to brace up to the challenges of the Church. D. J. Billy in Evangelical Kernels observes that: “The Church consists of the community of believers, living and dead, who, by virtue of their origin and end in the mind of the Father, interpret (i.e., contemplate, celebrate, formulate, proclaim, and serve), through Christ and in the Spirit, the mystery of their own communal life and the gift of humanity’s divination” (D.J. Billy, 1998). Abor in celebrating her Centenary celebrates the mystery of her communion of life. Both the living and the dead thank God for the gift of being part of the Church that contemplates, celebrates, formulates, proclaims and serves God in holiness of life and contributes to humanity’s salvation. Abor Catholic community, as a Church, strives not only to serve God but humanity through her sons and daughter. They are happy to be part of the Church established by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Challenges of the Church and Way Out
In the post modern world, the Church is challenged with many things that threatens her existence and she must strive by the grace of God to overcome them. Some of these threats can be seen in:
- Secularism, ii. Rigorism, iii. Fundamentalism, iv. Romantism, v. Laxism, vi. Separation, Divorce, and Remarry, vi. Homosexuality, vii. Lesbianism, viii. Transgender, Neutral, viii. Artificial Human Reproduction – Homologous and Heterologous In vitro Fertilisation (IVF), Surrogate motherhood, multiple paternity and maternity, ix. Increased Sexual Aberration, Contraception, Abortion, x. Neo Atheism, Agnostics, Slavery, xi. Child and Women Abuse, Paedophiles, xii. War, xiii. Terrorism, xiv. Banditry, xv. Kidnapping, xvi. Chronic crimes e.t.c.
Abor community, pastors, the priests, Consecrated life and laity in this twenty first century, the post modern world must brace up to evangelise and re-evangelise the world and make it a better world than they see it, and for posterity. Any Church celebrating her anniversary or centenary like Abor Community must brace up to these challenges and to proffer solutions in Christ.
The Evangelisation of the People of God
St. Paul VI, defined evangelisation in Evangelii nuntiandi, thus: “Evangelization is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass, which is the memorial of His death and glorious resurrection.” (Evangelii nuntiandi, no. 13: AAS 68 (1976) 12-13). This means that: “Evangelisation is the proclamation of the Good News of Christ’s Redemptive Mystery, the forgiveness of sins and the unification of human beings, as in the three persons in One God. In evangelisation, grace is given, sinners are reconciled, and the people of God are united in Christ. It is a vocation that is proper to the Church.” (I. Okuta 2012). The Church maintains that evangelising means “bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new.” (Evangelii nuntiandi, no 18: AAS 68 (1976) 17-18).
In the Church of Centenary, the evangelisation of peoples, the conversion of atheists, agnostics, non believers and non practicing Christians are celebrated. There is dialogue with Christians of other denominations and the everyday efforts to strengthen faith, hope and charity. Abor Catholic Community celebrates her Centenary to mark the initial coming of the Church in her land. This is a thing of joy, gratitude to God, our ancestors who accepted the faith and a challenge for us to carry out the Gospel message to the end of earth.
The Church and Journey So Far
The story of the evangelisation of Abor Community cannot be complete without talking of the evangelisation of the people of God beginning from Palestine/Israel, Middle East, Western World, Africa, West Africa and Igbo land in Particular. The road through which the Church passed to reach Abor was not easy. More than two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, was born, crucified, resurrected from the dead and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles, in an “obscure corner of the Roman known as Israel, under a Roman governor by name Pontius Pilate whom Christians indicted in the Apostles’ Creed and in the Nicene Creed (325 A.D) in attempt to formulate the core of the Christian belief.” (M.O. Fagun, 1992). Christ formed his Apostles, people set apart for the mission and disciples, the followers who helped to spread the Gospel message to the nations. While some apostles like St. Peter concentrated in the evangelisation of the Jewish people, some Apostles like St. Paul concentrated in the evangelisation of the Gentiles, the non Jews after Conversion. This helped to spread the Gospel message that reached us today.
Christianity is a historical religion. Just as St. Jerome, observed that ignorance of the Bible is ignorant of the Church, ignorance of the history of the Church observes Bishop Fagun, is also ignorant of the Christian faith (cf. Ibid.). By God’s providence the first liberated slaves of Freetown, Sierra Leon and some white missionaries helped to spread Christianity which has reached us. Christianity spread to North Africa, Africa South of Sahara, Upper and Lower Guinea. C.A. Obi in “Background to the Planting of Catholic Christianity in the Lower Niger,” A Hundred Years of the Catholic Church in Eastern Nigeria 1885-1985, observed: “Then on October 3, 1842, Monsignor Barron was made Bishop of Upper and Lower Guinea – a vast area covering the whole of West Africa down to Gabon.” (C.A. Obi, 1985). This means that as Abor Church was an outstation or quasi-parish to St. Paul Eke, St. Paul Eke was an outstation or quasi-parish to Holy Trinity Onitsha now Archdiocese, Holy Trinity Onitsha was an out station or quasi-parish to Gabon, Gabon was an outstation or quasi-parish to the Prefecture of Senegal, the two Guineas, which was obtained in 1779. The first and last Diocesan Bishop, Bishop Barron ruled the two Guineas. Bishop Barron’s successor, was a Spiritan, Father, Truffet, ordained bishop on January 25, 1847 died the same year in November in his residence at Dakar. In 1849, Bishop John Bessieux became the Vicar Apostolic after a year of the death of Bishop Truffet. “Then on 27, 1857, the Vicariate of the two Guineas was divided, Upper Guinea becoming the Vicariate Apostolic of Sierra Leone, while Lower Guinea became the Vicariate of Gabon ruled by Bishop Pierre Le Berre, who was still in charge up to the time of the Holy Ghost Missionary venture into the Lower Niger. At this stage, Onitsha was what could be called an outstation or quasi-parish run from Gabon.” (C.A. Obi, 1985). With this we can see that evangelisation of Abor community came from far distance of the events of divine incarnation and human missionary activities. Missionaries trekked such long distance to bring us the Gospel.
In the narrative of our Centenary, it is good to remember different Congregations and Societies that played important role in planting Christianity in the Lower Niger of which we are partly beneficiary. C.A. Obi, “The French Pioneers, 1885-1905,” in A Hundred Years of the Catholic Church in Eastern Nigeria 1885-1985, observes: “France was the cradle of many religious congregations. For a long time she was the door to the missions. French missionaries were among the first to spread the Faith in many countries outside the continent of Europe.” (C.A. Obi, 1985). M.H. Kukah, in “Keynote Address – Missionary Strategies for Evangelisation and Nation-Building,” in Mary-Noelle Ethel Eze, IHM, ed., Missionary Strategies for Evangelisation and Nation-Building, observes some of the consecrated as the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, established by Francis Libermann in 1840; the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1854); the Society of African Missions, founded by Bishop Melchior de Marion Brésillac at Lyons in 1856 e.t.c. (Mary-Noelle Ethel Eze, IHM, ed., 2019). Among them was also Holy Ghost Congregation founded in France by Father Francoise-Claude Poullart des Places. The Congregation was appointed by the French Government to supply priests and missionaries to French colonies such as in Senegal. There was also the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary – a new missionary Congregation founded by Francis Mary Libermann. Around 1848, this Congregation with the Holy Ghost Fathers were Instructed by Propaganda Fide in Rome to go for this mission. (Cf. C.A. Obi, 1985). For M.H. Kukah: “Their sole or principal purpose was to preach the Gospel in non-Christian lands.” (Mary-Noelle Ethel Eze, IHM, ed., 2019).
The Holy Ghost Congregation founded in France played important role in the evangelisation of South-Eastern Nigeria. Among the missionaries we cannot do without in our Centenary celebration were Father Joseph Lutz who was the Superior at Rio Ponge, Father Horne and Brother Hermas and Jean-Gotto. They left formally the shore of France in September 19, 1885 to evangelise us. The Missionaries though not all landed at the same time at Onitsha on Saturday December 5, 1885. By the time they arrived at Onitsha to establish the Church where the Holy Trinity Cathedral is today the Christian Mission Society (C.M.S.) and their Anglican Bishop, bishop Crowder were already settled about four years earlier. In the morning of January 6, 1886, the Feast of the Epiphany, there was the signing of the Memorandum of understanding with the gift of 20 hectares of land between Father Lutz and the King of Onitsha, Obi Anazonwu and Council of Chiefs . “The first Solemn Adult Baptism was held on August 29 and the next on October 31, 1886.” (Cf. C.A. Obi “Background to the Planting of Catholic Christianity in the Lower Niger” pp. 1-26, pp. 25). The issue is that Onitsha became Apostolic Prefecture of Lower Niger, a hob to reach the hinterland. The local Superiors, were Father Joseph Lutz 1885-1895, Father Joseph Reling 1896-1897, Father Rene Pawlas 1897-1900, and Father Alexandre Leon Lejeune 1900-1905. C.A. Obi, “The French Pioneers, 1885-1905” pp 27-104, p. 27. Father Shanahan an Irish, now Bishop Shanahan C.S.Sp. (1902-1943) took over from Father Lejeune. This marked the end of French mission and beginning of Irish/English Mission in the evangelisation of Igbo land. The Church spread to Ogboli, to other parts of Igbo land such as Eke, Enugu, Abor, great areas to the North, North East and beyond. Abor Community in Centenary celebration rejoices of the birth of Christianity in their land.
Abor Christian Community Centenary Celebration
Abor, the second son of Ojebe-Ogene Clan in Udi LGA, since her evangelization, has many Christians with very few pagans or animist. Her sons and daughters have welcomed the faith, with love, dedication, service to God and humanity. The establishment of the Church in Abor brought about more growth and mutual understanding of our people. Abor is made up of eight villages. In succession were: i. Ugwunani, ii. Ozara, iii. Amukwu, iv. Dinigweze, v. Dinunobe, vi. Ubiekpo, vii. Amezike and viii. Umuavulu. Umuavulu later became an autonomous Community.
Evangelization of Abor took a turning point in 1918 when she embraced Catholicism and became pivotal out stations of Eke parish. The church in Abor had two major out stations, St. Peter Church station Enu-Abor and St. Theresa Church Umuavulu Abor station. St. Peter Church station, Enu-Abor included the seven villages of Ugwunani, Ozara, Amukwu, Dinigweze, Dinunobe, Ubiekpo Amazike and their quarters. St. Theresa Umuavulu Abor Church station had 14 quarters of: Amogwu, Umuikwo, Ohemje, Umuezike, Ezionyia, Nzuko, Umuoka, Eziagu, Uwenu/Uwani, Egma, Umuozo-Uwani, Umuozo-Uwenu, Orobo and Alagu. The station ‘Churches’ of Abor subsequently became parishes from St. Paul Parish Eke: St. Peter Parish, Abor/Enu-Abor and St. Theresa Parish Umuavulu Abor.
Abor Centenary Celebration
The year 1919 marks the first time a church and a school were established in Abor. It marks the first baptism and wedding of Abor converts in 1921. It marks the year of evangelisation of Abor people. Abor people requested and freely embraced the church in their land. They have their indigenous Priests, Reverend Sisters, Monks, Nuns and brothers. The first Indigenous priest was Late Very Rev. Fr. Dr Paul Ekowa (Umuavulu, ordained in 1967), second priest from Ogebeogene Clan. The first indigenous Rev. Sister, is Sr Evelyn Paula Onodingene, (Enu-Abor, Final Professed in 1978), third Rev. Sister from Ogebe Ogene Clan. Since then, there was boom in vocations of priests, the Consecrated/Religious, Laity – married men and women in Abor.
The joy of Centenary celebration in Abor will not be complete without the understanding of the history of the two parishes in Abor. This is because St Peter Parish Abor and St. Theresa Parish Umuavulu Abor were formerly two outstations of Eke Parish but eventually became two Parishes from Eke in 1994/1995.
St. Theresa Church, Umuavulu Abor
The full establishment of Church and school in Abor, began with the invitation of Church missionary from Eke in 1919, by Chief (Ozor) Ngwunwagu Ondodugo. In the The History of Enugu Diocese Marking the Centenary Celebration, published by Enugu Diocese, it was observed as follows:
“…[in] 1919 Chief (Ozor) Ngwunwagu Onodugo liaised with the Catholic Mission at Eke through Chief Onyeama the Okwuluoha I of Eke to open up a church and school at Abor. The former surrendered shanty building in his compound for these two purposes. That formed the nucleus of Church and School developments in the entire town”. (N.I. Omenka – Anthony Anijielo, eds., 2012).
The beginning of the Church and school in Abor marked rapid development and new converts in the faith, such as Chief Isaac Madike and Jerome Ugwu who were the first Abor converts to be baptized in 1921. With the celebration of the sacraments of the Eucharist and baptism other sacraments such as marriage and holy Order effectively took root:
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Okpokwu and Mr. and Mrs. John Mbaeze were first couples to receive the sacrament of Matrimony, while Late (sic.) Rev. Fr. Dr. Paul Ekowa was the first to be ordained a Priest of the Catholic Church in Abor and Second in Ojebe Ogene can in 1967. (Ibid).
Other sacraments such as visit and anointing of the sick confirmation and ordination later took place.
The pastoral visit of Most Rev. Dr. M.U. Eneja in Abor Catholic Community in 1991 and 1994 yielded fruit of the two stations of Abor made parishes from Eke in 1994, the St. Peter Parish Abor and St. Theresa Parish Umuavulu Abor. They were created parishes under Late Rev. Fr. Dominic Aduaka, the Parish Priest of Eke in 1994. The Parishes being administered for one year from Eke received their Parish Priests after that.
The pioneer parish priest of St Theresa Parish Umuavulu Abor was Rev. Fr. Joseph Anochili (1994 – February 1999). Other parish priests in succession were Late Rev. Fr. Christopher Obinna Anyanwu Azuka (February 1999 – September 2000); Rev. Fr. Anslem Uchenna Onoh (September 2000 – February 2003), Late Rev. Fr. James Chinze (February 2003 – 21 January 2010), Msgr. Patrick Okongwu (21 January 2010 – January 2016) and Msgr. Christopher Enem (January 2016 -)
As of the time the parish was created there were already a church and parish house. The Marian Grotto was built by the Parish Block Rosary Crusade. Since the ordination of the first indigenous priest Late Rev. Fr. Dr. Paul Ekowa, there have been many indigenous priests, Rev. Sisters, brothers, Monks, Nuns. The complete documentation their names, places and location can be found in the other documents.
St Peter Abor/Enu-Abor
As we have already observed, St Peter Abor and St. Theresa Umuavulu Abor were out stations and eventually parishes from St Paul Eke Parish. Abor people had already embraced Christianity and became one of the numerous stations of Eke Parish. St Peter Catholic Parish Abor began in 1921 with the establishment of the first Church at Ugwu na-eche Oha-Afo-Ofefe Village Square. The History of Enugu Diocese Marking the Centenary Celebration, observes that:
“The history of St Peter Catholic Parish Abor began in 1921 with the arrival of (sic) a teacher Bernard, from Abagana, sent by Rev. Fr. Marcel Grandin, following the request of Chief Ozo Ukwu of Abor. The Church was first established at Ugwu na-eche Oha-Afo-Ofefe Village Square.” (Ibid.).
The establishment of the Church brought about the need for pastoral care and sacraments: “In 1922, Rev. Fr. Vincent Davey, the Parish Priest of Eke, sent Mr. Julius Akubue of Umuoji as a Catechist to Abor and he helped the Reverend Father to prepare one hundred people of Abor for the first Baptism. The Baptism took place on the 19th November, 1923.” (Ibid). The Church was later transferred to Ugwu-afor-Akaya, the present location of the Parish near the road by Rev. Fr. Thomas Brosnahan who took over from his predecessor Father Davey in 1923. For more pastoral care of the Church, Fr Brosnahan recruited an ex seminarian Chief Gabriel Adimora of Agulu. “In 1935 he recruited Chief Gabriel Adimora of Agulu, an ex-Seminarian, to run the Church and School. Chief Adimora worked dutifully and religiously from 1935 – 1954. He left a remarkable impression on the people of Abor.” (Ibid). The Church became fully fledged parish from St. Paul Eke, in September 25, 1995. Late Rev. Fr. Dominic Aduka was then the Parish Priest of Eke with Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Anugwo as the parish Vicar. The first indigenous final Professed Sister is Sr. Evelyn Paula Onodingene (1978).
When His Lordship Late Most Rev. Dr. Michael U. Eneja granted St. Peter Church full status as a parish, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Mbata became her first Parish Priest. In August 17, 1996, Fr Mbata organized the ordination of Rev. Fr. Dr. Ignatius B.C. Okuta, the first priest after the creation of the parish. Successors of Fr Mbata were as follows: Rev. Fr. Malachi Ezeonu (Feb. 21, 2000 – Feb. 21, 2003), Rev. Fr Anthony Aniagboso Igwe (Feb. 21, 2003 – Nov. 2005), Rev. Fr. Joseph Anoje Eke (Nov. 2005 – Jan. 24, 2010), Rev. Fr. Christopher Chielo (Jan. 24, 2010 – Aug. 2014), Rev. Fr. Dr. Paschalis Agu (Aug. 2014 – Feb. 8, 2019) and the present Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Dr. Christopher Okudo (Feb. 8, 2019 – ). Throughout this period the vocation to priesthood and Religious increased tremendously.
Abor Priests, Religious and Seminarians
We acknowledge that after the ordination of the first priest of Abor, Late Fr. Ekowa (1967) and Final Professed first Rev. Sister, Sr. Evelyn Paula Onodingene (1978), there was vocation boom up till date. We now not only have Rev. Fathers and Sisters, but also brothers, Monks, Nuns, many seminarians and novices. We effectively formed Abor Vocational (Priests, Religious and Seminarians) Association in 1999/2000 and up till today it continues to increase in number. The Association has contributed much to the peace, unity, love and justice in Abor. We thank God for the gift of Vocations in Abor. We cannot list their names, dates of ordination/Profession or village here as it has been taken care of by other chronicle, writers and historians
We thank God for finding us worthy to be among those who celebrate the 100 years of the coming of Church in our land. We pray for our brothers and sisters who had wished to witness it and could not, but hopefully celebrating it in the life hereafter. We tried to understand the celebration of the Centenary through proper understanding of the Church and Sacraments and to understand the brief history of the Church that made it possible to reach us. We tried also to see the growth of the Church and evangelization of the people of Abor.
St. Peter Parish Abor and St. Theresa Parish Umuavulu Abor were said to be formerly outstations of St. Paul Church Eke, which was an outstation of Holy Trinity Onitsha which was an outstation of Gabon e.t.c. There are some questions which historians were yet to solve: why were the two outstations of the same town outstations of St. Paul Eke one at the same time? Why did Chief (Ozo) Onodugo of Umuavulu Abor ask and received missionary from St. Paul Eke with the help of Chief Onyeama of Eke in 1919 and Chief Ozo Ukwu of Abor asked and received missionary from Abagana in 1921? As we think over it, we are grateful to God for the mutual love and understanding of Abor Community and the role of the Church in Abor. We thank God for the continuous growth of the Parishes in Abor, their able pastors, indigenous priests, religious and laity.
We thank the joint Centenary Committee of the two parishes in Abor for the great work they have done. They toiled day and night for the success of the Centenary celebration. We thank the special team set up at St. Peter Parish that took a wise decision that made this united celebration possible. We thank God for the growth of the Church organs: C.M.O, C.W.O, C.Y.M.O, C.Y.W.O and other Associations. Finally we thank our forefathers who brought and transmitted us the faith, men and women of good will, friends and well wishers who supported both in cash and kind for the success of the Centenary celebration.
Rev. Fr. Dr. Ignatius B.C. Okuta
Queen of the Apostles Seminary, Imezi-Owa
(Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph: December 29, 2019,)