From Cynthia Chidimma Igbokwe, Awka
Over five thousand (5,000) singles in the recent time have been hooked for life to their dream partners at the Monday Fr Tansi Pre-marriage prayer session of Communio Sanctotum Ministries International Awka with Rev Fr Prof BonaChristus Umeogu as the Spiritual Director.
The Monday Fr Tansi Pre-Marriage prayer session is now known as Ambassadors of Jesus and Mary for Singles to be married. This was revealed by the Leader of the group, Mrs Ann Obichukwu after this reporter witnessed testimonies during the programme.
According to Obichukwu, apart from the 5,000 who enjoyed marital bliss in the recent past , so many hundreds of singles have gotten breakthrough in so many dimensions including scholarships abroad , works abroad , jobs, progress in work, homes of their own, prosperity in business , businesses of their own, connections to mention but a few.
She informed that in her records in a particular year, over two hundred singles got married through the Monday prayer interventions even as they teach singles how to be better husbands to their wives and better wives to their husbands and other morals and family issues for a better society.
Mrs Obichukwu encouraged all singles to ensure they don’t miss the Monday Fr Tansi pre-marriage prayer session to get spiritual and emotional power to withstand the dynamics of the day bedevilling singles in order to get their break through.
Meanwhile, the Communio Sanctorum International Ministry, Awka, Anambra State celebration of the Feast of All Saints and All Souls day recently ended in Awka with admonition on Christians to be truly Christ like in their actions.
Earlier in a vote of thanks, the founder of Communio Sanctorum Ministry, Very Rev Fr. Prof. Bonachristus Umeogu, while commending clergy and laity alike, noted that God has called all to be saint, tasking the congregation to do good and put the homily to practice to make heaven.
Speaking on the colloquium ‘The Great Gesundheit Health Care Renaissance’, the founder maintained that family health manager supplement was the answer to asthma, diabetes, infection, hypertension, hepatitis, cancer, paralysis and so on.
Fr. Umeogu said that family health, which, according to him, is the state of complete physical, mental, social, economic, cultural and spiritual well-being of the members of a family remains sacrosanct.
The popular clergyman said that Gesundheit family health care was provided by the ministry as a platform of systematic heath productions, applications and activities to prevent, cure or control family health problems to promote good health in the families.
“Gesundheit family health care uses family history to prevent, cure or control our family history to prevent, cure or control families of such ailments like asthma, diabetes, infection, hypertension, hepatitis, cancer, paralysis, that more or less through the family genetic blood lines menace the family health status”, he stated.
In his homily, the officiating priest, Rev. Fr. Prof. Mosignor Theophilus Okere, said that everyone living a good life was qualified to be a saint, noting that the day offers opportunity to celebrate those who have lived well.
Fr. Okere, who stressed that it was those who have endured great temptations, trials and sufferings of this life that can reach heaven, also emphasised that a Christian need not to be martyred before they can become a saint.
Highlighting some of the challenges that a Christian had to contend, the clergyman remarked that Christians should see sufferings as a spectacle of Christianity, pointing out that it was only those that persevered to the end that would be saved.
“To be a Christian is to suffer persecutions and temptations. It is the hallmark of Christianity as followers of Christ. Through the beatitudes, Christ has told us what to do and the promises attached in doing them.
“To be a saint means to be holy; God is holy; Christ is God and our supreme model. Holiness means to be good and to be far away from evil. We sometimes narrow saints to those who have been canonised by the church alone, but it is not only them. You too can become a saint once you live a holy life.
“To be Christian means to be destined to be holy, to be perfect as God our Father. Just as Christ went about doing good, do same, go about doing good and you will be a saint in the end. It is possible because there is no impossibility in Christianity”, he stated.
Delivering a lecture on ‘Hypertension’, a Consultant Physician and Cardiologist, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Prof. Mrs. Gladys Ifesinachi Ahaneku, said that high blood pressure was one of the medical conditions felt to be prevalent among blacks in the past, noting that it was a wrong assumption.
Mrs. Ahaneku, who decried that people usually attribute such condition to too much thinking, stressed that the true cause of hypertension is not known the world over, even as she pointed out that age, gender, menopause, family history, high salt intake, among others, could increase the risk factors associated with hypertension.
Her words, “The older you become, the more likely that you will develop hypertension; The condition is much more common in males and by the time a woman passes reproductive stage or enters menopause, the chances of her having it narrows to that of man and that it why it is somehow estimated that female hormones is more protective.
“Again, someone whose family members have it, is more likely to have it than people who does not have the family history. People who eat salt have a greater chance because salt is not healthy, so also with people who are fat as well as those who do not exercise. It is possible that stress can be added to the list of the factors associated with hypertension”.
According to the renowned cardiologist, once someone is hypertensive, he should go for check up; lack of which affects some target organs like the eyes, brain, heart, kidney, the blood vessels, remarking, however, that someone can have high blood pressure and be oblivious of some of the complications until it struck them down.
Describing hypertension as a silent killer, Ahaneku, who is also the current Head of Department of Internal Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra state said lack of proper care by patients could lead to complications as stroke, heart failure and other major diseases.
Asked about the best treatment for high blood pressure, she said, “The patients have to be on drugs and keep going for check ups, this is why once someone comes to the hospital, their blood pressure is checked. Patients should not rely only on edibles such as garbage, garlic, for treatment. There are so many good drugs for managing it, which can only be administered after the doctor had examined the patient”.
She advised that people ensure they go for hypertensive check up every three months, emphasising the importance of monitoring one’s high blood pressure especially when they approached between 35 to 40 years.
On the significant of All Saints Commemoration by the church, she added, “As Roman Catholics, we believe in communion of saints, who have died in Christ and we hope they intercede for us. It is a day for us to reflect on our lives and prepare ourselves so that one day we will be there with them”.
Speaking on the side-lines of the event, a lecturer at UNIZIK, Awka, Rev. Fr. Dr. Chika Okpalike, said the solemnity in the church was a celebration of hope, noting that the church is in three parts, the church triumphant, the church militant and the church suffering.
“It is the celebration of the whole church; those who have gone past and have triumphed through; those who are still struggling and those who have struggled, gone past but have not yet triumphed, they are suffering, hoping that one day everything shall culminate in heaven”.
Okpalike, who is also the Special Adviser on Academics to UNIZIK Vice Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku, charged all to live out the faith they profess, remarking that Christians should not be nominal but should be Christians in faith and practice.
Reacting to the allegations that the celebration of all saints by Catholics was a form of idolatry, the clergyman said, “The church does not worship any other thing except God himself, every other thing is allied to the worship of God.
“As a matter of fact, the essence of religion is the communion between the living and dead. Religion is not an empty prayer, singing or a psychological feeling, but a reality that brings together two independent worlds, two worlds of different essences, that is of the living and of the dead. What the church does is the symbolisation of this communion in so many ways for which all saints day celebration is one of them.
“If we are struggling as christians and religious people in this world without having the hope that one day we shall transform into spirit, then, it makes no sense and if there are people who have died and have transformed into spirits, and have become what we are aspiring to be, so, celebrating them makes a lot of sense but not worshiping them.
“Again, whatever language we speak of God is an anthropomorphic, there is no human language and human expression that says exactly what God is or how he operates. So, why condemn the church? If you take God totally in his dimension, that is away from humanity, you will see that our human language cannot describe God, neither can our human activities serve God adequately. So, it is in this anthropomorphic expression that we are saying that there are people who have triumphed through that need be celebrated”.
Also speaking, the Chaplain, St. Joseph The Worker Catholic Chaplaincy, UNIZIK, Awka, Rev. Fr. Remigius Ezeokonkwo, described the celebration as wonderful, saying that “it also remind us that we can be saints if we live our life well. Every Christian is encouraged today to move on with their spiritual journey to attain heaven”.
Fr. Ezeokonkwo, who said those criticising the celebrations lacked the knowledge of Christian theology, added that there were great relationship among the three parts of the church, namely, the church triumphant, the militant church and the suffering church.