Archbishop visits campus
THE FIRST PASTORAL VISIT OF HIS GRACE, MOST REV. (DR.) JOSEPH EDRA UKPO, METROPOLITAN ARCHBISHOP OF CALABAR TO ST. PAUL’S CATHOLIC CHURCH UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR, CALABAR. FOURTH SIX CANDIDATES RECEIVED THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION, UCHEGBU STANLEY (300 – LEVEL OF ACCOUNTING STUDENT) REPORTS.
The members of St. Paul’s Parish, University of Calabar, Calabar comprising the Parish Priest Rev. Francis Obong, the Assistant Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Julius Adah, Academic and Administrative Staffs, Students, parents and guardians, children, benefactor and benefactresses, were very much excited and delighted to welcome His Grace, Most Rev. (Dr.) Joseph Edra Ukpo, the metropolitan archbishop of Calabar to their parish. The pastoral visit marks the end of Easter Sunday. Many parishioners, especially the students see the pastoral visit as a lifetime opportunity to know their Archbishop. Many of the students who worship there for four years and more without setting their eyes on their Archbishop , for such students, the visit offers them a rare opportunity to knew him and perhaps interact with him while raising issues about their spiritual lives. For adults’ parishioners, both those who knew him and those who did not, it is also an event which they will cherish for a long time. The mass procession comprises the thurifer (cross bearer), the choir (who are actively on ground) knights of the church, lay readers, Mass servers, priests and the Archbishops.
The pastoral council presented a welcome address to His Grace. In the address a brief history of St. Paul was read. It reads that St. Paul Parish started as a chaplaincy with members worshipping in the old University assembly hall which has been reconstructed as the University Senate Building. Due to the incessant increase in population of students and staffs, the number of worshippers could no longer be accommodated in the Assembly Hall. The University therefore, approved the Chinua Achebe theatre Art for worship. On Sundays, parishioners of St. Paul worshipped there up to 9.00 am and thereafter the members of Chapel of Redemption (also in Unical) took over. Moreover, the Theatre Art did not convey that serenity and spiritual ambiance which characterize the Catholic Church. As a result; Architect Maurice Archibong and Mr. Mike Archibong built a small church for chaplaincy in the site allocated to St. Paul’s Parish and members left the theatre art and move to the church.
The members of Pastoral Council on behalf of parishioners sincerely welcomed him to their parish and wished him an eventful and memorial visit.
The Holy Mass was celebrated by His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Ukpo. The first reading of the day was taken from Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11 while the second is from St. Paul to the Corinthians 12:3-7. 12-13 and lastly the gospel from John 20:19-13 and the congregation expressed its response to the word with Ps 104 which tallies with the purpose of the celebration. The Archbishop in his homily, described the Pentecost Sunday as the Sunday celebrated every 50th day to mark the end of Easter Sunday, the day the Holy Spirit of God descended on the twelve apostles and they began to speak different languages. Christ gave himself to us but now he gave us the Holy Spirit in a symbolic way. He equally described the sacrament of confirmation as the process of receiving the Holy Spirit and putting it into practice. As Christ send me, so shall I send you, received the Holy Spirit.
Following exhortation by the Archbishop, Fourth –Six candidates received the sacrament of confirmation which they were sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The event was followed by Cathedraticum where varies items including some stipends were presented to His Grace by the parishioners. There were also some difference performances like culture dances, from the children of St. Paul, and a brief drama from the theatre Art Catholica, he equally had a group photographs with executive members of the church and lastly a brief meeting was held which his Grace presided over with some stakeholders of the church.