By Ihechinyere Chigemeri-Uwom
Umuahia, June 21, 2022
The newly appointed Catholic Archbishop of Owerri Province, Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji, Tuesday celebrated his last mass as the Bishop of Umuahia Catholic Diocese.
Ugorji, who was ordained the Bishop of Umuahia Diocese on July 1, 1990, was elevated to the position of Archbishop of Owerri Province on March 6.
In a homily at the mass, he admonished Christians to abide by the tenets of the Golden Rule in their relationship with others.
He underscored the need for Nigerians to be mindful about how they treat their fellow human beings.
He said: “If you want to be treated with dignity, treat others with dignity.
“If you demand justice, extend justice to others.
“If you want to be fairly treated, treat others with fairness. This is the golden tenet of the Bible.”
Ugorji, who went down memory lane during the mass at Mater Dei Cathedral, Umuahia, recalled his appointment as Bishop on April 2, 1990, following the retirement of late Bishop Anthony Nwedo.
He expressed profound gratitude to the clergy and laity in the diocese for their immeasurable support and cooperation to him for the more than three decades of his apostolic assignment.
He specifically thanked the Senate Chief Whip and former Abia governor, Sen. Orji Kalu, and a host of others, dead and alive, for their immense support to him during the construction of the gigantic Mater Dei Cathedral.
The cleric also recalled his achievements as the Abia Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria for 12 years.
According to him, the period of his chairmanship of CAN witnessed enhanced ecumenical relationship among the various church denominations in the state.
Ugorji, who doubles as the President, Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, said: “The Church is one. We do not believe in this Yahoo Yahoo-preaching ministries.
“The Catholic Church does not tolerate it.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the highpoint of the mass was the formal “Sealing of the Bishop’s Seat”.
He was later treated to a colourful farewell ceremony, which was attended by a cross-section of retired and serving priests as well as Catholic faithful within and outside the diocese.
The ceremony was also attended by Dep. Gov. Ude Oko-Chukwu, and Kalu, represented by his younger brother, Mascot, who was Chief of Staff to former Gov. Theodore Orji.
Also in attendance was the Archbishop of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Umuahia Archdiocese, Most Rev. Chibuzo Opoko.
Ugorji is expected to formally assume his new apostolic assignment at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri with a special mass on Thursday.