Here Sr Chioma Ezeh tells us about the recent celebrations in Okpara Inland where they joined two church feasts together:
“The 22nd day of November 2015 was indeed a joyful, prayerful and remarkable day here in Okpara Inland, Delta State. It was a day the entire Okpara Catholic Community came out in their numbers to celebrate Christ as our Universal King.
The Catholic tradition in the Nigerian Liturgical Calendar celebrates the Solemnity of Christ the King in conjunction with Corpus Christi which usually comes up in June according to the Universal Ecclesiastical Calendar.
Here in Nigeria, we usually mark the Corpus Christi in a low tune without the procession due to our rainy season weather in June. It was my first experience of the feast here in Okpara Inland since I came this year to live and work in here.
Despite the fact that the weather was very hot, the people of God walked and processed in groups from very far distances. There was jubilation and songs by different arms and pious societies of the Church. It was also the parish feast day but it was celebrated a day before in order to free the Sunday for the procession proper.
The feast was graced by the pastoral presence of our Congregational Leader, Sr Mary Christian who visited our community during that weekend. Her presence during the procession was a source of motivation and encouragement for all of us. Some people made comments like; ‘’See Oyibo Sister from abroad processing under this hot weather, how much more we, the Nigerians that are used to heat.’’ So, for me, Sr Mary Christian’s involvement during the procession formed as an energizer to everyone. The Parish Priest carried the Blessed Sacrament in the Monstrance all the way. Moreover, the flower girls are many and they sang all through the procession.”