The 2012 Fathers’ Week, just celebrated in theCathedralChurchof the Transfiguration of Our Lord (CATOL) Owerri, has ended with a call on Fathers in the Cathedral and beyond, to be alive to their divine responsibilities in their respective homes,
Preaching on the theme for the week-long celebration – “Each Father, a Pastor in his home”, the Diocesan Administrative Secretary and Vicar in-charge, St. Monica’s Parish, Woliwo, Qnitsha, Diocese on the Niger, Venerable Ikechukwu Igwebueze Ihemtuge posited that, God created man in His own image, not only to be priests in their homes but also to act as “Army Generals and Directors”, who should always be around to tackle squarely the domestic responsibilities at their homes each time such a problem crops up in the family.
Ihemtuge enumerated several requirements and attributes needed to pastor a home which, according to him, include prayerful life, wisdom of God, understanding, knowledge, forgiving attitude towards the family members among others,
The Anglican clergyman who distinguished between a house and a home, warned against a situation where wives try to face the challenges and realities of life in the family, while their husbands rather spend their time snoring and/or enjoying themselves, most times, outside their homes and emphasized the need for fathers to learn to pray, teach their family members, and to lead in physical and spiritual matters concerning them.
He argued that, it is only when fathers are able to perform the foregoing duties that they can justify their creation in the image of God, and also be described as pastors in their respective homes.
In their separate submissions in the seminars that formed part of the activities for the Fathers’ Week in the Cathedral, the Archdeacon in-charge, New Owerri Archdeaconry, Venerable (Engr) Obioma Okere, Lady Barr Nkiru Okafor, Prof (Sir) Godfrey Nwandikom, and Dr (Lady) Maruwa Onuzo, charged fathers to ensure that they are representatives of Christ in their various homes.
While Barrister Lady Nkiru Okafor, an Owerri-based legal practitioner and Bible Study Facilitator in the Cathedral, described fathers as veritable sources, nourishers, sustainers, founders, and protectors at homes, Venerable Okere who is also the Director for Evangelism, Diocese of Owerri advised fathers to try and know their children inside out, as they too know them (fathers), adding that a father’s presence at home should be able to give his children a sense of security and establish unconditional love for them.
Speaking also on the same theme, a Professor of Agricultural Engineering with Federal University of Technology, Owerri, and also the Secretary of the Anglican Christian Fathers Fellowship, Diocese of Owerri, Sir Godfrey Iheanyichukwu Nwandikom counseled Fathers to always be encouraged in the Lord, so as to have the grace of God to face their ever-increasing challenges at home.
He disclosed that the Anglican Christian Fathers Fellowship (ACFF), Owerri was set up to be a forum where fathers will interact with one another and exchange views for the purpose of proffering solutions to common problems that occur at homes, with a view to exhibiting a life style that is based on Christ at all times.
In her own talk on the issue, the Medical Director of Life Spring Hospital, Ikenegbu Layout, Owerri and a Lady of Saint Christopher, Owerri Council, Dr Maruwa Onuzo, among other things, asked fathers to prepare the members of their respective families for the second coming of Christ, and to see their wives as God-given help mates, and not to see them as maids in the home.
Unfortunately, she observed, many fathers have abandoned their (God-given roles at home to their wives, and warned that at the appropriate time, such derailing fathers shall have questions to answer before God, if they do not have a re-think and a change of heart in their attitude.
At the commencement of the week’s activities, the Cathedral Administrator had congratulated all fathers and all those who are actually playing the role of fathers in their homes.
While asking fathers to endeavour to pray with their families everyday, he noted that the shepherding of a family is not a responsibility that is easy to handle, but said that it needs the grace of God to cope.
In a vote of thanks, the Chairman of the 2012 Fathers’ Week Planning Team, Sir (Barr) Abed Anyadike, on behalf of the Committee thanked the Cathedral Administrator for giving them the opportunity to serve and also expressed gratitude to the CATOL congregation for their wonderful support and encouragement which, according to him, has made this year’s celebration a huge success.
The Week’s events featured a playlet by the CATOL AYF, visitation to the aged, infirmed, and sick members of the Church, seminars and talks, know-your-partners, march-past, thanksgiving, and cutting of special cake, to mark the end of the celebration, for which Chief (Sir) E.C. Iwuanyanwu led the grandfathers in the Cathedral, while Sir Harrison Egwuagu led fathers to perform the cutting of the father’s cake ceremony.