By Emma Onumah
The body of a.one-time Cross Bearer in the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (CATOL) Owerri, for more than two decades, Mr. Caleb Ugwuaba, has been laid to rest in his hometown Ezi Amaulu in Mbieri, after a funeral service which was held at St. Michael’s Anglican Church, Amaulu-Mbieri last weekend.
Preaching on the topic, “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth”, a Curate from the CATOL Owerri, the Reverend Kingsley Oparanozie, charged Christians to ensure that they live in Jesus and also die in Jesus, failing which they would go to hell at death.
Rev. Oparanozie, who preached at the instance of the Cathedral Administrator and Vicar in charge, CATOL, Owerri, Venerable Dr. Akajiaku C. Chukwuocha, cited the experience of Job in the Holy Scriptures, and argued that in spite of Job’s faithfulness to God, God allowed him to pass through such unprecedented attacks in the hands of the devil, adding that when, as Christians, we are faced with hardship, sickness, or trials and tribulations in life, we should not take it that God has abandoned us, but a test for our faith in God at the time.
The cleric enjoined Christians to always recognize God as their Redeemer.
He narrated how committed the erstwhile cross bearer was in the discharge of his responsibility as a cross bearer and as a chorister in the Cathedral, and how, when his laundry business collapsed, the Cathedral Authority accommodated and took care of his needs for many years. On the directive of the Bishop, Rt. Rev. C.C. Okorocha Ph.D, he was sent back to his hometown, Ezi-Amaulu, after the Cathedral Church had erected and furnished a two-bedroom bungalow for him in the village, where he lived until his death.
Rev. Oparanozie commended the late Cross Bearer’s sister, Mrs. Comfort Duru, taking care of the deceased while he was alive.
The CATOL Choir to which he belonged, before his incapacitation, and that of St. Michael’s Anglican Church, Amaulu-Mbieri, performed at the funeral service, to grace the occasion.
The highlight of the burial ceremony was the Episcopal message/directive delivered at the graveside by Rev. Oparanozie, to the effect that, the key to the two-bedroom bungalow, built by the CATOL, be handed over to the first son of his late uncle, Mr. Joshua Anyanwu, the man that provided the piece of land on which the bungalow was built, since the deceased cross bearer neither had a wife nor children.
Responding, the first son of late Mr. Joshua Anyanwu, Mr. Chigozie Ephraim Anyanwu, expressed sadness about his uncle’s death but thanked God, and Bishop, Rt. Rev. Cyril .C. Okorocha Ph.D as well as to the entire CATOL community, for their wonderful and generous gesture to him and his siblings, and prayed God to bless and reward them immeasurably.