On the occasion of the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the canonical erection of the Catholic Diocese of Uromi in April 2016, the Bishop of the Diocese, Most Rev. Dr Donatus Ogun, O.S.A. communicated his dreams for the Diocese, what the Church entrusted to his pastoral care sought to achieve in the years ahead to foster the work of evangelization in Esan land. One of such dreams is the establishment of a home for the care of the Elderly and Vulnerable Persons. Thanks to the providence of the Almighty God, the belief of the Clergy, Consecrated persons and the faithful of the Diocese, as well as the generosity of the illustrious Sons and Daughters of Esan Land and some Church institutions within the diocese, this dream has become reality.
The official opening of this home, Uwa non si Itohan bi Ofure (Home of Mercy and Peace), located at Taxona Area, Egbele Uromi, took place on Saturday, 1st July, 2017. The opening ceremony which was done by the Bishop of the Diocese began with the cutting of the tape and the blessing of the home immediately after which the holy Mass was celebrated in the home.
Among the Benefactors of the project are: Chief Leemon Ikpea, St Anthony Cathedral, Uromi, and Lumen Christi International High School, Uromi. Gratitude was duly offered to them by His Lordship and also to the representatives of Parishes, organizations and lay Apostolate groups for their presence at the official opening of the home.
At the end of the Mass the ceremony continued with a reception which had Barr. Matthew Egbadon as Chairman. In his remarks, he expressed his delight to be part of this history making event. On the new home and the purpose it is to serve, he noted that to shelter the homeless and care for the elderly and vulnerable persons is a core human and Christian value and responsibility.
The reception featured a lecture on Long Term Care Realities: The Need For Alternative Support System. It was delivered by Prof. Julius Okojie. In his lecture, Prof. okojie recalled the roles of the Catholic Mission in the development of Esan land through Churches, Schools and Hospitals. He also noted the shift in paradigm in the care of the elderly who in years past were adequately cared for in the home by their children and grandchildren. The necessary relocation of family members to Urban centres leads to a situation in which the elderly are left in the rural areas where they are not afforded the possibility of enjoying the care and support that were available for them in years past. This situation makes the need for alternative support System an imperative in our quest to care for the elderly.
Sr Victoria Orunfunmise, SSL, the Co-ordinator of Uwa non si Itohan bi Ofure, in her remark, placed emphasis on who and what the Elderly are to us. They are our “wisdom
figures, our teachers, story tellers, the memory of the community and of the society.” She noted that 1st October is observed all over the world as World Day for Elderly People. Towards the end of the ceremony, the commemorative plaque for the official opening of the Uwa non si Itohan bi Ofure was unveiled. Guests at the occasion were adequately entertained at the ceremony.
By Staff Reporter