Catholic priests in the Awka Diocese of Anambra State led by the bishop, Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor, have celebrated this year’s new yam festival, describing culture as the identity of the people.
Also joined in the celebration were the religious and seminarians of the diocese. The event took place at St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral’s refectory.
The priests were seen in their numbers on the occasion adorning different traditional attires .
Speaking during the event, Bishop Ezeokafor expressed gratitude to God for the gift of life and also for the bountiful harvest, saying that God had actually blessed and rewarded their handiwork, adding that there was dignity in labour.
The bishop said,” We are grateful to God for this. He has shown that He loves and reward hardiwork. We are appreciative of what God has done. You cannot do without your culture.
“We hold our culture and tradition in high esteem. We place high premium on our culture. It is our identity. This is the 14-15 years I have celebrated this special season. New yam festival is what we are here to celebrate,’ he said.
Receiving and appreciating the episcopal household seminarians, the Local Ordinary charged the incoming to be of good conduct and work towards surpassing their predecessors, noting that they would be recognized and appreciated for putting in their best at the end of their stay, even as he commended the outgoing seminarians for carrying out their assignments to the best of their abilities.
In their separate speeches, the attendees, including Chancellor of the Diocese, Rev Fr Charles Ndubuisi, extolled the bishop for his fatherly love and care as well as the way and manner he had been piloting the affairs of the Diocese.
They advised the new seminarians to be useful to themselves, community, church and society at large, emphasizing that there was no short cut to success.
Speaking on behalf of the outgoing Seminarians, Dim Shalom thanked God for His mercies and blessings and for seeing them through. He applauded the bishop, priests and religious for their guidance and asked God to reward them abundantly