It was tears all over for some worshippers in Imo State as the newly created cardinal, His Eminence, Peter Okpaleke conducted his first Mass at the Government House Chapel, Owerri upon return from Rome.
Recall that the Ahiara diocese in Imo State rejected Okpaleke as the Bishop of the area because he was not an indigene of the area – a development that was viewed by many as anti- catholicism.
Okpaleke was later made the bishop of Ekwulobia before his recent elevation by the Papacy to a cardinal.
The Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma welcoming His Eminence Cardinal Okpalaeke thanked him for his visit.
“God does not make mistake, at a critical time like this in Imo State, He gave us our own as Cardinal” Uzodimma stated.
Addressing the massive crowd of worshippers, His Eminence Peter Okpaleke commended Governor Uzodimma and the people of Imo State for hosting him.
The Cardinal recounted his nomination and reaction to his call for the service of the Body of Christ.
He enjoined the people of Imo State to open up their hearts for the Spirit of God to resolve all conflicts.
His Eminence Peter Okpaleke is the one of the 16 out of 20 cardinals created by Pope Francis, Cardinal Okpaleke will be standing in for the next conclave where a new pope will emerge.
At the Service with the Governor were his wife, H.E. Barr. Chioma Uzodimma, the Deputy Governor, H.E.
Professor Placid Njoku and his wife, H.E. Dr. Bola Njoku and a host of Government officials and dignitaries.