By Abba – Eku Onyeka
The use of Fr Tansi to unite Igbo state associations under one umbrella of Igbo Catholic Community (ICC) in most parishes in Abuja Catholic Archdiocese has been extended to St Matthew’s Catholic Parish, Karmo, also in the nation’s capital, Nigerian NewsDirect reports.
The essence of using the Blessed Tansi who is yet to be canonized a saint, as a unifying factor is because he was from Igbo extraction of the country.
To make this realisable in the parish, a parishioner gave status of Blessed Iwene Tansi to the parish. While using the Blessed as a unifying factor among Igbo people (Nd’Igbo) in the parish, she also celebrated Easter and broke fasting for the parishioners by entertaining them with variety of foods and drinks, after the mass.
The parishioner who gave the status to the parish toward bringing Ndigbo under one umbrella in the parish, as well as breaking fasts by entertaining the parishioners with assorted drinks and foods was no other person than Sis. Ifeoma Achukwu, her Personal Assistant (PA), Mrs Monica Oguzie has confirmed.
“We appreciate God and remain greatful to our own, Sis. Ifeoma who deemed it right to bring people from Igbo states together in the parish under one umbrella. She actually gave the statute to the parish, so as to stop the issue of Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi Catholic Community and their Imo/Abia/Ebonyi counterpart. She wants to use the statute to bring them together under one umbrella, so as to know where we are heading to.
“Actually, there is Fr Tansi Society. Whenever you call on Blessed Iwene Tansi, he responds instantly. You heard her testimony during the mass. Whenever she is in difficulty and calls on Fr Tansi, God usually intervenes for her. So Fr Tansi is a society you should belong to and be rest assured that you are protected.”
Calling on those who have been kicking against coming together of Nd’Igbo to have a rethink as Fr Tansi has been involved in the move, Mrs Monica Oguzie said: “Nd’Igbo are lucky to have Blessed Iwene Tansi, and by the grace of God, one day, he will be a saint and we shall be greatful to God for having him.
“In this parish, Nd’Igbo will come under one umbrella, because of the Blessed Iwene Tansi,” she said, just as he advised them to remain focused. He also urged them to remain one and shun division.
“Nd’Igbo should remember that they are one and come rain or shine, they remain Nd’Igbo and it is unchangeable,” Oguzie stated, even as she reiterated the essence of providing variety of foods and drinks by Sis Ifeoma as a way of doing Easter and breaking of fasting for the parishioners.
Recalled that in another development, the chairman of Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi Catholic Community, John Ogbonnaya Nwodi and Igbo paramount ruler in Karmo, Ochigbo John Osai, among others kicked against the move, while the chairman of the newly formed ICC, Chief Joseph Ozor and others supported it.
Hailing Sis Achukwu for the the gift, the parish priest, Rev Fr Benedict Udemba said: “This statute was brought here today by people who feel that under the patronage of Fr Tansi, that God is using them in answering their prayers and who also feel that Fe Tansi should be promoted and decided how they can bring the statute in our parish for the devotion to grow up. I want to cherish them, because they say you don’t appreciate what you have in your home. So by this act, they are actually saying that there should be serious of a saint in the making that we have.
“I am not criticizing the fact that the people have the church of their saint, like among others, St Andrew, Paul, but there is one in our land and we should be hasten up with some testimonies caused by God toward canonization of the saint.”
Confirming that the statute was brought to the parish by Sis. Ifeoma and others, he says that the statute will make them know Christ the more and that it is truly possible to be a saint. He also said that the gift would assist them in the way of encouraging their devotion to God; increasing them in spiritually to become better Christians and Catholics.
“It is not just a gift with which to decorate church, but a gift with which to focus on God, love, know,, obey and come closer to Him,” he maintains, even as he speaks at length on the need to be praying to God for direction and guidance all the time.