The Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Bishop Calistus Onaga has declared that it is a rare privilege to build a church for God.
Bishop Onaga said this in Enugu while dedicating a multi-million naira, 5000 seater St Anthony Catholic Church, Obe, built by Engr Emeka Ngene, a renowned philanthropist in the State.
Represented by Bishop Ernest Obodo, the Auxiliary Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Onaga said the church ranked as the best in the entire diocese.
“The temple of God is you. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit. The church is not the building, it is you. The church is where they cook the Word of God like food. The church is a meeting place between God and man.
“It is a rare privilege to build a church. God denied David the opportunity to build a temple for him and gave it to Solomon to build it instead. That is, it is not man that builds the church for God, God himself builds his church. This house is an expression for how big Engr Emeka Ngene’s love for God is,” he said.
Speaking in an interview after the dedication, Ngene said that although he had spent his pension in building the church, he was happy that he had invested in eternity.
“I said I will build for eternity and that is what I have done. It is not because I’m the richest person but I’ve thrown my pension into it and today, I can tell you that I have no regrets.
“So, I said instead of keeping this money let me invest it the way I did. It is an investment, not for me but for generations to come. So this is what I can tell you about how this place came to be. I am glad you are here today to witness it because today is one of happiest days of my life,” he stated.
Speaking on how to maintain the massive infrastructure, Engr Ngene said that, “I am going to create a foundation to be known as St Anthony Catholic Church Foundation.
“This foundation will see to the maintainance of the church. The foundation will see to the development of our youth and the foundation will make sure that we promote culture.”
Also in an interview, the parish priest, St Anthony Catholic Church, Obe, Very Rev. Dr. Godfrey Oleri said he was fulfilled seeing the church building dedicated after a long stressful process.
“I am fulfilled. It has been a long walk with long stress. We are happy to achieve this today. The maintenance is going to be a huge work but we will make effort to see that the place is kept clean and maintained.
“The person who sponsored the building fully, Chief Ngene and the person who built the chairs have done very well. We did not have time to start saying a lot of things inside the church but they have done the work and it is now our duty to maintain the church. It is enormous but it is beautiful,” he said.