MESSAGE OF THE SECOND ONITSHA ARCHDIOCESAN SYNOD
- It is with great joy that we give thanks to God for the successful completion of the Second Synod in the Archdiocese of Onitsha. The entire synodal experience was marked with profound serenity and the deliberations made manifest a constantly growing and hope-filled ecclesial family.
Convocation of the Synod
- This second Archdiocesan Synod was convoked by the Archbishop, Most Rev. Valerian M. Okeke with this pastoral solicitude: ten years of intensive evangelization in the Archdiocese demands re-evaluation and renewal therefore, a second Synod became a necessity.
Theme of the Synod
- The theme of the first Synod was “Evangelization in Onitsha Archdiocese Today”. The second Synod was on the same general theme of evangelization but with a difference. The focus, this time, was on New Evangelization, a theme that became one of the greatest contributions of St. John Paul II to the life and mission of the Church. The theme is thus formulated: “New Evangelization in Onitsha Archdiocese: Renewal and Commitment”. The newness is tripartite: new ardour, new method and new expression. Since new evangelization has continuously been carried out in the Archdiocese, this second Synod focused on its renewal and on ensuring enduring commitment.
Celebration of the Synod
- The Synod was inaugurated with Holy Mass on Sunday, 22nd May 2016, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The celebration was held on the Centenary Field of the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha. The mass was presided over by the Archbishop Most Rev. Valerian M. Okeke with five other Bishops present including: Most Rev. Michael Okoro, the Bishop of Abakaliki; Most Rev. John Okoye, the Bishop of Awgu; Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, the Bishop of Enugu; Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, Auxiliary Bishop of Awka and Most Rev. Denis Isizoh, the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha. A huge number of priests concelebrated the Holy Mass. Consecrated religious men and women and the lay faithful also attended in large numbers.
- In his homily, the Archbishop highlighted the importance of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity especially in relation to Christian life and mission. He then explained the meaning of Synod, what is involved and the import of the theme for this second Archdiocesan Synod.
- At the end of the Mass, three important messages were given: the first was from the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Anambra State, Senior Apostle Uche Okpala. It was followed by the message from the Traditional Ruler of Onitsha, His Royal Majesty, Obi Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe. The third came from the Executive Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano. The Archbishop then made a formal declaration of the opening of the Synod.