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Pope Francis decorates two late Deltans, 13 others with knighthood



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From Paul Osuyi, Asaba

Pope Francis on Saturday at St Paul Cathedral Catholic Diocese of Issele-Uku in Delta State performed the investiture of 15 Deltans who he recently honoured with prestigious Papal Knights and Dames of St Gregory and St Sylvester.

Two of the honourees including late Benedict Odiromiwe Chukwuma and late Elizabeth Iwebunankiti Okwuadi were decorated posthumously.

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Others are Patrick Ikemefuna, Okechukwu Ofili, Epiphany Azinge, SAN, John U T Okolo, Joseph Emuezie, Henrienta Odume, Rosaline Bozimo, Henrienta Ajuebon, Caroline Sotunde Patience Elumeze, Carol Enuha, Justina Nwaobi, NES and Suzanna Nwabude.

Performing the ceremony on behalf of the Pontiff, Bishop of Issele-Uku, Most Rev (Dr) Michael Elue, recalled that the honour of the 15 Deltans came on the heels of the Papal Honour of Papal Chamberlins or Monsignori to five priests in the diocese.

Elue, in his homily during the special mass, said the awardees were being decorated for their contributions to the growth of the church and evangelism, adding that it was a mark of greater demand.

“My dear recipients of this Papal Honours, the honour being conferred on you today is not just for your past dedication to God but a mark of greater demands from you for greater heights of holiness,” he said.

Quoting copiously from the Bible books of Romans 12:11, first Peter 4:10-11 and Luke 10:18-20, the Bishop reminded the awardees of “the episode of the joyful 72 disciples of Jesus who came back jubilantly to report to Jesus of the successful accomplishment of their tasks and even of the unexpected successes they achieved.”

He congratulated the honourees, even as he thanked the Pope “for whom we specifically pray at this time for his good health.”

Among the dignitaries present at the ceremony were Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Patrick Ukah, and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.

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