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By David Okpala/Stella Okpala

Akpo (Aguata LGA), Jan. 25, 2021 (MOI) Parish Priest, St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Akpo, Monsignor B C Muojekwu has enjoined Church workers to take COVID-19 preventive protocols seriously.

The cleric said this while delivering Communiqué of All Bishops, Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, on 2nd Wave of COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the World, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Akpo, Aguata Local Government Area (LGA).

According to the communiqué the 2nd wave of COVID-19 pandemic is more infectious and deadly.

“Many have fallen to this pandemic; a situation that calls for vigilance. We have suspended handshakes and hugging during signs of peace at Masses; Catechism classes have also been suspended till further notice.

“Holy Communion will henceforth be received by hand and no Church Mass shall exceed an hour 40 minutes.

“Number of Masses in a Church should be increased to accommodate social distancing. Putting on face masks to Church is mandatory henceforth.’’

Muojekwu warned that nobody should doubt the existence of COVID-19 pandemic as known persons have died of the virus.

According to Muojekwu, Bishops have not come together to discuss this pandemic so as to punish the Church but to make the Church live to tell the story.

“Lockdown was not pleasant when it was first announced; we need not to force the government to lock us down again.

“Let us on our own observe these protocols to save our lives and those of our loved ones.’’

“I will not personally want to send you away from the Church for failing to put on face masks yet, but you will no longer worship with us without a face masks.’’

He told the congregation to sit two by two on seats in each row.

“I have directed Catechists and other Church workers to ensure that hand sanitisers, soaps and water in running buckets are made available at every entrance of the Church.

“Willingly use them before entering the Church. We shall return to normalcy as soon as the pandemic subsides. God is our strength.’’

The Church announced changes in the Holy Mass Celebration time table from 6am and 9am on Sundays to 5.30am, 7.30am and 9.30am Masses.

Earlier in a homily, Rev. Fr. Paul Onyebuchi, a visiting Priest urged Christians not to allow hustle and bustle of life to take away their time of telling children the word of God.

“We cannot claim to know God without knowing the word of God. God reveals himself in his words which we need to study every day.

“This is the reason why the Universal Church chose the third Sunday in ordinary time of the Church Calendar as Sunday of Word of God.

“So, if you have not been sharing the word of God with your family, start it today; ask God for the grace of understanding.

“Meditate in the word of God. Allow it to rule your mind, your family members and we will have a better Church and a better society.’’

He enjoined Christians who have no Bible to get one and start reading and meditating. (MOI)

HM/3C/TON

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