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The peace bequeathed to humanity by Christ has been described as an everlasting inheritance that guarantees everlasting joy and love in heaven at the end of our sojourn on earth. This observation was made by the Director of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) Rev. Fr. Chris Anyanwu, while preaching the homily at the Thanksgiving Mass to mark the 54th birthday of anniversary of Honourable Chibuike Rotimi Ameachi, the former Governor of Rivers State.  

The ceremony which was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life, family members and friends of the celebrant took place at the St Gabriel Chaplaincy, Durumi, Abuja, recently. Using the Gospel reading of the day to buttress his point, FR Anyanwu told the congregation that: “In today’s Gospel, we are reminded that whatever we do must be propelled by the love of God.”

Fr. Anyanwu who is also the Deputy Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria further stated that Jesus says in the Gospel that: “If you love me, you will obey what I command”; adding: “What that means is that God unites us to himself in a bond of love and peace”.  He stressed that Jesus, again in the Gospel gave an insight into the true nature of peace.

The homilist quoting one of the early bishops of the Church named Caesarius of Arles (470 542 AD) declared: “Peace indeed is serenity of mind, tranquility of soul, simplicity of heart, the bond of true love, the fellowship of Charity. It removes hatred, settles war, restrains wrath, tramples on pride, loves the humble, pacifies the discordant and makes enemies agree.”  He added: “Jesus has truly left his peace to us as an inheritance when he says ‘today My peace I give you, my peace  I leave with you”>

Using the readings of the day to draw an inference on the life of the celebrant, Fr. Anyanwu described Honourable Rotimi Amaechi as a child of grace and destiny; pointing out that at the age of 54, he attained the heights of his political career and is celebrated as a noble father and role model to many.

He added: “One of the things that have endeared many people to Amaechi is his boldness and honesty”, describing these and other noble humble traits of the celebrant as an uncommon spiritual gifts. The homilist however added that the feats the celebrant has attained did not come on a platter of gold as he has experienced many challenges in life. Outlining the invaluable contributions of the celebrant to many people and the society in general, especially the less privileged, poor and needy; Fr. Anyanwu emphasized that the essence of good life is to glorify God for the common good of all, especially the needy.

In his remarks, at the end of the celebration of the Mass, Honourable Amaechi expressed his gratitude to the people, especially the faithful of St Gabriel Chaplaincy who have graced the occasion. He went down memory lane about his life noting that he was not born with silver spoon, gave gratitude to God for what he has achieved in life so far, and the opportunity to be at the service of humanity, especially the poor, without counting the costs.

The former Minister of Transport assured that he would not renege in his steadfastness to the Catholic faith and continue to serve humanity, especially the less privileged, and the St Gabriel Chaplaincy to the greater glory of God. The celebration of the Mass was followed by a reception in honour of the celebrant.


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