Posted by News Express | 5 August 2016 | 3,455 times
There is palpable celebration in the Catholic Church of Nigeria over the election of Dr. Dan Anaebo Okekenta, from Enugu-Agidi in Anambra State, as an Executive Director of the Supreme Board of the respected Catholic body, the Knights of St. John International (KSJI).
At the convention and election that took place in the city of Buffalo, upstate New York, USA, July ending, Okekenta, a rising star of the Catholic Church in Nigeria, was also re-elected a Second Vice-President of the noble world body, which has existed since the tenth century AD. He also holds the rank of Lt. General in KSJI, which is a military, social and religious Order.
In a press statement, Sir Tony Eluemunor, who holds the rank of Captain in the Order and is a KSJI Media Aide to Lt. General Okekenta, said that while Nigerian delegates rejoiced for the honour, which Okekenta, who was elected unopposed, did to Nigeria, they also bemoaned the fact that the 2016 Convention was to have held in Nigeria, instead of the USA. KSJI international had proposed years ago to hold its convention in Nigeria, but the insecurity in the land prevented it. Nigeria’s loss became USA’s gain as 18 thousand KSJI delegates convened in Buffalo for a week, instead of Abuja, and injected money into the local economy through hotel accommodation, restaurant, transportation and shopping expenditures.
Welcoming the Knights to the 80th International Convention, the Governor of the State of New York, Mr. Andrew M. Cuomo, said that since the Order was incorporated in the state in 1886, it has been “known for outstanding charitable efforts and civic involvement that have both local and far-reaching impacts”. He charged them to “advance their shared history of furthering the ideals of the Roman Catholic faith – the ideals of charity, hope and fraternity – and to look ahead to all that you will continue to do for your communities.”
Also, the Bishop of Buffalo Diocese, Most Reverend Richard J. Malone, thanked the Order and the Ladies Auxiliary, for their “on-going generosity and dedication; your support for the Church truly upholds the principles for which you stand, promoting charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism”.
The Theme of the Conference, “Never Give Up on God’s Mercy” reflected the Catholic Church’s declaration of 2016 as the “Year of Mercy.”
Okekenta thanked God for the honour the election brought to the Catholic Church and Nigeria and prayed that God will give him the grace to meet the Order’s high expectations. He said the election is a further call to the service of humanity, the Church and God.
The Order of the Knights of St. John International carries out numerous charity and humanitarian services globally. In Nigeria the Order has been aiding prisoners, the sick and the elderly, victims of terrorist attacks, especially the displaced persons in camps and the generally less privileged; providing food, clothing, medicaments, money, etc.
•Photo shows Dr. Dan Anaebo Okekenta.
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