t was a day that will linger on for a
long time in the memories of St Rita
parishioners especially couples that
attended the programme.
The day was Sunday, February 23, the
venue was Rita’s Event Centre at Char-
ityroad, Abule Egba, Agege. The pro-
gramme was tagged ‘Love Feast Day’ and
was meant for couples to put every prob-
lem, worries aside, come to the hall and
enjoy themselves unhindered.
The atmosphere at the well furnished
expansive hall was serene and tastefully
decorated with different colours as if it
was a wedding day. Some of the couples
that were still nursing children had ear-
lier been told to find places to put their
babies to avoid distractions.
Some of the couples, not minding their
ages and length of years in marriage held
one another’s hands bringing back the
memories of their wedding days alive.
It was fun, laughter, dancing and ex-
change of kisses and pecks.
Events that made the day memorable
were couples’ games, know your spouse,
couples dance, gift for the best dressed
couple and an award to Mr and Mrs C.
O Idehen who are 50 years old in marital
The Parish Priest of St Rita Catholic
Church, Obadeyi, Agege, Lagos, Rev. Fr.
Philip Uchendu, urged the couples to
“appreciate the gift of love. “
Fr. Uchendu, who was dressed in black
suit with a red bow tie to match, said
“love is to strenghten the power of your
togetherness and you have the obligation
to carry out the rules guarding marriage.”
He described the ceremony as “Chris-
tian gathering” to celebrate God’s love.
Fr Uchendu, who pitched his tent
among the widows at the event and also
served them with food, decried what he
called “some horrible things happening
in the families” saying such situations
were not God’s plan for familities when
God instituted the sacrament of matri-
“Let’s be exemplary to upcoming fam-
ilies; let’s learn to uphold family virtues.
Love is to strengthen your bond of mar-
riage and not to separate you. You must
understand each other and learn to for-
give each other.”
Rev Fr Ashibi Bonaventure of the Abeo-
kuta diocese, in a paper entitled “Commu-
nication in marriage”, described marriage
as an institution that is very important in
the life of the church.
He said, “Marriage is a vocation and not
a function of age, financial strength or ed-
ucational advancement. It is something
spiritual, no human manipulation can
undermine the essence of marriage. It is
a calling and you are supposed to be sanc-
tified by the sacrament and lead you to
heaven. Once you contract it, it becomes
the business of God since you wed your-
self in the presence of God. He enumer-
ated what he termed the six principles
that guide marriage to include choosing
a partner and face the consequences of
fidelity and sex, equality of both sexes in
the sight of God, holiness by being faith-
ful to the vow.
Mrs Justina Imogirie, a marriage coun-
sellor at St Cyprian’s Catholic Church,
while delivering a paper on “Sexuality
in Catholic marriage”, explained that
“the Church teaches that sexual inti-
macy should be restricted in marriage.
“According to her, only those blessed in
marriage can multiply and be fruitful in
Quoting from the Bible, Catechism
and the Canon law of the church, the
lecturer said notwithstanding excuses
raised by both sexes for involving in
infidelity, “marriage is honourable” and
warned against defying the institution.
“Infidelity,” she said has no advan-
tage, it is sinful.”
Announcing Baba and Mama Idehen
as the ‘couples of the year’, Fr Uchendu
described the two love birds as com-
mitted to their marital vows.
“Baba loves his wife so much that he
can’t do without her. They always sit
together and do things together. Their
way of life should encourage upcom-