In a bid to ease the effect of the lockdown, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Catholic Diocese of Ikot Ekpene, through her Diocesan Laity Council recently provided food items to indigent faithful residing within all parishes. The Bishop, Most Rev. Camillus R. Umoh, while addressing the Laity Council representatives from parishes, maintained that the gesture was borne out of deep concern for the conditions of the less privileged during the period of lockdown.
The Chief Shepherd said, “I have the privilege of going round the parishes in this Diocese, including the out-stations. Honestly, I can tell you that I have seen many things and pitiable conditions which people are facing. There are indeed people who are suffering and struggling with poverty. And so, at a time like this, my heart goes straight to such people. That’s why we came up with this initiative, to reach out to the very poor among us.” Bishop Umoh expressed profound gratitude to the entire laity for showing steadfastness, capacity and unreserved support in this trying moment, adding, “With this kind of disposition, I am more resolute to make greater sacrifices and work even harder for your good.”
He equally thanked the individuals who helped in donating items for distribution. “I really wish to thank those who are always there for us, and have helped to make this possible. Like I have always said, it is not as if these donors are too rich, but they do so from a heart of charity. I sincerely thank my priests too, especially those of them who are supporting their brother priests in times like this. I’m indeed proud of them,” he said. The bishop however, enjoined his flock to remain law abiding as the lockdown persists: “Let me also use this opportunity to urge you all, especially the youths to adhere to orders put in place by the government. Endeavour to wear your nose mask whenever you’re going out, observe the hygiene measures and maintain the social distancing principle.
No one knows how long this pandemic would last but we must keep hope alive and be our brothers’ keeper always.” “In spite of the fact that the church is still shut at the moment, I want to assure you that I, your bishop and all the priests are saying daily Masses on your behalf. With this, I am confident that you shall remain safe. We shall come out together and re-converge as a worshipping community when this pandemic is over.” Items distributed to the 52 parishes were several bags of rice, beans, cartons of noodles and condiments as well as packets of nose mask.