Nigeria’s most ranked Catholic Prelate, His Eminence, Cardinal Francis Arinze, has given reasons why no one in West Africa has been canonized.
He called on the Catholic Church in West Africa to commit resources and personnel toward the beautification and canonization of their departed faithful.
Cardinal Arinze, who made this call in Asaba, capital of Delta State, during the 12th Ojefua Commemoration Lecture organized by the Order of the Knights of St Mulumba, stated that it was the responsibility of any diocese, religious thinking of getting its candidate beautified to begin the campaign.
According to Cardinal Arinze, “There are many Christians whose cause of beatification and canonization could be promoted. “lt is a religious congregation which show interest, readiness to allocate personnel and funds for the promotion of the causes of their members and institutional interest”.
Commending the Knights of the Order towards the display in campaigning for the beautification of Ojefua, he lamented that not one individual had been canonized in the whole West Africa, unlike Italy where almost every corner has a saint.
In his welcome address, the Metro Grand-Knight of Benin Metropolitan Council of KSM, Sir Austin Mowah, said that Asaba remained a moot point in the evolution of the Order “ as it was at St Patrick’s College Westend that Rev Fr Anslem Ojefua nurtured the idea of a Catholic Order to counteract the nefarious activities of secret societies in the early 1950s.
While commending Worthy Supreme Knight, Sir Diamond Ovueraye, Mowah stressed that the Ojefua committee has refreshed the impetus to accelerate the pace for the process of beautifying their founding father.
Lectures in the lifetime of Fr Ojefua were given by eminent personalities as part of the process in the quest of the Church to beautify him.