New York @ Angela Merici Catholic Church
Na Aha Nna, Na Nwa, Na Muo Nso. Amen.
Welcome to Igbo Catholic Community
4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER
(GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY_BONUS PASTOR)
The allegory of the good shepherd is very significant and convenient because most households have sheep in their homes in the Jewish Culture. The people can easily identify with the story as they look inwardly and in their respective homes and think of "shepherding". Probably, the Fulani cattle rearers in Nigeria might help to drive the message home for us. We have read and witnessed over the years the fights that ensued between these nomads and their host communities. Much human blood has been shed in the bid to continue cattle grazing in farmlands. This is an action gone too far and too wide, but the message is that these Fulanis are ready to do anything to protect their cattle. In a more Christian and positive way, Christ passionately looks after His sheep and bandages their wounds and goes after the strayed. He lays down His life for them and feeds them well. "The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep that sees the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty" Abraham Lincoln. The action of the good shepherd is fair, just and selflessly given though the wicked sees it otherwise. The bad shepherd is like a "hireling, a thief or robber" and he is so cruel, selfish and wicked that he is only after his self aggrandizement and satisfaction. The good shepherd and his sheep are so connected that they hear his inward and spiritual calls and respond to them. A good shepherd is the one " tends his flock like a shepherd. He gathers the lamb in his arms and carries them close to his heart, he gently leads those that are young." (Is40:11). In our respective homes, communities, neighborhoods, jobs and localities, we are expected to act like selfless good shepherd and look after the sheep entrusted to us. We should not close our eyes when the sheep is suffering, when people are being killed, deceived, duped and exploited under our watchful eyes.
BY REV. FR. STEVE OSCAR OKEKE
Our mission is to establish a thriving Catholic ethnic community for the Igbo Diaspora in New York. We seek to build a community that galvanizes and serves as a rallying point, a fountain of hope, and a forum for the worship of Almighty God in Igbo language and in accordance with the Roman Catholic faith. We envision a community that preserves and perpetuates the Igbo culture, language, social values, charity, and our Roman Catholic heritage through evangelization, catechesis, Bible studies, and advancement of Catholic principles and ideals.