Over 300 persons, including an 86-year-old widow, Mrs Francisca Okoye, on Saturday benefited from the Easter largesse of the Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor.
The octogenarian and other vulnerable from different religious background received gift items including bags of rice, loaves of bread, clothing materials, shoes, umbrella, cartons of noodles, tubers of yam, cocoayam, cocoanuts and other consumables.
Delivering the items to the beneficiaries at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka, the state capital, Bishop Ezeokafor told them to accept their condition in good faith knowing that God was always with them.
He explained that there was need to show compassion to the beneficiaries who he said were selected among the poorest of the poor in society.
He said, “There are many people in society who are really suffering and poor. These people cannot afford one square meal let alone three-square meals per day. As living beings, they need sustenance.
“When we render these services, religious denomination is of no consequence. What matters is living a good life because it will be too pathetic to be poor and needy on earth and still loses eternal life.”
Expressing reservations over the attitude of certain persons who had turned begging as profession, regretted that such persons, even when provided with jobs, could still abandon the job and return to begging.
“If you go by what you see or encounter, no one will want to give to charity because people pretend a lot to be suffering from one ailment or the other just to beg for alms,” he added.
The Catholic prelate however admonished those who capable of fending for themselves to venture into things that were worthwhile and morally justifiable not begging in any form of disguise.
He also called on good spirited individuals to come to the aid of the poor and the downtrodden in society, stressing that the less privileged needed the help of those who had amassed wealth to be able to improve their living conditions.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Bridget Nwachukwu prayed God to continue to keep and sustain the bishop whom, she described as a gift to humanity.