Blog Archives

This “IHS” is not what you think. By Fr. Henry Charles Umelechi As a Christian, especially a Catholic, you may have wondered the meaning of the monogram “IHS” you have been seeing either in the vestments of priests and ministers, inscription infront of the altar, infront of the ambo for reading the Word in the church, at the church doors, etc. The common assumption is that it is a Latin abbreviation for “Iesus Hominum Salvator,” which means Jesus Savior of mankind or of men in a generic sense. However, this is not just an abbreviation but a Greek monogram from the first three letters of the name Jesus in Greek (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ), often used as a Christian emblem. ΙΗΣΟΥΣ is Jesus in Greek capital letters. By Greek pronunciation, it becomes IHSOUS. “H” is pronounced like “e” in “egg.” When IHSOUS is transliterated to English it becomes “Iesous.” But, it’s first three…

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By Fr. Henry Charles Umelechi (Fr. Truth Series) “A woman must not dress like a man, nor a man like a woman; anyone who does this is detestable to Yahweh your God.” -Deut 22:5   Many people always refer to Deuteronomy 22:5 against women that wear trouser. But, Deuteronomy 22:5 is not an injunction against women that wear trousers either specifically or by implication, because looking at the context and background, this very verse is simply against: 1. Idolatry 2. Prostitution(male and female) 3. Homosexuality or gayness 4. Transvestism (crossing dressing) How? 1. Idolatry: Israelites who were given this very instruction were yet to live in the “promised land.” That promised land is Canaan ( Exod 6:4; Lev. 14:34). However, Canaan already had people(cananites) living in it before the repossession by Israelites and they already have their own god and ways of the worship. However, God warned the Israelites never…

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A VISIT TO THE OLA SISTERS – HRH Lamido Sanusi 11 [May 15th, 2024]. The OLA (Our Lady of the Apostles) sisters in Cork, Ireland, established my alma mater-St Anne’s Primary School, Kakuri, Kaduna. They also founded the Queen of Apostles College- now Queen Amina College- and St Gerard’s hospital among others all in Kaduna). I have been planning to visit their Ardfoyle convent in Cork, since late 2021, when my headmistress Sr Katherine Devane, passed away at the ripe age of 95. I just needed to go and pay my respects to this wonderful woman who made such a profound impact on my life, to thank the OLA sisters and the SMA fathers and the Catholic church for the education I received. The SMA fathers are a brother association of priests to the OLA sisters and the first catholic missionaries to Kaduna and Kano. From my St Anne’s days…

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Somewhere in Nsukka, the context and the time or era was lost. Why? A video has gone viral about how a lady who was a nurse was brutalized by masquerades with cane that she fell down from her motorcycle, ran for her life in her immaculate uniform as the crowd of cane descended on her. Finally, she saw herself in the drainage system. See video below! But, 1. Even if there was a known festival, does the festival prohibit the use of public roads by the people which includes strangers or not? 2. Masquerade has been there before urbanization and globalization. Urbanization and globalization brought about tarred roads.These two mean that a public road could connect several villages to enhance trade, civil service, etc. Because of these, public tarred roads were built. Therefore, tarred roads were not the traditional location for “iti Mmanwu,” as there were none before then. 3.…

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The Rich Atheist and the Rich Christian A rich male atheist and scientist met a rich christian man and on the long run, they became friends because as we know, “likes” attracts; they are both rich. But what attracted the atheist scientist to his new found christian friend more was his virtues: humility, self contentment, continence, soberness, truthfulness, quest to do good always, patience, hopefulness, fortitude, etc. So, since he has every material things and knowledge, he wanted to acquire more virtues. However, everyday at 3 O’clock in the evening the rich christian friend excuses himself from business and scientific discussion to say his Divine Mercy Prayers. Nevertheless, the rich atheist and scientist friend could not bear this anymore for he didn’t understand why a rich man would be praying because he had always thought strongly that there’s no God and people pray to God only because they are materially…

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Father, is it good for a woman who is not lawfully married both traditionally and otherwise [to ]have the children baptized?   Baptism in the Catholic Church is determined by two two entities: the Church and the individual to be baptized, in faith.   The Church because Christ Jesus gave her the authority to baptize all and such all includes infants and succlings, young and old, male and female ( cf. Matthew 28:19-20).   The individual because such has the free will, to choose good or bad, do good or bad.   The church also entails both the authorities(elders) of the church, in the words of St. James and the parent(s)/ custodian of the catechumen. A Catechumen is the candidate to be baptised.   In the case of infants, they are baptized on the faith of the parents who are members of the church. So, the parents share in the…

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By Fr. Henry Charles Umelechi When we look at this world and her events critical without bias, one sincerely discovers an out play of the divine and human. It would be sure that certain occurrances are very inexplicable no matter the amount of investigation involved, be it scientific, psychological, social, etc. Such gives the people of faith an encouragement that SOMEONE out there is still interested in what He has made, the world and thus never absconded, unlike those who posit by empiricism that God is not, and others who posit that even if God is, He has exited the stage and therefore, we are on our own. However, the people of faith by personal witnessing and experience concludes that not only that God is, but also that GOD DOES NOT EXIT. Withal, this position generates another extreme of believers in various ranks and files, who depend solely on the…

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Canon 1251 states that abstinence (from meat) and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. However, it’s not a problem to say that one ought to avoid meat on certain prescribed days, but how do you explain to a catholic palm wine tapper who loves to enjoy his wine with bush meat everyday that as a Catholic, he ought to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday? If God created everything and said that it’s good, why avoid meat then? As Ash Wednesday begins the season of lent which lasts for forty days till Easter. By this solemn forty days of Lent, the Church unites herself to the mystery of Jesus in the desert ( CCC. 540, Matt 4:1-2). While in this desert, Jesus was tempted three times and he became victorious three times. However, the devil left him for “a more appropriate time.”…

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Christmas: Birth, not Birthday. By Fr. Henry Charles Umelechi How old were you when you knew that at Christmas, we are not celebrating the BIRTHDAY of Jesus but the BIRTH of Jesus? I know that you may have never thought about Christmas like this. On the ordinary language and parlance, birthday has only to do with the ANNIVERSARY OF THE DAY on which a person was born. Birth has to do with the start of life as a physically separate being. Prior to the legalization [not the beginning(mind the emphasis)] of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine in the year 313, no universal date or even formal celebration of Christmas is found. For instance, Origen (d. 255), St. Irenaeus (d. 202), and Tertullian (d. 220) do not include Christmas or its date on their lists of feasts and celebrations. After legalization, the Church was better able to establish universal dates for…

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By Fr. Henry Charles Umelechi “Why the tumult among the nations, why the impotent murmurings among the peoples?” After spending a quality pastoral time with about 1000+ children of my parish who gathered together to do 2023 Christmas party, and having gone down to present the “Champions League” trophy and awards😀 to the football champions and second runner up, to the Iwene Tansi League members (Catholics and non-catholics). I was burnt up and thus “I lie down and sleep comes at once” (Psalm 4:8). However, I was awoken by the buzzing of phone messages and concomitant questions that kept coming in, in the early hours of Tuesday 19th December, concerning the release of the document “Fiducia Supplicans”, meaning Supplicating Trust, by the Discatery for doctrine of the faith, approved by Pope Francis. It’s about what it means to ask for something in a trusting way. The declaration says that priests…

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