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FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DOMINANT PRESENCE OF ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IN ODOZOR

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    ABSTRACT

    The subject of study is the dominant presence of Roman Catholic
    Church in Odozor; the desire to undertake this study is motivated by the
    curiosity to understand the factor for the dominant presence of Roman
    Catholic in Odozor. In carrying out this study, simple random sampling was
    used to select five towns from the study area. The Five towns which
    constitute the population of study are Ebe, Abor, Awhum Okpatu and
    Umulumgbe. The researcher made use of primary and secondary sources in
    data collections. The review of literature revealed some dependable variable
    which formed the theoretical framework for the study. The data and
    peculiarities of missionary enterprises in Odozor was analyzed and
    interpreted. Based on this frame work, the following findings were made;
    that, the dominant presence of the Roman Catholic church in Odozor is due
    to the domineering influence of local chiefs and political heads. Other
    factors are the evangelical zeal of early converts and lay agents, mode of
    baptism and the Roman Catholic Church enculturation process also remains
    in factor. As a result the researcher therefore recommends that laity
    participation in evangelism should be encouraged. Secondly is that Christian
    denomination should adopt an enabling policy towards positioning African
    Christianity into African world view. Finally, rigorous subjection is not
    necessary for the eternal salvation of soul.

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Cover Page ……………………………………………………… i Title page ………………………………………………………………… ii Certification …………………………………………………….. iii Approval ………………………………………………………… iv Dedication………..……………………………………………… v Acknowledgement ……………………………………………… vi List of Tables ………………………………………………………….. vii Table of contents ….…………………………………………… ix Abstract ………………………………………………………… xi

    CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

    1. Introduction ………………………………………………..……. 1 1.0 Background of the Study ………………………………………. 1 2.0 Statement of the Problem …………………………………………. 2 3.0 Purpose of the Study ………………………………………………. 2 4.0 Scope of Study …………………………………………………. 3 5.0 Significance of the Study ………………………………………. 3 6.0 Methodology ………………………………………………….. 3 7.0 Definition of terms …………………………………………… 4 8.0 Origin and Migration …………………………………………. 6 9.0 Traditional pattern of Life …………………………………….. 7

    CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW

    2. Review of Related Literature ………………………………….. 10 2.1 The Emergency of Christian Missionaries in Igbo land ……… 10 2.2 Evangelism …………………………………………………… 12 2.3 Influence of Traditional Rulers ……………………………… 14 2.4 Influence of Colonial Rule …………………………………… 15 2.5 Education and Medical Services ……………………………… 17 2.6 Pastoral Training ……………………………………………… 19 2.7 The Effect of Commerce …………………………………….. 21 2.8 The Life and Time of Chief Onyeama ………………………. 23

    CHAPTER THREE: PECULIARITIES OF VARIOUS MISSIONARIES’ ENTERPRISE 3.1Peculiarities of the various missionary enterprise in Odozor … 30
    x
    3.2 Advent of Christian Missionary Enterprises in Odozor……. 30
    3.2 The Advent of Roman Catholic Missionary activities in Odozor 31 3.3 Christian Presence in Awhum Town ………………………. 32 3.4 Other Christian denomination in Awhum Town …………… 33 3.5 Christian Presence in Ebe Town …………………………… 34 3.6 Christian Presence in Abor Town ………………………….. . 37 3.6The Presence of other Christian denomination in Abor town . 39 3.7 Roman Catholic Presence in Umulumgbe ………………….. 40 3.7 The presence of other Denomination in Umulumgbe ……… 41 3.8 Christian Presence in Okpatu Town ………………………… 44 3.8The Presence of Other denomination in Okpatu ……………. 45

    CHAPTER FOUR: FACTOR FOR THE DENOMINANT PRESENCE OF ROMAN CATHOLIC IN ODOZOR

    4. Factors for the Dominant Presence of Roman Catholic in Odozor 50 4.1 Activities of the Early Christian Converts ………………… 50 4.2 The Influence of Chief Onyeama and Traditional Rulers … 53 4.3 School Factor ……………………………………………… 54 4.4 Social/cultural and Psychological Factors ………………… 55 4.5 Lay Apostolate ……………………………………………. 57 4.6 Method of Baptism ……………………………………….. 59

    CHAPTER FIVE: DATE PRESENTATION

    5. Date Presentation, Analysis Discussion ……………………. 61 5.1 The Activities of the Early Christian Converts …………… 61 5.1.1 Respondent Option on Whether Laity Workers are considered Participant in Evangelism ………………………………… 63 5.1.2 Denominational Attitude Towards Traditional Customs and Cultural Value……………………………………………… 64 5.1.3 Activities of Local Chief and Political Heads ………….. 66 5.1.4 Method of Baptism as a Factor in Mission Evangelism… 68

    CHAPTER SIX: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

    6. Summary and Conclusion ………………………………….. 71 6.1 Summary ………………………………………………….. 71 6.2 Conclusion ………………………………………………… 72 6.3 Recommendation …………………………………………. 726.4 Suggestion for further Research ………………………… 73

    CHAPTER ONE

    INTRODUCTION

    1.1 Background of the Study
    Christian religion has come a long way with the first missionary
    station at Badagry in 1842. In 1857, the church missionary society
    established the first mission church at Onitsha under the leadership of Rev.
    Henry Townsend. From Onitsha, the gospel started its slow but steady
    journey into the interior. The C.M.S established a station at Enugu Ngwo in
    1912. The visit of Rev. Isaac Uzowulu to Ngwo triggered off an
    expansionist sprit among the missionaries
    This itinerant evangelist embarked on house to house evangelism and
    established a station at Umuabi, Udi and Okpatu. From the station at Okpatu
    a mission station was found in Umulumgbe in 1936. In an interview with
    Elder Amadi of Eke,Town, he said that “Udi area witnessed missionary
    scramble in the second decade of the 20th Century”.
    This pioneer position gave the Church missionary society added
    advantages. During this period many communities were desirous to open up
    C.M.S mission station in their communities. In the face of the increasing
    demand for mission contact, the Holy Ghost Congregation of the Roman
    Catholic mission emerged on the scene. Ilogu (1974) pointed out that 1885
    witnessed the emergence of the Holy Ghost Congregation of the Roman
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    Catholic Church in Igbo land. The entrance of Roman Catholic mission in
    Igbo land compelled missionary drive into the interior. This drive led to
    missionary rivalry in their adoption of apostolic policies. Ekeche pointed out
    that the Roman Catholic explored the interior through the creeks, from
    Aguleri, to Olo, Achalla, Owa and Oghe to Eke in 1914. Rev Fr. Aloysee
    Muller opened up a mission station at Eke with Mr. Ikem peter as the poiner
    teacher. From Eke, like the biblical mustered seed the church spread as far as
    Nsukka, Ogaja and Makurdi to the North, Ebenebe and Ida.
    From the above description, we can have a fair picture of the
    enormous apostolic activities of the pioneer missionaries of Eke. By 1889,
    Eke mission station has gave birth to five town parishes of Ebe, Abor,
    Ukana, Okpatu and Umulumgbe and constitutes mainly Roman Catholic
    population.
    1.2 Statement of the Problem
    The Church Missionary Society and the Roman Catholic Church are
    two major actors in mission evangelism in Igboland. As early as 1912. The
    presence of the C.M.S. was established at Enugu Ngwo and Udi area
    respectively. In spite of this early development the people of Odozor are
    dominantly Roman Catholics when compared to other areas in Udi Local
    Government Council Area.
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    This raises a number of questions such as:
    (a) What are the factors for the sudden twist of events in the C.M.S.
    evangelizing mission?
    (b) Can this sudden twist be attributed to method, charisma, strategies
    employed, and political influence of the local chiefs or inadequacy
    of trained local agents and laity groups?
    1.3 Purpose of the Study
    The urge to undertake this study is to look into some distinctive
    religious and ecclesiastical issues of the various Christian missionary
    enterprises in Odozor Local Government Development Council with the
    view to find out the factors for the dominant presence of Roman Catholic
    Church adherents viz-a- viz other areas in Udi Local Government Area
    Council.
    1.4 Scope of the Study
    The study area is Odo-Ozor Local Government Development Council.
    The council is made up of the following towns: Ebe, Abor, Ukana,
    Awhum, Okpatu, Umulumgbe, Umuoka and Ukehe. These towns share
    common paternal, socio-cultural and religious tie. Due to the congenial
    nature of the study area, a selective random area was undertaken. The
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    representative study areas are Ebe, Okpatu, Awhum, Umulumgbe and
    Abor.
    1.5 Significance of the Study
    The response of OdoOzo people towards various Christian missionary
    endeavors is of great significant. An expository view at the above will
    help to clarify missionary enterprise in the area. Also the study stands to
    offer an insight into the level of commitment of the various missionaries
    in carrying out their primary assignment. It equally stands to contribute to
    scholarship on the faith ideology of the people of OdoOzor Missionary
    evangelism. The research finding could be used to draw conclusion on the
    enduring strategies in faith propagation. Finally it stands to correct the
    misinterpretation of the past with the view to improving the present
    situation and achieving a balanced view of activities in Odo-Ozor Local
    Government Development council.
    1.6 Methodology
    The nature of the research demands a multi-dimensional approach. The
    researcher made use of Historical and analytical approach. The nature of the
    study compels this study to rely more on primary sources. Under this
    approach interview guidelines were designed so that discussion will be
    focused on the content specified in the research objective. However; based
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    on the relative criticism of the interview method, the research variable made
    the researcher to feel strongly that any method that would promote
    anonymity would yield reliable result. For this reason question were framed
    to cover people response, missionary strategies and factors for the dominant
    presence of Roman Catholic Church in Odo-Ozor.
    The questions were both closed and open ended to enable respondents
    less bored and unable to suppress or distort basic response to the question.
    The researcher also made use of group discussion method. A key topic on
    Christian Missionary enterprise in Odo-Ozor was raised and expressed views
    of discussants made useful information for this study. The discussants
    include Traditional rulers, Academicians and clergy men who represented
    their interest groups and callings.
    The researcher also made use of secondary sources in data collection
    and in the evaluation related literature on the topic of study, documented
    materials such as text books, journals; magazines unpublished works were
    also used. On the basis of logical evidence, the researcher applied logical
    reasoning to arrive at conclusions.
    1.7 Definition of Terms
    For clarification of terms, the following terms used there need to be
    explained in the context of their usage.
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    Traditionalist
    These refer to people that practice or the adherents of Africa
    traditional religion.
    Warrant chiefs
    These are class of people mandated by the colonial masters to exercise
    political, social and economic influence on the people living in a
    geographical area. Their mandate was necessary because of the absence of
    organized political structure in Igboland.
    Response
    This is the level of the Peoples acceptance of specific missionary stimuli.
    Christian missionaries
    This refers to the group of people who go out to propagate the Christian faith
    to non- members.
    Missionary work
    This is used to refer to those activities designed to affect the expansion of
    the church among men and beyond its boundaries.
    Mission – The sending out of religious teachers to convert people by
    preaching.
    Mission statement – This refers to the objective or aim in embarking on a
    venture.
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    Sacrament – This refers to the solemn religious ceremony in the Christian
    church such as baptism, confirmation, matrimony believed to be
    accompanied by great spiritual benefits.
    Sacred – to treat something with great respect or reverence.
    Itinerant Traveling from place to place.
    Laity – refers to all the people not in the Holy Order, those who are not
    clergy.
    Parishioner – inhabitants of a church parish.
    Expedition – journey or voyage for a definite purpose.
    Explore a) – travel into or through a geographical area for the purpose of
    learning about something.
    Explore (b) – To examine thoroughly problems, possibilities in other to test
    or learn about them.
    Odozor Cult – A secret guild.
    Christian village – An enclave where Christian live such as monastery.
    Receptive – Responsiveness or unresponsiveness of the gospel message.
    Gospel: The life and teaching of Jesus Christ as recorded in the first four
    books of the New Testament.
    Pastoral- Office of the pastor, time during which he holds briefing.
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    Odozor- The name Odozor is derived from a compound verb root “Odo and
    Ozor”. “Odo” means masquerade cult and “Ozor” a prestigious traditional
    title. It is used to refer to a group of communities known for Odo cult and
    Ozor title taking.
    1.8 Origin and Migration
    The source for the reconstruction of the tradition of origin, migration
    and settlement of the people of Odozor is scanty. What is presented here
    represents no more than version which are at the moment generally accepted
    by the people concerned. A study of the oral traditions collected showed that
    despite the differing versions, the origin, migration and settlement of the
    people of Odozor focused on Ojebe and Ogene the grand parent of Odozor
    clan.
    Towns
    Odozor is made up of Ebe, Abor, Ukana, Awhum, Okpatu,
    Umulumbe, Umuka and Ukehe.
    Location
    The land location of Odozor as shown in the map lie at the Northern
    end of Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State. It is bounded in the
    South by Eke town and Ngwo both in Udi Local Government Area, in the
    West by Oghe in Eziagu, Egede and Affa town in the North West boundary.
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    It is bounded in the North by Ukehe, Ochima in Igbo-Etiti Local
    Government Area, In the East by Nike in Nkanu Local Government.

    Origin and Migration
    In the midst of diverse tradition, myth and legend, the most
    acceptable, is that; the people of Odozor migrated from a common ancestral
    mother who was born and bred somewhere on earth. The name of the
    founding mother “Ojebe” remains constant. All the towns that make up
    Odozor agree to the consanguinity in the name Ojebe.
    Another tradition by Sir Moses Iyi, points to Eziagu as a place where
    Ojebe migrated as a wife to the father of Ebe. He sees “Ogene” as a woman
    and the mother of Ojebe. However, Sir Iyi could not mention the name of
    Ojebe’s father nor the father of Ebe. This assertion disagreed with Mr. S.O.
    Attah’s view point. Mr. Attah relied on linguistic judgment to maintain that
    Ojebe remained feminine while Ogene is masculine. This implied that
    Ogene is Ojebe’s husband.
    If we bear the relevance of the various traditions in mind and the
    contiguity of these towns, we can agree with the traditions that these towns
    are paternally and maternally consanguine. Furthermore, if the linguistic
    parameter is applied in judgment, it is observable that the dialects of all
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    these communities have closer homogeneity than the dialect of other
    surrounding towns.
    1.9 Traditional Pattern of Life
    Uchendu (1965) speaking of igbo people generally maintain that
    the Igbos have a culture and a history which is unwritten. Uche (2006) see
    religion as a matrix of culture. This indicates that religion as exemplified in
    the work of Christian missionaries could offer archeological data.
    Before the advent of Christianity in Odozor; traditional religion
    was practiced as a general rule. The people believed in the existence of a
    supreme being called Chineke or Chukwu. There is a belief in religious
    pantheon of gods. Chukwu delegated function to the Earth goddess Ani, the
    oracles and shrines. The Ani priest and the ofor holders were in charge of
    religious matters and represented their people in religious matters. The Ani
    priest was spiritual in settling disputes that could not be settled by the
    council of elders due to want of evidence.
    The Earth deity was the ultimate source of morality. Oaths taking
    before the Ani oracle lend credence to claims and put to rest all arguments
    arising from one evidence. According to the District Officer’s Report of
    1945 and 1957 traditional religious practices in Odozor were relevant to the
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    religious life of the people. Archival sources recognized the guardian sprit of
    the departed which is symbolized in Odo-cult.
    Belief in the continued existence and influence of the departed is
    very central in Odozor. The ancestors are felt to be still present, directly
    concerned with the family and watching over their well being.
    Cult festivals are performed between the end of the planting
    season and harvest period every leap year. The people believed that the
    ancestors as symbolized in the Odo cult are the custodian of the people’s
    laws, traditions and customs; they are believed to send sickness or
    misfortune upon any person who violates or infringes upon their dictates.
    During the Odo cult festivals certain rites were accorded to the ancestors.
    Offering are made to commemorate the death of the dead or to elicit their
    support for a particular venture. Sacrifices are also made to invoke the
    ancestors and request them to pass on their petition for safety to the
    appropriate quarters.
    Besides all these; ancestral rite is the provision of choice food and
    drinks. This is done to mark the end of the festival. During this event, the
    living and the dead share a common meal in harmony.
    During the festival, Christians and even ordained ministers
    partake openly in these traditional rites. This situation is an indicator that
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    Christian theology needs to pay more attention to some aspects of traditional
    African belief in the communion of saints.
    Politically, the Odozor people like most Igbo communities maintain a
    structural system of government which is gerontocracy in nature. In this
    system of governance, the oha remain the highest legislative and judicial
    organ of governance, while the organization of young men (age-grade) form
    the executive organ. The executive arm of government is made of various
    age grades. They enforce discipline and provide labour for communal
    purposes. In the absence of a monarch, the most elderly man in the “oha”
    preside over communal matters and issue out communiqué on behalf of the
    communities. The political and administrative structure remained in this
    form until the advent of the colonial masters. The colonial masters very
    much conscious of the absence of a monarch introduced the warrant chief
    system of governance.

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