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Pope Francis, has conferred on a renowned philanthropist; Chief Tony Chukwu, the Papal Award of Knight of St. Gregory the Great, for his philanthropy, dedicated service to mankind and the kingdom of God.

Also honoured were Educationist; Prof Chucks Ogbonna, Prof Maurice Iwu and industrialist; Mazi Clement Owunna and Engr Ekwebelem (Karisto), decorated with the Papal Award of St Gregory the Great for their commitment to the growth of the church and service to humanity.

The award conferred on the distinguished Imo sons of Okigwe zonal extraction, Ifeanyicy.com learnt is the highest ecclesiastical honour to be conferred on any Catholic.

His Holiness, Pope Francis represented by the Papal Nuncio to Nigeria, His Grace Antonio Guido Filipazzi and ably assisted by the Catholic Bishop of Okigwe Diocese, His Grace Solomon Amatu, other Catholic Bishops and clergymen, conferred on Chief Tony Chukwu (Onweghi ihe Kariri Chineke), the Ecclesiastical elevation as the Papal Knight of St.Gregory de Great at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Okigwe, today Sunday 3rd December, 2017.

A cross section of the clergy, traditional rulers, political leaders and civil society organizations attended the programme.

To signify his new status in the Church, Chief Tony Chukwu was decorated with a medal and also given the Scroll of the Decree, as his lovely wife, Lolo Rose Chukwu and children watch in admiration.

A citation accompanying the award and read by Bishop Solomon Amatu said "You have done your best to give an example of how a Catholic should behave in a role of leadership in matters of the faith. The Church is proud of you for the way you have helped to promote humanity and Catholic principles.

"It is for these reasons coupled with your Catholic principles, philanthropy, service to God and humanity that the Catholic Diocese of Okigwe with support of other Dioceses in the state requested and obtained for you from his Holiness Pope Francis to be decorated with Papal Award."

The former Governor of Imo State, Dr Ikedi Ohakim present in the church service lauded Chief Tony Chukwu and other Awardees and said he was of the conviction that the award would help to propel them to greater heights in their endeavours.

Chief Johnbosco Ozigbu appealed to all Catholics to be committed to the tenets of the Church to ensure its growth.

Hon. Longers Anyanwu stated that the award to Chief Tony Chukwu had helped brought honour to the Catholic Diocese and Imo State in general and also lauded the other Awardees for their dedicated services to mankind.









































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