Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, Blogger, Speaker

Episcopal and Anglican Churches

Episcopal Church Service

Anglican Archbishop Jonathan

Clem’s cousin Bishop Onyemelukwe and his wife Beattie

My husband Clem grew up in the Anglican Church in Nigeria. His secondary school, Dennis Memorial Grammar School or DMGS, was run by the Anglicans.

His cousin Jonathan became a bishop, then archbishop, in Nigeria’s Anglican Church.

When Clem and I were dating and for several years after we married, I attended St. Saviours’ Anglican Church in Lagos with him. It’s now Our Saviour Church!

Our Saviour Anglican Church, Lagos

Our Saviour Anglican Church, Lagos, looks very different now.

Yesterday he decided to attend the Episcopal Church, Christ and Holy Trinity, in Westport. He does this occasionally.

When he came home he sent this message to our three children:

“This morning I went to the Episcopal Church here in Westport, the affiliate of the Anglican Church.

“The service surprisingly brought me back to my roots as an Anglican. The essence of an Anglican upbringing is a basic sense of humility and acknowledgement that as a human being we don’t know everything and that something we choose to call God is responsible for the vast what we call “universe,” the breadth and width of which no human, past, present (and future) can discern/explain.

“All men/women, however famous, end up dead/gone but the world continues as if it is just beginning. Humility is a spiritual acknowledgment of this fact and brings an internal peace needed to deal with the everyday problems that face everyone.

“Ambition is important because it is an attempt to make maximum use of the intellect that was given to us. But for all that we need humility.
“A religious background is needed to help keep us spiritually humble because we are here, don’t know how we came and where we are going even after death, or whether we end up simply as ash or soil.”
I loved his message.

Thank you

Thank you for all your lovely messages, condolences, prayers, and good wishes. So many of you sent thoughtful notes, some in the blog comments and some in replies to the email I send to you.

Thomas is a wonderful photographer

My cousin Thomas posted this on Facebook

I appreciated these a lot. My husband too is very grateful. We’re still adjusting to his death.

Still a Wonderful World

The other evening I decided to clear out old email, sorting through to decide what to keep.

I had forgotten the YouTube piece, What a Wonderful World, by Sir David Attenborough. It was sent by my cousin Victor three years ago. Given the previous week in our lives, this seemed appropriately calming.

Victor said, “A stunning commercial from the BBC! Sir David Attenborough does it again!” See if you agree.

Legacy of Imperialism

I’ve mentioned Professor Vinnie Ferraro’s blog before. He writes primarily for the Mount Holyoke students in his international relations course. He sent a link to a New Yorker article about the Sykes-Picot Agreement which is approaching its 100th anniversary.
I’d never heard of it. Have you? It was drafted during World War I to divide up the Ottoman Empire among the European victors.
Professor Vinnie Ferraro had this to say about it: “It is widely regarded as one of the most capricious treaties in the history of diplomacy, dividing up a heavily contested area with nonsensical lines.  Yet those borders are largely responsible for the violence that we witness in the Middle East.  Trying to imagine redrawing the lines without further violence is impossible. The legacy of imperialism is always present.”
It was his last line that resonated with me. The similarity to Africa’s problems is striking!
Again borders were drawn without regard for the wishes of the people involved. I commented on his blog, saying, “Africa was similarly divided up between the European powers at the Berlin Conference in 1884-85, with complete disregard for traditional, religious, tribal, and language boundaries.”

These artificial borders have been a cause or a background factor in much of the strife in the continent, as they have been in the Middle East.

Boko Haram

It’s hard to decipher whether the Nigerian and other governments are making headway against Boko Haram. I thought so; then I saw this one from the online publication

The writer says that Boko Haram was, “reported to have murdered a total of 30 Fulani herdsmen during a raid in Alau village in Borno State.” He says that one of the Fulani escaped and reported on the devastation.

The clash between cattle herders and farmers has gone on for many years, but this is the first I’ve heard of Boko Haram attacking the herders.

The same publication in an article on May 1 said that Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor informed the media, “troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole are conducting operations in the heart of Sambisa as we speak.”

“The troops are deep into the forest to smoke out Boko Haram terrorists,” he said.

Another article, this one in Times Live online, reports that “Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau appeared in a video late last month.”

A French military source says, “The group [Boko Haram] is thought to number somewhere between 100,000 and 30,000.”

Even the lower number is frightening. I would have imagined a smaller number of Boko Haram fighters. No wonder the military forces are having a very difficult time.

Meadow Ridge

Meadow Ridge. Marion with me on left, with Lynn and Shannon, and me reading.

Meadow Ridge

Last Monday evening I spoke at Meadow Ridge in Redding, Connecticut.

“Experience the highest standard of independent senior living,” their website says. It is truly a lovely location.

My friend Marion hosted me for dinner before my talk.

Several other friends live at Meadow Ridge, including Judy and Bill, Arthur and Barbara, and Sally.

Bill recommended my memoir highly to the audience! Thanks, Bill!


Author: Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, blogger, speaker. Born in New York, grew up in mid west United States, lived in Nigeria for 24 years, back in U.S. since 1986. Advocate for racial justice.

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