Seven months after two Catholic priests and seventeen parishioners were killed at St Ignatius Qasi- Parish, Ukpor-Ayar, Mbalom, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, Wilfred Anagbe, yesterday said the church will perform atonement rites to proclaimed a return to Mbalom to cleanse the land desecrated by Fulani herdsmen.
The Bishop also declared Friday 30th November a holiday for all Catholic schools in Makurdi Diocese to accord deserved weight and significance to the atonement.
The two Catholic priests, Rev. Father Josrph Gor, Felix Tyolaha and the seventeen (17) parishes were attacked and killed by herdmen during an early morning Mass at St. Ignatius Quasi Parish Ayar Mbalom Gwer West local government area of Benue state on April 24, 2018.
Since the incident the parish has been left without resident priest and services and prayers were only led by a church leader.
But in a press Release signed by Director, Directorate of Social Communications, Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, Rev Moses Iorapuu, and made available to newsmen yesterday in Makurdi, Bishop Anagbe said the atonement will serve as cleansing ritual and pave way for full church activities to resume in the parish.
He said the activities marking the grand finale of the ritual of atonement at the site of the massacre, which is on Friday 30th November, will commence with Novena on 21st and end 29th November, 2018.