USAfrica: Goddy Orgor leads Igbo Catholics in Houston team to building religious and cultural center

USAfrica Special: Goddy Orgor leads Igbo Catholics in Houston team to building religious and cultural center

USAfrica: Goddy Orgor leads Igbo Catholics in Houston team to building religious and cultural center

Since 1995, I have, throughUSAfrica networks, followed Chief Goddy Orgor’s contributions, dignified presence, consistency and very supportive range of professional and personal skills to the building of the Igbo and Nigeria communities, especially the Catholic church, in the greater Houston area of Texas.

Orgor, an architect, serves as the chairman of the Igbo Catholic Community, Houston (ICCH). He described himself as the group’s “chief servant” in my interview with him.
By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of the multimedia networks of USAfrica, CLASSmagazine and the e-groups of IgboEvents and AfricanChristians.
On January 22, 2011, the team effort of Orgor and other key members of the ICCH will lead up to the foundation laying ceremony of the 43,000 square feet Religious and Cultural Center project in southwest Houston by the Catholic the Archbishop emeritus, Joseph A. Fiorenza.
The following are excerpts from Orgor’s January 17, 2011 interview:
USAfrica & CLASSmagazine: Sir, what is the significance of the January 22 building project?
It would involve the laying of the foundation stone and the blessing of the Cross marking the position of the altar of the proposed Sanctuary building by the Archbishop emeritus, Joseph A. Fiorenza, while the afternoon aspect would run from noon to 4:00 p.m. It would involve the selling and allocation of Paving Stones and questions and answer session. The various classifications of the Stones sell for either $300.00, $500.00, $1,000.00, or $4,000.00. Individuals, families, organizations, Social Clubs, Town unions, etc. are invited to participate and perpetuate their messages on the Stones.

USAfrica & CLASSmagazine: Who are involved, institutionally and as groups?
His Excellency, Joseph A. Fiorenza, Archbishop emeritus, representing the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese is scheduled to perform the ceremony. Many Reverend Fathers and Nuns of Nigerian origin would be there. It is expected that officials of Chase Bank that is financing the loan would be present. Members of the Igbo Catholic Community, various Igbo and Nigerian Organizations with their friends and well wishers are also expected to be in attendance. Cultural performers and entertainers such as the Sacred Heart Of Jesus Children dancers, Otu Umu Oma Group, Igbo Catholic community women group, and others would perform.
USAfrica & CLASSmagazine: What are the specific dimensions of the project?
The 43,000 square-foot project comprises a Worship Sanctuary with a sitting capacity of 800 and standing room for about 200; a Cultural Center made up of a mega hall divisible into three but with a combined capacity of 1000; Obi Ndi Igbo (the focal point of the design); a day care center; a library/resource center; a low-income persons clinic; an indoor garden; a conference hall; grand hallways; offices; kitchens; ample storage spaces; and generous restrooms.
Tell USAfrica and CLASSmagazine readers about the background to the project?
Most of us left Ala Igbo in the seventies just to acquire education and return to the motherland. But due to circumstances beyond the control of most of us, including some consequences of the Nigerian-Biafran war (1967-1970), the initial plans seem to have fallen apart. We are now aging and appear “trapped” in foreign lands. Many of our children born in these foreign lands are now in their thirties in the same foreign lands. Our old parents have lost hopes of our returns as initially planned and have decided to join us in the same foreign lands. Most of our children know neither the Igbo language nor the culture. Most of us the adults are gradually losing both the Igbo language vocabulary and the culture.
To stem this tide of seemingly unavoidable cultural erosion, some of our members in the mid eighties met to articulate some solutions among which was the formation of the Igbo Catholic Community Organization which main purpose was the bringing of member parents and their children together about once a month in a religious worship utilizing the Igbo language as the only medium of communication and worship. In 2003, the idea was expanded to include the acquisition of a parcel of land where a permanent Center could be built to foster the teaching and preservation of the Igbo language and culture.
The present on-going project is a product of that decision which was influenced by a strong mission statement of the Igbo Catholic Community developed in 2003 that states:  “We, members of the Catholic faith of Igbo descent based in Houston Texas, committed to imparting the Igbo Culture and language in our children born in foreign lands, and preservation of same in us and our visiting aged parents; pledge ourselves to the establishment of a Catholic worship center where the medium of worship and religious instruction would be based on Igbo language and culture”.
When do you expect to worship or use any of the facilities?
Because of the size and cost of this project, the project is being built in two phases starting now with the Cultural Center. In this phase, the “shell” of the building will be completed. Only the mega-hall, the kitchen, some storage spaces and the major restrooms would be completed for occupancy in this phase. Included for completion this phase also are all parking pavements, road network, detention ponds, underground utilities, sewer lines and storm drainages. The spaces mapped out for completion at this phase would be ready for occupancy towards the end of May 2011 barring all unforseen delays.
USAfrica & CLASSmagazine: How long have you led as President/Chairman of the Igbo Catholics of Houston?
January 2003 to present January 2011.
USAfrica & CLASSmagazine: What are your hopes and dreams for the community?
My hope, which I think is that of all the members who have been so supportive, and to whom I owe an undiluted thanks, is that the completion of the project would contribute to the preservation of the Igbo identity, unification of the Igbos in Houston, connect the bridge of progress and unity started by the All Saints Anglican Community some years ago in Houston. It is hoped that our children for whom these sacrifices are being made will keep the flame being lit burning brighter with the passing of time. It is hoped that our children will value and preserve the Igbo language and culture using the Center as a base for the achievement of the goal. It is hoped that these numerous educated Igbo children graduating in  large numbers from various universities every summer, a very encouraging trend in deed, would be willing and bold to step forward to receive the baton of leadership and service from us the parents in no distant time.
Let me also thank you, Dr. Chido Nwangwu, as the founder and publisher of the world renowned USAfrica multimedia, for your help in the dissemination of information that promotes and encourages the actualization of this Igbo religious and cultural center project.
Thank you Dr. Orgor — for your leadership.

USAfrica: Goddy Orgor leads Igbo Catholics in Houston team to building religious and cultural center
Chido Nwangwu USAfrica.classmagazine.publisher

• Chido Nwangwu is the Founder and Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet; The Black Business Journal, CLASSmagazine, PhotoWorks.TV,, Nigeria360USAfricaTV and several blogs, assessed by The New York TImes as the largest and arguably most influential multimedia networks for Africans and Americans. He served on the editorial board of the Daily Times of Nigeria in Lagos and worked for the Nigerian Television Authority (news) in the 1980s; served on a publicity committee of the Holocaust Museum, Houston; recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in May 2009; adviser on Africa to Houston’s former Mayor Dr. Lee Brown. Chido appears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, SABC, CBSNews, ABCNews, FOXNews, NBCNews, etc. wireless: 832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.