After 34 Years in Sickbed, Fr Innocent Nweke’s Mother Goes Home at 78

. . . Family, Priests, Others, Attest to Matriarch’s Exemplary Life

By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba

After 34 years in sickbed, the Matriarch of Nweke Family, Irudede Village, Umudioka Awkuzu, Oyi LGA, Anambra State, Mrs Angelina Obiageri Nweke, finally goes home for eternal rest at the age of 78 years.

The late Mrs. Nweke, who died on December 20, 2019, was the mother of the immediate past principal, Holy Ghost Academy, Amaokpala, Rev Fr Dr Innocent Nweke, who is currently a lecturer with the Department of Religion and Society, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Anambra State.

Leading in the burial Mass at St Peter’s Catholic Church, the Auxiliary Bishop of Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, Most Rev Denis Chidi Isizoh, who condoled with Fr Nweke and the entire family over the loss of their mother which he described as painful, thanked God for the good life He blessed the deceased with.

The bishop described as exemplary the life of prayer and resoluteness in God which the deceased lived for the 34 years she was in sickbed, urging the living to spend their lives in preparedness for eternal rest, so as to enjoy eternal bliss.

In his homily, the Director of Spiritan Press, Onitsha, Rev Fr Augustine Mario Ibeh, C.S.Sp, described late Mrs Nweke, who trusted God and carried her cross of sickness for 34 years, as a role model of unwavering faith in God and prayer life.

The homilist exhorted Christians against what he described as quest for prosperous Christianity, and maintained that a crossless Christianity was a contradiction.

Rev Fr Ibeh, C.S.Sp, who based his reflections on the gospel reading of the burial Mass (Matthew Chapter 25:31-46), tasked all, on life of compassion and charity, noting that such were what led one to heaven. Pointing out that the act of charity, especially in the Lenten Season, was beneficial to every individual, the homilist flayed those who he said, despised the needy. He urged all to make good use of the three pillars of lent which included prayer, fasting (penance) and almsgiving for their benefits.

In his remarks, the deceased’s last son, Rev Fr Dr Nweke, C.S.Sp, eulogised her as an ideal and very prayerful mother who had the rosary which she prayed always as her companion. Rev Fr Nweke, who was visibly sorrowful over the death due to the close relationship he had with his mother, thanked God for the practical Christian life and doggedness He blessed the deceased with.

He appreciated all who joined in the Holy Mass for the repose of the soul of the deceased, supported the family and wished them comfort over the great loss, saying that he was still devastated over his mother’s demise

The late Mrs Nweke was survived by her aged husband, Chief John Nwoke Nweke, 3 sons, 3 daughters, 32 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren and numerous relations.

Among the sympathisers were a former Governor of Anambra State, Sir Peter Obi, CON, KSS, who was represented by Barr Valentine Obienyem; the wife of the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Her Excellency, Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano; a former Secretary to Anambra State Government, His Honour, Oseloka Henry Obaze; the Anambra State Commissioner for Commerce, Hon Uchenna Okafor; a former Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Ogbuefi Tony Nnacheta and the Deputy Majority Leader, Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Emeka Aforka;

Others were a former Vice Chancellor, COOU, Anambra State, Professor Fidelis Okafor; Dean, Faculty of Arts, COOU, Anambra State, Professor Cornelius Omeike; Igwe Chika Uchime, Diji III of Ufuma; Igwe C. Okeke, Udodimma III of Amaokpala as well as parish priest and parishioners of St Andrew’s Parish, Amaokpala.