. . As Bishop Ezeokafor Eulogizes Late Mrs Felicia Ezeani
By Mercy Hill
The remains of the late Mrs Felicia Ezeani were laid to rest on Thursday, 18 July 2019, at her country home in Umunnonwu Village, Agulu, Anaocha L.G.A, Anambra State. The deceased, the mother of Rev Fr. Cyril Ezeani, Fides Deputy Director II, died at the age of 67 and is survived by five children and eleven grandchildren.
The Funeral Mass attracted sympathizers, including many priests and a mammoth crowd of lay faithful who filled her home parish at St. John the Evangelist, Agulu. It was presided by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, and concelebrated by the chief mourner, Rev. Fr. Cyril Ezeani, who noted that the Holy Mass was in thanksgiving to God for the life well spent and the eternal repose of his mother.
In his homily during the Mass, Most Rev. Paulinus C. Ezeokafor, urged Christians to live their lives well as no one was certain of the time they would die, noting that everyone on earth was on a journey and were passers-by on earth. He thanked God for the exemplary life lived by the late Mrs Felicia Ezeani and commended the deceased for remaining a virtuous widow who stood strong for her children, even after the death of her husband twenty years ago. He explained that she singlehandedly trained her children both in moral upbringing and the fear of God, as was evident in the way they lived their lives.
The Bishop further advised all Christians to hold firm to their belief and faith in God, even as he prayed for the strength to continue to lead their ways rightly. He also prayed for the deceased’s eternal rest and for her family to have the fortitude to bear the loss.
Earlier during the homily at the vigil mass, the Director, Fides Communications, Rev .Fr. Martin Anusi, thanked God for the true Christian life well spent by the late Felicia Ezeani, both in prayers and godliness, recalling his experience with her when he visited her in the hospital some time ago.
Fr. Anusi explained that the meticulous and devout life of the deceased’s son and Fides Deputy Director II, Rev. Fr. Cyril Ezeani, was due to proper formation owing to his Godly upbringing.
He also hoped and prayed that the late Mrs Ezeani would be with her creator in heaven while he condoled with the bereaved family over the loss.
Family members who spoke to Fides in an interview recounted the precious moments they spent with their mother and told of the great virtues they learnt from her.
Mrs. Veronica Chinelo Ozoigbo, the first daughter of the deceased, said she was yet to recover from the trauma of her mother’s death, praying that God would grant her eternal rest in heaven.
Ifeanyi Ezeani, fourth child, said his mother was a devout Christian, well known for her devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, as well as being a committed charismatic. He noted also that the family was feeling the loss because their mother was the intercessor of the family whose acts of selflessness ensured that everyone was comfortable.
He urged all his siblings to strive to make sure that the legacy their mother left behind for the family was carried on.
The Deputy Director II, Fides Communications, and last child of the deceased, Fr. Cyril Ezeani, said his mother was born some 67 years ago and married to his late father, Mr Basil Ezeani, who died very early into their marriage. He described his mother as a very simple woman, pious and virtuous, who was very close to God, and influenced many people through her charitable works in the community.
Fr. Ezeani said it was a life well spent because she single handedly, after the demise of her husband, worked and struggled to train her children in school and in the fear of God.
He urged his family to take solace in the fact that the death of their dear mother was a call from heaven and that life did not really end here which meant that they should continue to live carefully as there was a better place in heaven.
For his part, Master Maximilian Okonkwo, one of the grandchildren of the deceased, described her as a very religious woman who constantly led them in the Catholic faith even till her death. He lamented that her death came as a shock to him because she was more of a mother to him than a grandmother, recalling that her words to him before her death still seemed like a dream. He said that her death had left a huge void that could not be replaced.
Testimonies from parishioners and members of the community had it that the diseased was a devout Christian, simple, accommodating and humble spirited.