By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
The parish priest of St Patrick’s Catholic Parish, Agulu, Anaocha L.G.A., Anambra State, Rev Fr Hyacinth Ifeanyichukwu Nwankwor, is grateful to God for the gifts of life and good health, as well as His grace, in the 25 years he, Fr Nwankwor, has spent in the sacred Catholic priesthood.
Rev Fr Nwankwor stated this at his Priestly Silver Jubilee Anniversary held at St Patrick’s Parish, Agulu, last Sunday, December 1.
Leading in his well-attended concelebrated Silver Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass which was kick-started by the former Catholic Bishop of Ahiara Diocese, Most Rev Peter Ebere Okpaleke, the visibly delighted Fr Nwankwor expressed joy over the great number of priests, reverend sisters and laity that joined him for the celebration.
Rev Fr Nwankwor, who hails from Nanka, Orumba North LGA, said he was specifically delighted for his aged parents, whom, he noted, it had pleased God to keep alive. The parents joined in the celebration.
Ordained a Catholic priest for the Awka Catholic Diocese alongside others on August 20, 1994, Rev Fr (Dr) Nwankwor, who was formerly based in Germany, from 2004 to 2015, and who worked in Catholic Diocese of Trier during his studies abroad, also served as the parish priest of St Theresa’s Parish, Ichida, from October 1999 to 2004.
He is currently the chaplain of the Catholic Laity Council of Agulu Deanery; chaplain of Knights of Saint Mulumba (KSM), Ekwulobia Sub-Council as well as that of Catholic Women’s Organization (C.W.O), Agulu Deanery.
In his homily, the parish priest of Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Parish, Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, Rev Fr (Dr) Aloysius Agba, described the silver jubilarian as an inspiring personality.
Rev Fr (Dr) Aloysius Agba, who as a young altar server, lived with the jubilarian at St Michael’s Catholic Parish, Igboukwu, Aguata L.G.A, thanked God that it was through the blessings and recommendation of Fr Nwankwor, that he was enrolled into All Hallows Seminary, Onitsha, for priestly formation.
Citing his goodwill message, the homilist, described Fr Nwankwor as his mentor and father; a dedicated, zealous, humble, cheerful and committed pastor who had positively influenced many lives in his 25 years as a priest.
Rev Fr Agba, who based his reflections on the readings of the First Sunday of Advent in which the jubilee anniversary fell, described the Season of Advent as a time of favour and a time of salvation. According to him, Advent was a season of preparation for the coming in history of Jesus Christ, and for the coming of Jesus Christ into the lives of his faithful, as well as the coming again of Jesus Christ.
He charged all to attach strict importance to the spiritual exercise of Advent, which, he said, included the Sacrament of Reconciliation, otherwise known as the Sacrament of Penance.
St Patrick’s Parish, Agulu, through the reception address that was signed by the Secretary, Parish Pastoral Council, Mrs Benadette Moneme, and the Vice Chairman, Parish Pastoral Council, Sir H. Nkamuoh, extolled Fr Nwankwor for his commitment to pastoral duties and many works of charity.
According to the address, the jubilarian, had built three houses for the poor in Agulu, picked up hospital bills for the poor, and through his German friends, was currently building