By Amarachi Okpunobi
The Nimo-born Priest, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Augustine Amamchukwu Okochi, fondly called Kochis, on 29 September 2018, celebrated his 25th Priestly Anniversary.
Fr. Okochi, who was ordained a Catholic Priest by His Lordship, Most Rev. Simon Okafor, Bishop Emeritus of Awka Diocese, at Assumption Parish, Nimo, on 15 August 1993, has been the Rector of St. John Bosco Seminary, Isuaniocha for more than eight years.
Describing the celebrant, during the concelebrated Holy Mass to mark the Silver Jubilee, the homilist, Fr. Alphonsus Ezeoke, said that Fr. Okochi is a resilient priest who has lived his life for the formation of young people and the growth of the church. He encouraged the celebrant to be more committed to his calling even as he advised him to evaluate himself and amend his life where necessary for continuity in spiritual growth.
The cleric also charged the faithful to support and pray for their priests especially the formators in the seminary while he prayed for God’s blessings upon them.
In their address of welcome, the Parents-Teachers’ Association of St. John Bosco Seminary, Isuaniocha, represented by their secretary, Lady Ngozi Ekwunife, thanked the Celebrant for his zero tolerance to indiscipline, through which the school has achieved commendable height, evident in the academic excellence of the students . He was also appreciated for his great commitment towards the structural growth of the seminary.
Delivering his speech, the chairman of the occasion, Chima Okafor Esq., a former Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in Anambra State, extolled the jubilinarian for his passion in inculcating values as a formator of priests in the diocese. The Chairman who described him as an industrious son of the soil also said that the celebration was to give a boost to the great achievement.
Fr. Okochi who was filled with joy, thanked all who graced the occasion especially the PTA and Management of St. John Bosco Seminary, Isuaniocha for their commitment to the progress of the school. He thanked his able colleagues in the seminary; Msgr. Sylvester Mgbefulu, Spiritual Director I; Fr. Mechizedek Obi, Spiritual Director II; Fr. Raphael Onyekwelu, Bursar; Fr. Innocent Okeke, Administrative Dean and Fr. Denis Nwabueze. He also thanked his family and the Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. P.C Ezeokafor for his support and care towards the Seminary.
Congratulatory songs, presentation of gifts and cultural dance formed the climax of the occasion.