By Chioma Ndife
An indigenous Priest of Agulu Community and a Professor in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Rev. Fr. Boniface Obiefuna and other members of the 1983 set of Awka Diocesan Priests, had celebrated their 35th Priestly Anniversary.
The 35th Anniversary which was in thanksgiving and appreciation to God for his faithfulness and divine providence upon priests of 1983 set was held at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Akwaeze on Monday, July 2nd, 2018.
Some of the 1983 Set of Awka Diocesan Priests who graced the anniversary were Rev. Prof. Jude Ezeokana, Rev. Fr. Michael Anozie, Very Rev. Msgr. Jerome Madueke, Fr. Jerome Okafor and Fr. Cyriacus Ajaelo from Awka Etiti.
The host, Fr. Obiefuna who had earlier celebrated his 64th Birthday on 24th June, 2018 said the anniversary was organized to hold on 2nd July the exact day of their ordination in 1983. He revealed that the decision to celebrate the 35th Priestly Anniversary with his brother priests came after he celebrated Sunday Mass on 1st July with parishioners of St. Michael’s Parish, Awkaeze. He said that the idea behind the celebration was to appreciate God’s numerous blessings and increase which he had granted to priests of 83 Set among other unmentionable deeds.
Speaking to Fides, Rev. Fr. Prof. Boniface Obiefuna noted that the anniversary was to thank God for sustaining him and his brother priests for the past 35 years following their ordination as priests of Awka Diocese in 1983. He described the past 35 years of priesthood as one filled with God’s numerous provision, abundant blessing and grace to surmount different difficulties that came their way.
Earlier in his homily, the Episcopal Vicar of Awka Region, Rev. Fr. Matthew Attansey disclosed that the difficulties faced by people in the society was due to lack of humility and unacceptance of one’s economic status. He noted that excessive desire for earthly materials had made things extremely difficult.
He praised the celebrants for being consistent in the works of the church and for engaging in actions that had not brought shame to the Catholic Church. He thanked God for giving them grace and sustaining them to be faithful in the work of God. He urged the faithful to look inward in their lives and thank God for what he has done, noting that there was nothing one could achieve in life without the help of God.
The priests during the anniversary prayed for all departed priests especially late Rev. Fr. Fr. Joseph Nwafor who was in their class during the days their seminary formation.