Opinion

Golden Cheers As the Okafors Celebrate Golden Jubilee

. . . As Bishop Terms Celebration ‘Survival of Storms’

By Chioma Ndife

It was a celebration of the unending love between Mr. Norbert and Mrs. Veronica Okoye on Saturday, January 2, 2020, at their home compound in Adazi-Nnukwu, Anaocha LGA, Anambra State, as dignitaries and people from all walks of life gathered to celebrate the golden jubilee wedding anniversary of the ideal couple.

Fides gathered that the couples could be described as ideal sequel to the mentorship which most young couple had received through them.

The celebration of the marital bliss which had stood the taste of time, commenced with a concelebrated Eucharistic celebration led by the auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, Adazi-Nnukwu.

Leading in the Eucharistic celebration, Bishop Okoye, noted that the golden jubilee was an important celebration because of the exemplification of love it had disclosed between the couple which brought about the long period they spent in the marriage.

He said it was the same type of love that pushed people into the ministerial priesthood of Christ for the conversation of souls.

Bishop Okoye said that no marriage was devoid of challenges and noted that how people approached marital challenges was the only thing that made marriages different.

In his homily, Bishop Okoye enjoined the celebrant to be consistent in their love towards each other, noting that it was the main reason why they attained the golden age of 50 in their marriage. He noted that marriage was not a bed of roses but a union that required understanding and commitment by both parties to ensure its success.

He described love as the meaning of marriage, calling on all to adopt the virtue in their respective homes. He regretted the acrimony existent in young marriages and appreciated the celebrant’s children for remembering to celebrate their parents, saying that such was in-line with the directive of Awka Diocese on befitting living rather than befitting burial.

He beckoned on the couple to take up marriage course classes to indoctrinate people going into marriage to have a basic understanding of what marriage was all about.

Speaking to Fides, Mr. Norbert Okafor revealed that their marriage had its ups and downs at various points, saying that God was instrumental to the success which they had recorded as a husband and wife for the past 50 years. He noted that their marriage was based on straightforwardness, rooted in prayer, understanding, love and mutual respect for one another.

He expressed readiness to join his wife and commence the teaching of marriage courses.

For her part, Mrs. Okafor said they were able to clock 50 years in their marriage life due to God’s mercy and grace and called on young couple to develop patience and endurance, noting that marriage was good but not always as sweet as it was seen from the outside. She tasked young couples to seek the true meaning of marriage before going into it and appreciated God for his presence, wealth, children and gift of friends which, she said, added taste to their marriage.

Mrs. Okafor who had been teaching marriage courses since 1981, said the celebration had empowered her to teach more people about the principles of a successful marriage, while she harped on the dangers of divorce.

The priest, son of the celebrant, Rev. Fr. Theophine Okafor, described the golden jubilee celebration of his parents as God’s divine blessing. He said the manner his parents took decisions about their welfare was greatly outstanding. He urged other couples to learn effective communication as it helped in marriages.

Their union is blessed with seven children; three boys, which include, a US based priest; Rev. Fr. Theophine Okafor and four girls.

The Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Dioicese, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye presents Pope’s Papal Blessing to the Celebrants, Mr. & Mrs. Okafor at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, Adazi-Nnukwu, Jan 2, 2020.

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