Joy as Priests of Adazi Region Pay Courtesy Visit to Priests in Welfare Home

By Gloria Ibesi and Chiagolum Omeje

Such moments of liveliness and joy filled the air as the Catholic Priests of Adazi Region, Awka Diocese, paid courtesy visit to the priests at the Awka Diocesan Priests Welfare home in Awka, 30 August 2023, as a way of fraternization, support and encouragement.

The occasion which is held annually by the priests of the three regions of the dioceses is aimed at paying homage to the old and retired priests, and offering financial support, foodstuffs and other items, for support and upkeep.

Speaking with Fides, the Parish Priest, St. Andrew’s Parish Adazi, Nnukwu, and the Episcopal Vicar, Adazi Region, Very Rev Fr Anthony Anike, said it was the duty of the priests still in service to visit their brother priests who had retired after working for the Church for many years noting that the visit was meant for them to have some time to discuss and chat with the retired priests, learn from them and support them.

He encouraged the retired priests to continue to live happily as they had many people around them willing to take care of them and cater for their needs.

One of the retired priests in the welfare home, Rev Fr Clement Onyemelukwe, expressed his delight over the visit, stating that the visit made them happy and relaxed.

‘When you are sick, you need people to visit you and console you,’ he said, while expressing his profound gratitude to the priests who came with all sorts of gift items including money to spend time with them.

In their individual addresses, Some of the visiting priests acknowledged the Director of the Priests Welfare Home, Fr Emmanuel Udu, for his dedication and steadfastness in caring for the retired priests as well as his aptness in maintaining the Priests Welfare Home environment, making it facilitative enough for its purpose. He noted that it was not an easy job.

For his own part, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Ifesinachi Udu, the Director of the Awka Diocesan Priests Welfare Home, said the visit was a wonderful and welcomed event as it availed the old priests the opportunity to mingle and interact with their younger colleagues in the ministry which he said gave them feelings of liveliness and excitement.

He thanked them for finding out time to come and be with them and support them with many gifts and food items. He also appreciated them for their encouragements and for always obliging him the times he called on them for assistance. He went on to recognize the efforts of  the seminarians and staff  of the Welfare Home saying that their contributions were immeasurable.

The event featured wining and dining, presentation of gifts including food items to the retired priests and musical entertainments.