Nnaemekas Celebrate Mum at 80

. . . Tag Her Super Heroine

By Chioma Ndife

Clocking eight decades on earth and weathering life’s storms truly calls for a celebration in a bid to appreciate God for the gift of life. That was what the Nnaemeka Okoye family of Obeledu Community in Anaocha LGA, Anambra State, did when they rolled out the drums to celebrate their mother, Mrs Maria Nnaemeka Okoye, to mark her 80th birthday.

The celebration of a blessed and grace-filled life, such as was attained by Mrs. Maria Nnaemeka Okoye who, who was blessed with eight lovely children, 45 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, was geared at thanking God for his numerous blessings and divine help upon the celebrant.

Fides gathered that the birthday celebration put together by Mrs. Nnaemeka’s eight children availed them the opportunity of appreciating the contributions of their mum which saw them as successful individuals in their various chosen fields of endeavour.

The children disclosed to Fides that the phenomenal life lived by the mum had impacted positively on all of them and described her as their super heroine.

The birthday celebration held on January 5, 2019, started with a concelebrated Eucharistic Mass led by the auxiliary bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Obeledu.

Leading in the Holy Mass, Bishop Okoye appreciated the children of Mrs. Nnaemeka Okoye for their initiative and for hosting the birthday celebration in honour of their mother.

He recalled the sacrifices which mothers usually make to ensure qualitative training for their children and noted that such sacrifices could never be repaid. He noted that one stood to gain lot of divine blessings for taking care of one’s parents, saying that it was one of the scriptural responsibilities vested on children by God.

He commended the celebrant for the qualitative upbringing imbedded in her children and for giving two of her kids to God. He maintained that the celebrant’s two children who went into religious life were able to do so through constant participation in church activities and close relationship with God which moulded their early development.

Speaking to Fides, the celebrant, a visibly overjoyed Mrs. Maria Nnaemeka Okoye appreciated God for the gift of life, children and other achievements which she had recorded in her life.

She acknowledged God as the number one factor that led towards the success recorded in the training of her children, saying that without God, her own world would have ended, especially after she lost her husband 25 years previously.

She advised widows to develop complete trust in God and take life easy. She thanked all her children for organizing the birthday celebration in her honour, saying that the celebration had renewed her life.

In his goodwill message, the parish priest of St. Cyprian Parish, Oko-Oba, Lagos, and 5th child of the celebrant, Rev. Fr. Augustine Nnaemeka, appreciated God for the life, sound health of mind and body granted to his mother and identified the gift of life as what necessitated the celebration.

He said that human life span ended at 70, noting that 80 years was for those who were strong. He maintained that God had been involved in the affairs of his family and commended father-figure desired by them after the death of their father.

For her part, Rev. Sr. MariaClaude Nnaemeka Okoye said that the birthday was organized in order to celebrate their mum who gave out all she had for them to actualize their life’s aspiration and to thank God for the life given to their mum.

Contributing, the first son of the celebrant, Chief Tony Nnaemeka Okoye expressed happiness over the style of upbringing given to them by their parents and commended their mum for carrying on with training them after the death of their dad.

Recalling how their mother sowed the seed of unity in the family, he maintained that their mother’s strong mind and disposition to life, motivated him alongside his sister who had graduated from the university before the death of their dad to struggle hard to ensure that their siblings graduated from the university.

Cutting of cake, dance, and presentation of gifts, among others, were highpoints of the celebration which attracted people from various walks of life and places, including the parishioners of St. Cyprian’s Catholic Church, Oko-Oba Lagos, parish of the celebrant’s priest son, Rev. Fr. Nnaemeka.

he auxiliary Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye (3rd right) poses with the birthday celebrant, Mrs. Maria Nnaemeka Okoye (middle) and concelebrants after the Holy Mass held to commence her birthday celebration. 3rd left is Rev. Fr. Augustine Nnaemeka, the celebrant’s priest son and Parish Priest of St. Cyprian Catholic Church, Oko-Oba, Lagos.
Rev. Fr. Augustine Nnaemeka (2nd right) assists Bishop Okoye (1st right) in the presentation of the papal blessing conferred on the celebrant, Mrs. Maria Nnaemeka Okoye (2nd left) by Pope Francis at the birthday mass.
The celebrant’s first Son, Chief Tony Nnaemeka Okoye (1st left), appreciates the celebrant’s dance steps as Fr. Augustine Nnaemeka (2nd left), joins in the dance to motivate their mother
Bishop Okoye (4th left) poses with the celebrant, Mrs. Maria Nnaemeka (3rd left), celebrant’s Son and Daughter, Fr. Augustine, and Sr. MariaClaude Nnaemeka Okoye (2nd and 1st left) alongside some religious at the Birthday Mass. 5th left is the Parish Priest of Holy Trinity, Obeledu, Rev. Fr. Philip Okoye.
Some religious in the same congregation with the celebrant’s daughter present gifts to the celebrant, Mrs. Maria Nnaemeka Okoye.
Bishop Okoye (6th right) in a group photograph with the Birthday Celebrant, Mrs. Maria Nnaemeka Okoye (7th right), celebrant’s priest son, Fr. Augustine Nnaemeka (5th left), Sr. daughter, Rev. Sr. MariaClaude Nnaemeka and Umuada Umuofulubi, Ezeile Village, Obeledu after the Holy Mass.
The celebrant’s first Son, Chief Tony Nnaemeka Okoye (1st left), priest son, Fr. Augustine, leads others in ushering the celebrant in.
Cross-section of parishioners from St. Cyprian’s Catholic Church, Oko-Oba, Lagos at the birthday celebration
CWO of St. Cyprian’s Catholic Church, Oko-Oba, Lagos coming to present their gifts to the celebrant.
Children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the celebrant, Mrs. Maria Nnaemeka Okoye, assist mama in cutting her 80th birthday cake.
Parishionersof St. Cyprian’s Catholic Church, Oko-Oba, Lagos, with their parish priest, Fr. Augustine Nnaemeka pose with the auxiliary Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye (Centre). He is flanked on the right by the birthday celebrant, Mrs. Maria Nnaemeka Okoye and on the left by the Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Parish, Obeledu, Rev, Fr. Philip Okoye.

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