By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
In gratitude to God for prayers answered after many years of persistence and hope, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Culture and Tourism, Anambra State, Hon. Tony Ezenwaka and his family, on Sunday, August 19, 2018, dedicated his only son, Chukwujekwu Anthony Ezenwaka to God, amid great thanksgiving.
In an exclusive interview to Fides after the well-attended concelebrated thanksgiving Mass at St Joseph the Worker's Catholic Chaplaincy, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka, Anambra State, Hon. Ezenwaka said the great thanksgiving was to fulfil a promise made to God for the gift of a son to his family after 15 long years of persistent prayers, expectations and hope in God.
The permanent secretary said they invited the world to join them in the great thanksgiving, to share in their boundless joy over God's special gift of an only son in their 19th year of marriage.
He expressed his conviction that the son, Chukwujekwu Anthony Ezenwaka, was destined to be a light for others, saying that as God used him to answer their prayers, the boy would be a solution provider to the needy individuals, groups, communities and the society in general.
Ezenwaka said the great thanksgiving was the second one by the family, after the first one in 2000, for the dedication of their first child and daughter, who is currently an undergraduate of the Department of Pharmacy, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Anambra State.
Hon Ezenwaka said he felt highly elated and fulfilled to be a father of three daughters and one son, saying that he was fortunate to be blessed with children, who were greatest source of happiness in marriage.
The second daughter is a potential SS3 student while the baby boy's immediate elder sister is a 15 years potential SS2 student.
Earlier in his homily, when he led in the concelebrated thanksgiving Mass, the former Catholic Bishop of Ahiara Diocese, Most Rev Dr Peter Ebere Okpaleke, thanked God for increased number of children He blessed his people with.
Bishop Okpaleke, who is a former chief chaplain of St Joseph the Worker's Catholic Chaplaincy, NAU, said he was at the chaplaincy on the invitation of Ezenwaka to the thanksgiving. He charged parents to live up to their responsibilities of proper parenting, and mould their children to responsible individuals they were expected to be.
The Awka Diocesan-born Catholic bishop, who further based his reflections on the readings of the Sunday, described Holy Eucharist as the source of life and salvation for the faithful.