… Celebrate 17 Silver, 1 Golden Jubilarians
By Alexander Adejoh and Precious Ukeje
As part of plans to begin the new year on a good note, the Catholic Diocese of Awka led by Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, Diocesan Bishop, and his Auxiliary, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, last Monday 11 January, 2021, marked the 2021 version of the Annual Awka Diocesan Priestly Get-Together and Reunion
The event which was held at Archbishop AK Obiefuna Retreat Pastoral and Conference Centre, ABAKOREPACCO, Nodu-Okpuno, featured activities like the Eucharistic celebration of the Holy Mass, Annual Presbyterian Bishop’s Speech, celebration of Jubilarians, and exchange of gifts.
Delivering his homily, Rev. Fr Bonaventure Nwankiti, one of the Silver Jubilarians, who thanked God for the gift of priesthood, said he was most grateful to God that the 1996 set of Awka Diocesan priests were all hale and hearty.
He charged the priests to know that just like soldiers, they had a duty to always remember the demands of their priestly vocation and commit themselves to making sure that they fulfilled the demands.
Rev. Fr Nwankiti also thanked God for bringing home, Awka Diocesan priests who resided abroad, and in addition, for the gift of the golden jubilarian, Very Rev. Fr John Oraemesi, who was ordained a priest of the diocese in the year 1971.
In a related development, Valentine Ozigbo, a governorship hopeful on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, who was at the event, congratulated the jubilarians, who, he noted, were kept by God for the number of years they had been priests.
He also sought prayers from the priests and the bishop of the diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, urging them to remember him in prayers as he sought to contest election into the seat of the governor for the good of all Anambrarians.
In his remarks, Bishop Ezeokafor enjoined the priests to remain faithful to their calling and always avail themselves to the needs of their parishioners and lay faithful under their pastoral watch.
The Catholic prelate noted that the get together was an avenue for all the priests to meet with each other, even as the year just begun, and to set the tone for a year, he noted, that would be good for everyone, while he beseeched God to stall the spread of coronavirus.
He therefore urged all priests to promote strict compliance to the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols in their respective places of assignment, noting that the country was experiencing a second wave of the pandemic.