By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
St Paul’s Parish, Ugwuoba, Oji River LGA, Enugu State and Adrian & Gloria Kramer (AGK) Model School of the parish, have honoured the parish priest, Rev Fr Dr Lawrence Nchekwube Nwankwo, for what the parishioners and the pupils of the school, described as the priest’s large heartedness and lovely disposition.
The parish stated this through an appreciative address, presented to Fr Law Nwankwo on the occasion of his Priestly Silver Jubilee Anniversary. Held at St Paul’s Parish, Ugwuoba, on November 3.
According to the address that was signed by the parish vicar, Rev Fr Emmanuel Udoka Izuagba; the Coordinator, Silver Jubilee Planning Committee, Rev Fr Felix Efobi; 1st Vice Chairman, Parish Pastoral Council, Engr Chief Geoffrey Anyadiegwu and the Chairman, Silver Jubilee Planning Committee, Prince Sylvanus Nnedum, ‘Fr Law Nwankwo’s indefatigable struggles and manifestations, have earned the four years old parish, miracle parish, as its new name.
The parish, through the address, appreciated Fr Nwankwo for the various projects carried out in the parish, which included judicious management of fund for the completion and dedication of the church building and rectory that were donated by Chief Sir Francis Nwandison; landscaping of the Church premises and building of the new AGK Model School, despite the problem of lack of fund which the parish has been experiencing.
‘It was through Fr Law Nwankwo’s large heartedness, lovely disposition and selflessness, that he was able to attract the benefactors of the AGK Model School, Adrian & Gloria Kramer, a couple from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, USA, through his bossom friend, Rev Fr Cornelius Okeke, and they funded the giant upstairs, that currently house the new primary school, and have been funding the school till date’, the address read.
For their parts, the pupils of AGK Model School of St Paul’s Parish, Ugwuoba, Rev Fr Nwankwo was their God-sent messiah. The pupils through an eight letter word rendition summed up as LAWRENCE, extolled the priest for what they described as his godly, affectionate and caring disposition.
According to the pupils in the rendition, L, meant living a godly life, and Rev Fr Dr Lawrence Nwankwo, was a man who brought his life for Christ and for the good of others. He has chosen to live for God, and die in Christ just like apostle Paul.
‘A, stands for acceptability. Rev Fr Dr Lawrence Nwankwo is a man, who accepts everybody as his own. He always has the interest of the people at heart. Our wellbeing is his priority’, the pupils stated.
‘W, means word of encouragement. Once you are troubled, just come to Rev Fr Dr Lawrence Nwankwo, and you will be relieved of all your worries. Because he has the right words of encouragement that will soothe your soul. His words are painkillers to heart ache’, the school children revealed.
‘R, means Reliable. Rev Fr Dr Lawrence Nwankwo is reliable and trustworthy. It was his worthy life and straightforward life that attracted our noble Papa Adrian and Mummy Gloria Kramer Dodo to him. It pays to serve God’, the pupils added.
The visibly delighted pupils continued, ‘E, stands for examplary living. It is said that a great teacher teaches with example. “Yes”! Our Rev Fr Lawrence Nwankwo is living an examplary life. His life is worthy of emulation.
‘N, means neatness. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Rev Fr Dr Lawrence Nwankwo hates dirtiness. He is the type that makes sure that all his surroundings are clean. He also loves nature and planting flowers. You can testify by looking around our school environment. He has got a green thumb, and loves everything natural’, the pupils said.
‘C, stands for coherent. Rev Fr Dr Lawrence Nwankwo is well organized, and easy to understand. He is a man of few words, but I will best describe him as “Gentle but firm”, one of the pupils said in the rendition.
They pupils added, ‘E, is for educationist. Rev Fr Dr Lawrence Nwankwo is an educationist, who loves to teach new things. We all can testify by tracing our school far back till Rev Fr Dr Lawrence Nwankwo came into the picture. It is only an educationist, who can turn this our noble alma mater into a citadel of glory’.
The school through the pupils thanked Fr Nwankwo for what they described as his consistent goodwill, and prayed for God’s continuous guidance on him.
Proposing the toast at the reception, the Director, Fides School of Theology, Catholic Diocese of Awka, Very Rev Msgr Jerome Madueke, described Fr Nwankwo as a humble and selfless individual.
Recalling his relationship with the jubilarian, when he worked with him in Fids, Msgr Madueke, who is a former Director of Fides Media said, ‘Fr Lawrence Nwankwo’s mettle, is such that anyone that encountered him, cannot but try to meet him again. He is still the personality I know. It is my prayer that God endow him with the grace to continue to be humble and selfless’.