St Theresa’s Catholic Church Bubbles as Fr Ezenezi Celebrates Silver Jubilee in Nibo

By Daruwana Daku

Priests, religious, dignitaries, family members, as well as well-wishers of Rev. Fr Dr Francis Ezenezi, stormed St Theresa’s Catholic Church, Nibo, in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State, to celebrate with him as he marked his priestly silver jubilee with style.

The celebration which began with a Thanksgiving Mass officiated by the celebrant was held on Sunday, January 2, 2022.

In his homily during the Mass Msgr. Jerome Madueke appreciated God for the life of Fr Ezenezi, especially for giving him the grace to have attained 25 years in priesthood and also the joy of celebrating his silver jubilee.

This was even as the homilist noted that the  celebrant’s intellectual prowess, his dedication to his vocational call and service to the things of God and humanity would propel him to the pinnacle of his vocation.

‘Fr Francis is a very hardworking priest; not only hardworking, but also one that is steadfast. With the way I have known him, if he continues this way, more will be achieved by him,’ the homilist said.

He also charged the jubilarian to use his intellect and achievements as channels to praise God and make God manifest in his life and ministry.

Msgr Madueke who spoke on the importance of Epiphany, a solemnity that celebrates the manifestation of Jesus Christ, also charged Christians to dwell more on the kingship of God, who according to him, was King, Prince and Saviour of the universe. He implored the Church to look out for the light of faith, which, he said, was the true splendor of God in obtaining salvation.

Adding to his homily, he beseeched worshipers to shun the pageantry of mundane things, splendor and culture of praises.

In an exclusive interview with Fides after the Mass, Fr Ezenezi expressed joy in his journey to priesthood so far; while also thanking God for calling him into the sacred priesthood. He noted that God gave him an unwarranted gift in spite of his unworthiness to serve in his vineyard.

‘The journey of priesthood has been wonderful and I thank God for the opportunity for calling me to the sacred priesthood. That I have lived this life up to 25 years is by the mercies of God not by merit. It is simply a gratuitous gift that God gave me and I’m happy he has called me in this divine call,’ Fr Ezenezi noted.

Adding her voice to the joyous anniversary of Fr Ezenezi, was the elder sister, Barr (Mrs) Nwando Obiano, PhD, who appreciated God for the life of his younger brother (Fr Ezenezi) whom she described as superlative in everything God had blessed him with.

She further described Fr Ezenezi as hardworking and energetic, even in maintaining a cordial relationship with the family. Mrs Obiano maintained that the hard work he had put in, both his priestly vocation and his home parish, had brought him that far.

She expressed the hope that her brother would do more in his years of service to God.

Fides gathered that Fr Ezenezi, popularly known as Oba, was ordained by His Lordship, Most Rev Simon Okafor, now late, the then Bishop of Awka Diocese in 1996, and in 2003 Fr Ezenezi furthered his study in Canada where he ended up in parish ministry and also doing ecclesiastical work.

His hard work and intelligence have also led to the development of his home parish from the diocese he works with in Canada.

The highlight of the event was a warm reception given to him by his parish and family members, presentation of award by the parish laity council, cutting of anniversary cake and different dance renditions.