Why I Celebrated Birthday with Retired Priests – Lady Lilian Ejy-Akwuba

… Donates AC to the Home

By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba

The Deputy Director, Social Welfare, Oyi LGA, Anambra State, Lady Lilian Ejy-Akwuba, LSM, has given reasons for celebrating her 50th birthday with retired and old Catholic priests of Awka and Ekwulobia Dioceses.

Lady Ejy-Akwuba, who spoke when she hosted her golden jubilee birthday for the retired priests, family and some friends at the Awka Diocesan Priests’ Retirement Home, GRA, Awka, Anambra State, last Tuesday, said it was to draw people’s attention to the need to care for and celebrate the priests, who according to her, served the Church and the people of God in their youthful and healthy age.

The celebrant, Lady Lilian Ejy-Akwuba (centre), cuts her 50th Birthday cake with some of the retired priests, two of her children and some friends. L-R: Chima Ejy-Akwuba; Chimamanda Ezeoke Lady Chinwe Ezeoke, LSM; Chiazlum Ejy-Akwuba; Msgr Simon Amateze; the celebrant, Lady Lilian Ejy-Akwuba, LSM; Rev Fr Clement Obianozie; Rev Fr Simon Azuka; Mrs Nonyelum Afoekelu of Federal Ministry of External Affairs; Lady Rosemary Nweke, LSM of Marvel Water and Mrs Lilian, Priests’ Retirement Home, GRA, Awka, April 6, 2021.

‘The priests, who gave their youthful and healthy age in service to God and humanity, and are currently incapacitated due to old age and/or health challenges, should not be forgotten; instead, they should be cared for, visited and celebrated by the people of God who they worked for,’ Lady Ejy-Akwuba said.

Pointing out that when the priests were cared for and gave more reasons to be happy, they would live longer and healthier, the lady of Knight of Saint Mulumba urged all, especially the wealthy, to invest in the priests’ retirement home.

Lady Ejy-Akwuba, who identified her passion to sacrifice for the good of others and the Church as what had been driving her on, encouraged all to make out time to visit the priests, find out their needs and the needs of the home, and do their best to contribute to the wellbeing of the priests who sacrificed their lives at the point of their ordination.

Recalling that she lost her husband after fifteen years of marriage, and had since 2013 of his demise been organizing a memorial for him, the Awka-born social welfare officer identified her strong faith in God, prayers and the grace of God, as her sources of strength. She thanked God for his sustenance, as well as the blessed gift of life on her, her children, family, friends and the priests.

To mark the April 6, 2021 Golden Jubilee birthday, the celebrant, together with some of her friends who joined her in the celebration, donated a brand new AC for the refectory of the Priests’ Retirement Home, Awka, as well as a bread toaster for the home. She appreciated her friends for their donations, which according to her, would contribute to bettering the lives of the retired priests.

In his remarks, the Director, Priests’ Retirement Home, GRA, Awka, Rev Fr Emmanuel Ifesinachi Udu, appreciated the celebrant and her friends for their generosity, which, according to him, was overwhelming.

The visibly delighted Fr Udu, who spoke on behalf of the members of the home, commended the celebrant, family and friends that accompanied her for what she described as the exultant joy which they caused in the life of the priests.

Also speaking, the Priest-in-Charge of Special Duties II, Peter University, Onneh, Rev Fr JohnMark Okafor, and a Priest-in-Residence at the Home, Very Rev Msgr Simon Amateze, in their various speeches, described the celebrant as a sweet personality. The two priests, who recalled the occasions Lady Ejy-Akwuba, sacrificed for the wellbeing of the priests and other individuals, prayed for God’s continuous blessings and sustenance on her.