The auxilliary Bishop of Onitsha His Lordship Most Rev. Dr. Denis Isizoh on Thursday described the former Archbishop of Onitsha Most Rev. Stephen Nweke Ezeanya of the blessed memory as a humble prelate who left so many good virtues for our imitation.
The Bishop made the description during the 2020 anniversary Mass to commemorate the death of the late Archbishop who who transited to glory 24 years ago.
His words; “Archbishop Ezeanya was the prelate that ordained me and I was close to him expecially the last days of his life, during his sickness in Rome and other places he went to. I knew him as a very holy person. He was not just a good father but a humble prelate and I admired the virtues I found in him”.
“I felt very close to him. Each time I come around for the annual anniversary of his demise, it reminded of the way he lived, his words and for me it is a joy to celebrate him, asking God to show us that he is in heaven. I believe strongly that he is in heaven and I am learning something good from his life that I will also adopt as a Bishop and this reasons made me to initiate the annual anniversary for his departure from the earth.
Bishop Isizoh enjoined the people of Nnokwa the home town of the late Archbishop to be happy that such a man came from there town. “There are so many good things about the late Archbishop which I want them to imitate. Let faith grow more in Nnokwa in order to reflect the first pastoral letter of the late Archbishop titled ‘Lord increase our faith; asking that faith may increase in this part of the world and let work of evangelization flourish.”
Explaining the essence of the annual anniversary, the prelate made it clear that through constant prayers, God can show signs that Archbishop Ezeanya is in heaven and once such happens, course for his beautification and canonization can begin.
Also, Msgr. John Nzomiwu who spoke at the event described late Archbishop Ezeanya as a humble prelate whose examplary life exuded love, holiness, charity and other good virtues, adding that he cared a lot for the poor, windows and the downtrodden.
The Episcopal Vicar Nnobi Region Very Rev. Fr. JohnBosco Ezika In his contribution said a lot of people have continue to testify the good works of the late Archbishop. As we are praying for his eternal repose and we are asking God to show us a sign that he is in heaven so that we can count him as one of our saints interceding for us officially. He commended Bishop Isizoh for initiating the annual anniversary Mass for the late local ordinary, describing the move as a step in the right direction.
“The anniversary Mass is also reminding us that such a prelate existed in our midst. The scripture tells us, remember your leaders who preached the word of God to you and also reflect on the out come of their lives. The late Archbishop’s faith is an example for us. On this premise, I encourage one another to be faithful as the late prelate taught us.”
Earlier in his homily, Rev. Fr.Jude Okwuelu explained how the late Archbishop carried his cross. “He was known for carrying the cross and he tought us the way of cross. Let us follow his teachings. Don’t play with holy Mass and shun neo-peganism.
Some times suffer your self. Too much eating draws us closer to the grave. We are not of the world. Let us say our rosary and be charitable and by doing so, we are already following the foot steps of late Archbishop Stephen Ezeanya.
Bishop Isizoh in his closing remarks disclosed the on going plans to launch a book on the life and times of the late Archbishop during his forth coming posthumous birthday next year, revealing that by 31st March 2021, the late Archbishop will clock 100 years if he was still alive. The book he said will help the faithful to know the late Archbishop well in respect of his good deeds, spirituality and good life.
It will be recalled that Late Archbishop Stephen Nweke Ezeanya was the third Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese and the metropolitan of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province between 1985 and 1995. He contributed his best in moving the Archdiocese to another level and left commendable legacies worthy of emulation. He eventually took a bow and joined his creator on 12th November 1996 after a protracted illness.
By Nna Anulumadu