By Ononye VC
It was a hectic period for the Bishops, Priests,religious and lay faithful of Archdiocese of Onitsha as 2 priests of the Archdiocese were buried at close intervals in the month of March,2021 by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha,Most Rev.Valerian Okeke.
The late priests are,the Episcopal Vicar,Onitsha Region,Very Rev Fr Patrick Eloka Omutah(58) who was buried on Monday March 15 2021 and Very Rev Fr Andrew Izukanne(67)who was buried on Tuesday 23rd March 2021 at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity cemetry,Onitsha.
The late Fr Patrick Omutah was until his death the Parish Priest of St Mary’s Catholic Church,Awada while the late Fr Izukanne until his death was a Resident Priest,Holy Spirit Parish,Omagba,Onitsha.
In his opening remarks during the burial mass of Fr Omutah,Archbishop Valerian Okeke expressed gratitude to God for the gift of the late Fr Omutah who he described as a gentleman, a decent person and a team player.
The Archbishop condoled Omutah’s family,his classmates and all those affected by his death.
The Bishop of Nnewi Diocese Most Rev Hilary Ofili Okeke and the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha were present.
In a homily titled “Do not be deceived” Rev Fr Celestine Aniofor likened Rev Fr Omutah’s death as the falling of a big tree.He described the late Priest as a great mentor, formator, educator and a peace loving man.
Fr Aniofor admonished the faithful not to be deceived by the material things they acquire with hope they would outlive their generation adding that when God decides to take one’s life,no amount of precaution could save him just as Fr Omutah’s sudden death was a surprise to all.
Ex Governor Peter Obi,Senator Victor Umeh,members of the Knights of St Mulumba and many other dignitaries attended the burial.
Also for the late Fr Izukanne,the Auxillary Bishop of Onitsha in a homily,described the late Fr Izukanne as a living word of God exemplified in his peaceful nature and prayerful nature.
Archbishop Valerian Okeke condoled his family from Atani and the entire Ogbaru people on the death of Fr Izukanne.
The Archdiocesan Chancellor Very Rev Fr Prudentius Aroh delivered special thanks to Dr Eddy Emegaekwue of Crown Hospital,Nkpor for his immeasurable contribution towards treatment of late Fr Izukanne.
He also acknowledged the presence of former governor of Anambra State,Mr Peter Obi(represented),Director General of CWO Archdiocese of Onitsha,Dame Dr Ngozi Nwanosike,CWO Secretary General, Lady Chika Obike and CMO President General Sir Nnajiaku.
Meanwhile, the Parish Priest of St Mary’s Catholic Church,Onitsha Inland Town,Very Rev Fr Johnbosco Okafor has been appointed the Episcopal Vicar of Onitsha Region,Archdiocese of Onitsha.
Fr Johnbosco steps into the shoes of the former Episcopal Vicar,late Very Rev Fr Patrick Omutah who died and was buried recently.
Very Rev Fr Johnbosco Okafor was ordained Priest of the Holy Catholic Church on August 15 1997.
Fr Johnbosco has achieved milestones of indelible proportions in his Stewardship as Parish Priest of St Mary’s Catholic Church, Onitsha Inland Town.
He is also the Chaplain of Catholic Women Organisation (CWO)Archdiocese of Onitsha.