By Njideka Eze
The Holy Ghost Cathedral in Enugu was filled with an air of gratitude and celebration as bishops, priests, and faithful congregated on Tuesday to mark the Golden and Silver Jubilee of esteemed priests. The occasion honored the dedicated service of Very Rev. Fr. Sabastine Emekwue, who reached the remarkable milestone of fifty years, and Very Rev. Frs. James Eke, Jude Nzekwe, Anthony Okoro, and Morris Okorie, who celebrated a quarter-century in priesthood.
His Lordship Bishop Callistus Onaga, in his opening remarks, expressed profound joy and thanksgiving to God for the commitment of the celebrants in serving both God and the church through their exemplary works and teachings. He fervently prayed for God’s continued blessings on these priests, acknowledging the sacrifices they have made in their faithful journey.
In a thought-provoking homily, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese, Most Rev. Ernest Obodo, reflected on the biblical notion that priests are chosen by God Himself, drawing a parallel to Hebrew 5:4. He emphasized that the honorees, like Aaron of old, did not choose the priestly honor for themselves but responded to a divine call. Drawing inspiration from Mary’s unwavering response, he encouraged the jubilant priests to use this milestone as a time of introspection, reflecting on their past years of service, and making amends where necessary.
“Reflect on how you have fared these past years,” urged His Lordship, “be steadfast in prayer, for the Lord who chose you will never forsake you.” The call to self-care was also prominent in his advice, as he reminded the priests to attend to their health, monitor their dietary habits, and be mindful of the company they keep.
Fr. Michael Eze, tasked with presenting gifts to the celebrants, took a moment to appreciate their unwavering dedication to the affairs of God and the diocese. His gratitude extended to the broader community of Bishops, Priests, and lay faithful for their continuous support of these revered individuals.
As the jubilant atmosphere enveloped the Holy Ghost Cathedral, it became not only a celebration of years served but a collective acknowledgment of the divine calling and commitment that has shaped the lives of these priests. The story of their jubilee is not just a personal milestone but a testament to the enduring spirit of faith and service that defines the clergy of Enugu Diocese.