On Thursday the 28th of December, 2023, Saint Paul Catholic Church Agba in Ekwulobia Diocese, Anambra State, played host to numerous clergy, religious, student community and the lay faithful who gathered from different parts of the country to celebrate the Priestly Silver Jubilee of the Registrar of Claretian University of Nigeria and Director of Padre Pio Claretian University Hospital, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. John Ezenwankor CMF.
In his homily, the Dean, Institute of Consecrated Life in Africa, Abuja, Rev. Fr. Dr. Gregory Ezeokeke CMF, extolled the strong principles of integrity and honesty of the Celebrant; and thanked him for maintaining such rare virtues. “Whenever a Priest clocks twenty five years in the Priesthood, he has become an Elder amongst Elders,” the Homilist explained with an analogy from the book of Hebrews (8:24-26); stressing that young Priests could now seek wise counsel from the Celebrant.
He finally thanked Fr. John for remaining steadfast to his vocation and implored all Christians to continually support and pray for their Priests.
The Concelebrated High Mass had the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bauchi, the Most Rev. Hillary Dachelem as the Chief Celebrant. Other Priests that graced the occasion included the Provincial Superior Claretian Missionaries East Nigeria, Very Rev. Fr. Nathaniel Eke, the Vice Chancellor Claretian University of Nigeria, Nekede, Rev. Fr. Professor Wenceslaus Madu and so forth.
Other dignitaries in attendance included, the Executive Secretary Imo State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Rev. Sr. Dr. Maria Joannes Uzoma, the Rector Emeritus of Imo State Polytechnic, Sir Emeka Mbadike, the Director, Directorate of General Studies at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Professor Jerry Obi-Okogbuo amongst others.
In his vote of thanks, Rev. Fr. Dr. John Ezenwankor thanked everyone who found time to come and celebrate with him. He prayed God to bless and grant them journey mercy to their various destinations
High points of the occasion were the unveiling and public presentation of A Book of Essays In Honour of the Celebrant, and cutting of the jubilee cake. A cultural dance group from the Nursing department of Claretian University also entertained the audience.
Public Relations Unit, CUN.