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Fr Oraemesi marks golden jubilee of priesthood, 80th birthday

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WE ARE here to thank God for guiding me, his unworthy servant for 50 years as a priest and also for my 80th birthday. Join me to thank God. The holy mass is the highest thanksgiving. On behalf of the bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, the parish priest, Fr Emmanuel Ofomata, the pastoral council and the entire St Gabriel’s Parish, Okpuno, I welcome you all and may God bless you”.

  These are Fr Professor Oraemesi’s  words on Sunday, 31st October, 2021,  as St Gabriel’s Parish Okpuno, Awka South LGA of Anambra State, organised a double celebration for him.

  Fr Oraemesi welcomed everybody especially, professors and students from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and Chukwuemeka Odumegwu University (COOU), and people from many parishes he has worked as a priest.  He prayed God to bless them abundantly.

  In his homily, Fr Angelo Obiako extolled Fr Oraemesi and Fr John Uchem, who was around to celebrate with his mate, as they were ordained the same day in 1971.

  Fr Obiako said: “We are here for sacrifice of thanksgiving on behalf of Prof Oraemesi, the first priest of Oraifite. I thank God for his life. To have accepted to carry the cross is not easy. Fr Oraemesi is a great teacher and  apart from that, he has lived in many parishes doing the work of God. And he is still teaching till date.”

Fr Obiako also described Fr Oraemesi as a giver, a person who does the work of charity with all his heart.

  He further said: ”Priesthood is a life of pain, life of sacrifice. He is a good priest, he lived a good life as a priest and teacher. I pray God to continue to give them (with Fr Uchem) life as we emulate them. They need prayers from us to continue working in the Lord’s vineyard.”

  On his part, the parish priest, Fr Emmanuel Ofomata gave all glory to God, describing Fr Oraemesi as a man who loves God and connects to people; an old man with a very young heart.   Praying God to continually bless him. “It shall be well with you in this world and in the world to come”, he said.

  Former parish priest of St Gabriel’s Okpuno, Fr Tony Nwafor gave thanks to God for his blessing on Fr Oramesi as he said: “Thank God for a good life, he is privileged to live to the age of 80.

  Fr Nwafor also pointed out that Fr Oraemesi played a great part when they were building Father’s house.

  Mr Felly Zontal Akosa, an indigene of Oraifite had these to say: “ The event is wonderful; combined celebration. We are happy about it. I wish him the best of his future and many more blissful years on this planet.

  On his part, Prof Ellis Idemobi, former Deputy Vice Chancellor, Chukwuemeka Odumehwu Ojukwu Universiy (COOU) said: “We thank God for Fr Prof. Oraemesi, his 50 years as a priest and 80th birthday is a hallmark, a milestone… We give God the glory as we pray for him…”

  Sir Walter Umeukeje, the vice chairman, parish pastoral council said that Fr Oraemesi’s stay in the parish brought progress to them as the vision he has for the area gave them fast developments.

  The Chaplain of Archbishop A.K Obiefuna Retreat, Pastoral and Conference Center, Okpuno, Fr Maximus Muojeke also thanked God for the double celebration as  he said:  “He is full of humanity. I have never seen him shout. We pray for God to continue to bless him.”

  Also on their parts, some members of the parish, including Dr Alfred Emelife, Dr Nkechi Okoye and Arc. Emeka Gabriel Nwokolo, Chairman Planning Committee, thanked God as they showered their praises on Fr Oraemesi’s good works and prayed God to give him more years with good health.

  Highlights of the event included a poem titled ‘Chukwudaalu’ by Fr Melchizedek Obi during mass and cutting of jubilee and birthday cake during reception.

  It is important to note that Oraifite Catholic Community,  Nnewi Diocese, has organised priestly golden jubilee celebration for father Oraemesi on Sunday, 25th July, 2021, at St George’s Church, Oraifite, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State.

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