Silver Jubilee: Ngor-Okpala celebrates Fr. George Nwachukwu
It is usually said that a prophet is not known in his home town. But the veracity of that expression was lacking when the entire Catholic faithful of Ngor-Okpala rallied at St Peter’s Parish Onyeaghalanwanneya on Tuesday December 27, 2016 to celebrate their son, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. George Nwachukwu who was marking his priestly silver Jubilee.
The celebration which was marked with a Eucharistic celebration had in attendance over 10 priests with the Jubilerian as chief celebrant and Rev. Msgrs. Theophilus Okere and Anselm Nworgu concelebrating, among other priests.
Welcoming his guests, Fr. Nwachukwu noted with excitement that the day does not call for celebration and thanksgiving for him alone but for all present as he observed that many were witnesses to his ordination day.
Delivering the homily, Rev. Msgr. Anselm Nworgu said that silver jubilee is one celebration every priests look forward to, noting that for every priests the celebration has three significance. He described the significance as “retrospective, introspective and prospective lukuluku”.
Msgr. Nworgu explained that for a jubilarian to fully appreciate the day there is every need for him to take a retrospective look into the years past, activities that have come and gone and the journey so far as a priest. According to him the jubilarian will discover more than one hundred reasons to rejoice and be grateful to God.
He further explained that the celebration calls for stock taking into one’s life as a priest jubilarian. A period a priest asks himself some pertinent questions as regards to his calling, and the management of God’s children placed under his care. “Am I living according to God’s expectation for my life? Am I using the word of God to uplift his children?” Msgr. Nworgu condemned the lukewarm attitude of some priests towards their parishioners, regretting that some parishioners after going to their priests for succour or upliftment they ended up with the reverse. He therefore cautioned priests to check the trend so as to put themselves back right on track.
Shortly after the Mass, the celebration was shifted to the chief celebrant’s root – Umuopara Obiangwu where cake-cutting, cultural entertainments by the Umuopara women and gifts presentation to the celebrant were the highlights of the occasion. Bright Chimezie of Zigma Band was on ground to thrill guests.
The Leader sought to speak with Fr. George during the reception. He expressed elation and gratitude to God to have withstood the hurdles and challenges associated with priestly vocation.
He explained the reason of his choice of St. Peter’s Parish for the venue of the celebration. According to him while recalling the history of the parish said it was to bring his people back to their root and rekindle in them that sense of oneness (Onyeaghalanwanneya) that existed before the splitting of the parish into different outstations.
Born into the family of Mr. & Mrs. Jacob Nwachkwu of Umuopara Obiangwu in the early 1960s, Fr George was ordained a Priest for Owerri Archdiocese on August 16, 1991 by the late Bishop Mark Unegbu.