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August 17, 2018

Owerri Archdiocese Loses Priest

Owerri Archdiocese Loses Priest
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The Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri has lost a priest,  Rev. Fr. Ambrose Chijike Eburuche, aged 34. A native of Obokwe, Obettiti, Nguru, in Aboh Mbaise LGA Imo State, Fr. Ambrose died in his sleep in the early hours of Tuesday October 3 , 2017.

Ordained priest on August 7, 2015, Fr Ambrose was serving as curate at St. Mark’s Catholic Parish, New Owerri.

The announcement of the sudden death of Fr. Ambrose Eburuche by Rev. Msgr. Kevin Akagha, Parish Priest of St. Mark’s Church New Owerri, came to the parishioners as a rude shock last Tuesday during evening Mass that followed the October devotion. The announcement threw the entire congregation into wailing and mourning, as most of them hadn’t the least inkling of such a tragedy. Those who heard the sad news kept recalling that they saw him hale and hearty just a day or two before the Monsignor told them that he himself left him hale and hearty (at 9.30pm), a few hours before he died.

On how he died, the Monsignor recalled that Fr. Ambrose went to Aba on Monday October 2 to visit his parents. He returned to the parish same day without the least sign of fever or even headache and  joined in the second day of the October Devotion.

He was to celebrate Mass at St. Mary’s Station New Owerri the following morning being Tuesday. After waiting for him for some time, the worshippers came to the parish headquarters to find out whether he had any challenge. But the seminarians, reported that he had not come out from his room since morning. The parish priest was alerted and he went to knock at the late priest’s room. When no response could be received, he ordered that the door be forced open and behold Fr. Ambrose was still there on bed. Msgr. Akagha immediately called a medical doctor who rushed to the scene within some minutes. He examined Fr. Ambrose and declared him dead.

The bewilded parish priest then informed the Archbishop, Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna, the Vicar General and the Chancellor all of who rushed to the scene immediately.

After beholding the shocking sight, the Archbishop prayed and directed that the dead body be removed to the morgue at the Holy Rosary Hospital, Emekuku.

In his homily during the Mass Msgr. Akagha said that the sudden death of Fr. Ambrose is a lesson to all of us to be ready at all times as nobody knows when death might strike. “That we are awake from sleep every morning is not by our power, but by the Grace of God.

Meanwhile the programme of his burial released by the Archdiocese shows that the remains of the late priest will be laid to rest at the Priest’s Cemetry at Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri on Wednesday October 11, 2017 after a funeral Mass at the Cathedral. The Month’s Mind takes place of Nov. 6 at Sacred Heart Parish Nguru Centre Ahiara diocese.

Many parishioners believed that Fr. Ambrose went to Aba to show himself to his parents before answering the eternal call.

It would be recalled that a similar incident happened in Owerri Archdiocese in 2003, when a curate Rev. Fr. Ifeanyi Egbu died in a similar circumstance. The young priest, who was staying at the Loretto House, was to celebrate Mass at St. Mark’s Church New Owerri but could not turn up, prompting the parishioners to find out the cause of the delay. They eventually forced his room open only to find his lifeless body on the bed.

 


 

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