Fr. Jonathan Ezenwoke celebrates Silver Jubilee – Unveils new book
The jubilarian set to cut his 25th anniversary cake
Hundreds of relations, friends, well-wishers and former parishioners defied the dilapidated Ulakwo-Imerienwe road to celebrate with Very Rev. Fr. Jonathan Ezenwoke, the silver jubilee of his Priestly Ordination held at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Parish, Imerienwe, August 21.
The celebration began with a concelebrated Mass presided over by the celebrant, Fr. Ezenwoke, assisted by Rev. Msgr. Anselm Nwaogu, Fr Cornelius Amadi and other priests.
The Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri in his goodwill message noted that during these 25 years, Fr. Ezenwoke rendered committed service to the people of God in the various parishes and the institutions of the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri.
“As you gratefully celebrate this silver jubilee, I pray for a renewal of your priestly zeal and more abundant fruit in the Lord’s vineyard”, the Archbishop said in the message.
In his homily, Rev. Fr. Moses Anuna listed the qualities of a good Catholic priest, among which include, prayerfulness, holiness, humility and availability to the people of God. He said for a priest to live up to these responsibilities, he needs the support of the faithful since he has “abandoned mother and father to serve the Lord”.
Spicing his sermon with various biblical quotations, the homilist said Fr. Ezenwoke has been a wonderful Catholic priest, having left his footprints in all the parishes and institutions he was posted to.
After the thanksgiving Mass, the celebration shifted to the parish hall where delegates from the parishes where he worked, testified to Fr. Ezenwoke’s pastoral ingenuity, resourcefulness and the landmarks he left in their various parishes especially at St. Michael’s Catholic Parish Atta, whose parishioners attended the occasion in their numbers.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Austin Ekechi said 25th anniversary of priesthood is a thanksgiving occasion, as priesthood is not an easy vocation. He said that God has continued to guide Fr. Ezenwoke in these 25 years and prayed for His continued guidance.
The occasion was used to unveil Fr. Ezenwoke’s book titled: “Jubilee Thoughts for Christian Renewal”.
The celebration was attended by a good number of the clergy, religious and laity, including Very Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Oha, Owerri Archdiocesan Chancellor/Secretary who represented the Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Archbishop of Owerri, Chief Emma Nwaogu, former Chairman Ngor-Okpala LGA, Mr. T.O.E. Ekechi, former Commissioner, Imo State, traditional rulers, Knights of the Church, delegations from the various parishes where Fr. Ezenwoke had worked, friends, well-wishers and relations.
Speaking at the occasion, Very Rev. Fr. Ezenwoke thanked his guests, for finding time to celebrate with him and for their various support. He was full of praises for the Silver Jubilee Committee led by Dr. Gab Okafor for all the efforts they put to ensure that the occasion was a success.
Very Rev. Fr. Ezenwoke Jonathan hails from Umuezema Ugama Ochia, Awarra Ohaji/Egbema L.G.A. Imo State. His journey to Catholic priesthood started at St. Mary’s Junior Seminary Umuowa, Orlu and St. Peterclaver Seminary Okpala. After, he studied Philosophy at the then Bigard Memorial Seminary Ikot-Ekpene (now St. Joseph’s Major Seminary – an affiliate of Urban University, Rome) before he proceeded to Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu, another affiliate of Urban University, Rome for his Theological studies; where he obtained another Bachelors Degree in Theology (B.Th). He was ordained a Catholic Priest on August 17 1991 at Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri by Most Rev., Dr. Mark Onwuha Unegbu of the blessed memory.
His first posting as an Assistant Priest was at Holy Trinity Parish Uratta, Owerri-North. In 1992, he was sent by late Bishop Mark Unegbu to do a Diploma Course in New Evangelization at Issele-Ukwu Diocese under Bishop Anthony Gbuji as Director (Now Bishop Emeritus of Enugu Diocese). Late 1992, he was appointed the Parish Priest of Holy Family Catholic Church Ununwoha, Irete. In the middle of 1993, he was sent by Archbishop Anthony J.V. Obinna to do a Diploma course in Management at Onitsha under the Corat Group Management Company from Kenya. Towards the end of 1993, he was appointed Hospital Director/Secretary to Holy Rosary Hospital Emekuku.
Very Rev. Fr. Ezenwoke has served as a Parish Priest in 10 Parishes. Presently, he is the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish Imerienwe where he is also appointed the Episcopal Zonal Vicar Imerienwe Zone 10 by the Archbishop, Anthony J.V. Obinna.