… As Bro Augustine joins Saint Triumphant
The Catholic Bishop of Okigwe, Most Rev. Solomon Amatu, has advised the Religious to put up a cheerful face in all circumstances. The prelate gave this advice on Friday 15th June 2018 at the funeral of Rev. Bro. Augustine Ojukwu FMS. The chief shepherd observed that atimes, many religious behave as if they were forced into choosing that vocation. He extolled the late Religious, Bro. Augustine, as one who deserved to be emulated for showing no iota of regret in his choice of vocation.
The Local ordinary used the story of a certain princess, who challenged every suitor with a race that qualifies him to marry her if he wins. Where that challenger and suitor fails to out-run her, that man would be killed.
According to him, that princess succeeded in killing so many suitors until her secret of serious attachment with gold was revealed. Her conqueror won her by using three pieces of gold thrown at intervals away from the track lines as distraction. This enabled her challenger to survive the race which hitherto had cost the lives of all previous contestants. The Bishop used the story to drive home the lesson of our being qualified for the heavenly banquet (Isaiah 25:6-9) if we avoid distractions.
Born on 8th December, 1936 in Oraukwu of Idemili North L.G.A. Anambra State, Brother Augustine joined the Marist Brothers Postulancy and got professed on 9th January 1963. He later studied Printing Technology in Passau and Niederbayem Germany for seven years as well as spirituality at Fribourg Switzerland.
In their funeral oration, the Marist Brothers eulogized Bro. Augustine as one who had no foes.
A contact with him will reveal his humorous and fun-loving nature. He loved his Marist Brotherhood vocation with all his heart.
According to them, after he received a very good training in printing, he had all the opportunities open to him for lucrative job in the country that needed such human resources at that time. But unlike some of his colleagues who left, Bro. Ojukwu stuck to his first resolution to serve God in the Marist Brotherhood.
In a condolence message to the Marist Brothers, the Director of Assumpta Press, Fr. Ray Nzereogu remarked that Bro. Augustine and other Marists worked tirelessly to uplift Assumpta Press from the ruins of the civil war to one of the renowned printing shops, East of the Niger. Fr. Ray, in addition to sending a message published in the funeral brochure, he arranged for and approved for the coverage of Bro Augustine’s burial in The leader newspaper.
In their vote of thanks, presented by the Deputy Provincial, Rev. Bro. Dr. Christopher Onwuasoanya, the Brothers appreciated Bishop Amatu, the parish priest, Holy Cross Church Uturu Fr. John Ifedigbo, Oraukwu priests, numbered over ten, including Bro. Augustine’s nephew, Fr. David Ojukwu. Other sympathizers were not left out especially the Director Assumpta Press, who not only sent a representative but promised to pay the Marist Brothers a condolence visit soon.
The final commendation was conducted by Rev. Fr. James J.C. Akunne; while the month’s mind will hold at Oraukwu on a date yet to be fixed.