The entire Cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu was filled by people from all walks of life to bid farewell to the slain Catholic priest, Rev Fr. Jude Egbom, who was assassinated by gunmen on Monday night, September 10, 2018 at Nkwere and Rev Fr. Paulinus Uzoma, who died earlier after a protracted illness. The bodies of the deceased priests were committed to mother earth after a requiem Mass at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Orlu.
In his homily at the Mass, Rev Fr. Anthony decried the high level of desecration of God’s Holy Temple by unbelievers and uncivilized people living in the society, including the killing of anointed men of God. According to him, the Holy Bible condemns killing and shading of blood, touching of an anointed one or even harming him. He emphasized that whoever does such evil has condemned his life and attracted God’s perpetual punishment.
The homilist disclosed that Fr. Jude Egbom, before his death held a retreat for his parishioners, where he condemned incessant killings in the country, as well as the hardship being experienced by innocent citizens which he attributed to bad governance. He explained that those who have hands in the killing of Fr. Egbom have murdered sleep; therefore, they shall never go unpunished. Fr. Anthony warned that the death of the slain priest should not be politicized or used for political gain. He pointed out that Fr. Jude has drawn many souls to Christ within his 13 years in priesthood, while describing Fr. Paulinus Uzoma as a dedicated priest, who was very sociable and had used his youthful age to serve God and humanity.
In an oration, the presbyterium Council of Orlu Diocese described the death of the two priests as double tragedy.
The bishop of the Diocese, Most Rev Augustine Ukwuoma in appreciation thanked all who identified with the Diocese at this time of grief. He said that Fr. Paulinus and his classmates had already planned for their silver jubilee anniversary before his death occurred.
The burial was attended by the Most Rev Anthony Obinna of Owerri Archdiocese, Most Rev Gregory Ochiagha (Bishop Emeritus of Orlu), hailed the families of the deceased priests, large number of priests and the religious and many other personalities. Fr. Paulinus Uzoma hailed from Amaifeke in Orlu L.G.A and was aged 78, while Fr. Jude Egbom hails from Umuwala in Nkwerre L.G.A and was aged 46. Until his assassination, he was the parish priest of St. Patrick Amucha.