By Regina Igwebuike
Aguluezechukwu (Aguata LGA), May 3, 2021 (MOI) Late Pa Vincent Ofomata, father of Rev. Fr. Valentine Ofomata has been laid to rest aged 106 years.
Late Pa Ofomata worked as a volunteer Catechist for 10 years at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Onitsha after retirement from the Civil service before returning to his country home Aguluezechukwu.
In a homily during his Funeral Mass at St. Peter’s Catholic Church Aguluezechukwu on April 30, Most Rev. Peter Okpaleke, Catholic Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese said that the Church gathered to pray for the repose of Pa Ofomata’s soul.
“We gather in solidarity to commit the deceased soul to God and to commiserate with the family over the loss of a dear one.
“We draw solace from the Gospel of John 14: 1-6, Christ is the Way to the Father, believing that we will follow His footsteps to the kingdom.’’
Bishop Okpaleke noted that the local community gathered because of Fr. Ofomata, who always availed himself in prayer and communion, rendering services and bringing succour to the depressed.
The prelate emphasised that distance and communication gap always resulted in the low turnout of the faithful during burials, praying to God to grant us the zeal to be reunited in communion and relationship no matter the distance.
He urged all “to live to correct ourselves where we are not doing well even at the social level, explaining that if you are at home, you are there for those in the Diaspora and vice versa’’.
Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye thanked God for being a proud Catholic because of the solidarity and communion anywhere.
Bishop Ajakaye expressed joy over the little boy that played the organ, noting, “the boy is one of the future of Catholic Church’’.
He said that the church was blessed to have this kind of talent, praying to God to help all to develop their talents early.
The prelate urged all to always identify with the local community, being an encouragement to oneself and to others.
Parish Priest of the Parish, Rev. Fr. Jerry Okeke thanked all that gathered to pray for the repose of Pa Ofomata’s soul, especially the bishops and the clergy, who turned out en-masse.
Fr. Ofomata on behalf of the family thanked those who came to commiserate with them.
Fr. Ofomata also thanked those that came from parishes where he worked, especially parishioners of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, Amawbia, his final parish before embarking on studies abroad.
He commended Dr COC Okpala, his wife and the staff members of Okpala Hospital, Enugwu-Ukwu for taking good care of his parents as their own up to the time of their father’s demise.
The cleric noted that the deceased was energetic until death, providing them with a never ending sense of physical and emotional security, a man of the people.
“Our dad taught us to leave vengeance to God and we will uphold the legacies he left behind.
“As for his better half, our mother whom he left behind, we are going to take good care of her.’’ Fr. Ofomata, then, prayed to God for the repose of their father’s soul, even as he prayed Archangel Raphael for journey mercies to all who came to pray with them. (MOI)