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DEANERY ONE CELEBRATE VERY REV. FR. BALOGUN’S 50TH PRIESTLY ANNIVERSARY – Cecil Olorunda
The Catholic community of Deanery one, recently converged at St. John the Apostle Parish, Igarra to celebrate Very Rev. Fr. Laurence Balogun, as he marked his 50th Priestly Ordination Anniversary with thanksgiving.

Delivering the homily at the event which was concelebrated with the Bishop of the Diocese Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia, Vicar General of the Diocese Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey, Rev. Frs. Philip Ekweli, Gregory Onimhawo among others, the homilist Very Rev. Fr. (Prof) John Onimhawo who congratulated the celebrant on the occasion of his Priestly anniversary, noted that Fr. Balogun was ordained during the time of the missionaries, though it was difficult for blacks to be ordained Priests, then he stressed that he is a dedicated Priest of God who has distinguished himself among others.

In addition, Fr. Onimhawo who eulogized the celebrant as a good teacher, a mentor and benefactor, noted that he is a Priest of God who believes firmly in the propagation of the gospel to all nooks and crannies of the country and charged all Priests present to remain committed to their Priestly vows, instead of seeking materialism that would distract them from doing the will of God. Also, he asserted that the event offers an opportunity for Priests to reflect on the ingredients of the Priesthood which include selfless service, humility, love for one another, co-operating with the Bishop and working diligently in difficulty, while praying God to grant the celebrant more years of celebration. Giving his remark, the Bishop of the Diocese Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia who hinted that it is necessary for all to always celebrate the blessings endowed them by God, congratulated the celebrant on his 50th Priestly ordination anniversary, noting that the Diocese has outlined plan to celebrate the Priest in October at the Marian shrine at Igarra.

The Shepherd of souls commended the Deanery for organizing the celebration, noting that God has been faithful in the Diocese by blessing the Diocese with Priests of great wisdom and wished Fr. Balogun a fruitful celebration, while urging Priests present to remain committed to the propagation of the gospel of Christ.

On his part, the Parish Priest of the Parish and Dean of Deanery one, Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey, who welcomed the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese to the celebration, appreciated God for His protection and favour in the life of the celebrant and prayed God to continue to bless him.

Further, the Priest who hinted that the event was put together by the deanery to enable them appreciate God's abundance blessings on the celebrant for the past fifty years, enjoined faithful to endeavour to always celebrate with their Priests when the need arises and wished him a successful celebration.

Speaking at the reception shortly after the Mass, the Chairman of the occasion, Chief P.S. Jimoh who appreciated God for making the celebration possible, lauded Deanery one parishioners for their co-operation in making the celebration possible and thanked God for His blessings in the life of the celebrant.

Lauding the effort of the Priest in the development of the Diocese, Deanery one laity Chairman Sir D.A. Adumaza who described Fr. Balogun as a gentle, loving and calm Priest, urged Priests in the Diocese to emulate his exemplary qualities of humility and love and congratulated him on his anniversary.

Appreciating all present for attending the ceremony, the celebrant Very Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Lawrence Balogun thanked all present for coming to celebrate with him and commended the Dean of Deanery one Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey for making the celebration possible and prayed God to bless them.

Highpoint of the celebration was a thanksgiving procession to the altar by all present, presentation of cultural dance by the deanery, drama presentation by the student/pupils of Domus Marine College and Rev. Fr. John Uba Ofei Memorial Nursery/Primary School, Igarra, among others.

 

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