NNEWI, NIGERIA -
Bishop Hilary Okeke of the Catholic diocese of Nnewi has been described as a dynamic and committed religious leader who has generously used his gifts and talents for the growth of the Nigerian Church and humanity in general.
This commendation was made by the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, Most Rev Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, while congratulating, Most Rev Hilary Odili Okeke, on the celebration of his 70th birthday.
The ceremony which was attended by about 36 members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), dignitaries, from different parts of the country took place at the cathedral of Nnewi diocese.
In his address at the event, which started with a Thanksgiving Mass, the President of the conference while thanking God for the life of Bishop Okeke, for clocking 70, described him as one who is not only committed to the church but uses his gift generously for the Nigerian church.
“We felicitate with the family of God in the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi and indeed the Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province for God's gift of a dynamic and energetic pastor who has led Nnewi Diocese since 2002 to excellent heights. As tall as he is, so are his dreams and achievements. As his name is, so is he. He is Hilary and he is hilarious. One of his classmates in primary whom I visited recently in Jos told me how in the class he used to exhibit great hilarity but would be the first to answer any question asked by the teacher correctly.” He said
Archbishop Kaigama who was full of praises for the enterprising, creative and industrious spirit of Nnewi people noted that the city has contributed immensely not only to the development of Nigeria but also the Catholic Church. He thanked the Catholic Church in Nnewi for their generous support to Bishop Hilary which has enabled him to make substantial contributions in spiritual, pastoral and social endeavours of the people.
The CBCN President prayed for Bishop Okeke and the Catholic diocese of Nnewi that the Lord may continue “to bless and increase all the achievements you have made together and strengthen your fraternal bond, unity and selfless-giving spirit for the progress of the gospel.”