Rev. Fr. Raymond Bids St. Mary’s Army Barracks Farewell
By Peete Kol
St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Military Cantonment Nkwegu, Abakaliki sends forth Rev. Fr. Raymond Victor Alamagaini after his 21 months service in the Parish.
Rev. Fr. Raymond Victor Alamagaini popularly called Ray-Vic came to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Military Cantonment Nkwegu, Abakaliki on the 26th October 2017. By the time he came, most people thought that since he was from Hausa background that he won’t be wise, but Fr. Ray is of great wisdom and a learned fellow. He did not waste time to clear the doubts of all who thought he was ‘a sponge cake above the ear’.
Quickly, he went into building the new Rev. Frs. house and within a twinkle of an eye, he completed the building and equipped it to a standard taste. He did not waste time in inviting the Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Michael Nnachi Okoro to come and commission and dedicate the house. He did not end there; he peeped into the ugly affairs of St. Mary’s Nursery and Primary School and sanitized it. The school which was running in the deficit is now bubbling with profits.
In recent times, Rev. Fr. Ray-Vic is a Rev. Fr to the core. When he came newly, he introduced benediction which people had not witnessed for a long time. During the period, he would use one hour for questions and answers, in that process he would answer all the gnawing questions concerning the Catholic Church and its doctrines. This stopped when he went for a promotion course in Lagos for almost one month.
Thanks to Rev. Fr. James Nwofoke who would always be there for us. He would always say Mass for the Parish Chaplaincy. I likened Rev. Fr. Ray-Vic to a proverbial ram which says that instead of it to cry for a man, it would rather cry for a woman. Which is why in the traditional funeral ceremony for a man in Igbo land, a ram would always be bought for the ‘Abia dance’ in which various atrocities are meted to the ram and it will never utter any word. Carry the ram and throw it overboard, it will only be moping, eventually, the ram will be slaughtered or rather beheaded in a one-stroke cut from the strong man whose duty is to do so for the town.
Most strong people are like that. The situation can be likened to the time of Col. Isiraojie. That colonel has remained one of the toughest Commandant that has passed through the Command Secondary School. He achieved a lot in command and the testimonies are there in the palm trees and Melina trees he planted. But, the tough man showed when he was being sent forth, after the various encomiums showered on him, and it was his time to speak, emotions betrayed that he was after all, human; Isira, as we called him, wept to the consternation of the crowd there.
The same scenario enacted in the case of Rev. Fr. Ray after the encomiums showered on him during the last Parish council meeting with him from Prof. O. Mgbada, former Vice Chairman of the Parish Council. So when it was time for Fr. Ray to speak to us; he wept and most of us especially the women sobbed and dabbed their eyes at the reality of the impending exit of the playful and humorous Fr. And like the proverbial jingle of Airtel people, everybody felt the “pain” of Fr Ray’s exit. Everybody wishes him a blissful stay in his next assignment, even though it is in the war front of Barma.
May God guide and protect Fr. Ray to which everybody chorused. Amen
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