By Oginyi Ruth
Catholic priests, Rev Sisters, the laity and friends trooped en mass on Saturday, September 21st, 2019 to celebrate with Rev. Fr. John Chidi Obasi who celebrated his 25 years in the vineyard of God at Our Lady Health Of The Sick Chaplaincy, FETHA 2 Abakaliki.
His friends and family prayed for God’s blessing and grace upon him that God will elevate him to the position of Bishop before he celebrates the centenary anniversary.
Speaking at the event, a professor of Obstetrics and gynecology and the Chairman of the event, Dr. Ezeonu Olisa Emeka Paul said humility is the key to success and that is what has been guiding Fr. Obasi.
He commended Fr. Obasi for starting Hospital Visitationaries of Mary, a charity organization which has been used to put smiles on the lives of the destitute that were trapped in different hospitals in the state.
He called on other priests to remember that in the process of carrying out their spiritual work, they should not forget that 80% of the people are poor.
“My prayers is that 25 years is a long one, from what is said about him, he has done well but more needs to be done because it’s Gods vineyard, it entails a lot. In our society today there is a lot of distractions, a lot of difficulties and it imposes challenges to men of God. You have to be steadfast, honest and spiritual to guide people so that they will not fall aside”‘. He said.
Rev. Fr. Inyanwachi Edward a close friend of Fr. Obasi, said “my prayer is that God’s blessing continues just like the homilist said. God blessed him and he became a source of blessing to others so I am wishing him more of those blessings that he is sharing with others. More of being the image of Christ to the sick, the needy, to his parishioners and to everyone that he might continue to be that love to them.”
Barr Chidi Udor, former Secretary Abakaliki chapter, St Augustine Old Boys Association said, “May God keep on using him and at the end of the day may he exhaust all the blessings he has deposited in him before calling him out of this earth.”
Lady Rose Ibe said, “My prayer is that God will continue to keep him, enable him and to empower him, to continue to work in his vineyard in Jesus Name.”
Mrs. Theresa Obasi, mother to the celebrant, “Let God be with him in front, at the back, let God not allow the evil ones to see him, wherever he steps his feet, let the grace of God dwell in him in Jesus Name. Amen.
In a remark, Rev. Fr. Dr. John Chidi Obasi, said that he is filled with joy that all thanks to God who 25 years ago through the bishop of Abakaliki Diocese called him to his vineyard.
He prayed to God to do something that will be a memorial to his silver jubilee anniversary by granting prayers of those who came to celebrate with him.
Rev Fr. Peter Chukwu in the homily, which he centered on love, noted that the Christians should learn to rejoice when God appears to concentrate his blessings on someone other than ourselves. That Fr. Obasi has been blessed a lot and he has been enjoying the fruit of this blessing.
Fr. Peter said, “Fr. Obasi has become a blessing to others, he was instrumental to helping 6 priests from the diocese to secure admission in the United States to study just like him, in his capacity as the pioneer Chaplain of Nigeria Catholic Medical Practitioners, he galvanized Catholic doctors and other medical practitioners to give the priests and sisters health talks, free medical tests like in blood pressure and have saved more priest from getting into dangerous sickness.
“He is the founder of the Hospital Visitationaries of Mary, a charity organization that helps the sick in the hospital. Through his personal endeavors, he developed a larger chaplaincy in the diocese.
“Fr. Chidi in a very secret way gives out part of his monthly salary to sick priests in the diocese, hence the need for other priests to emulate him.
He added that over 10 orphans and vulnerable children are under his scholarship care.”
“If God blesses you, become a blessing to others don’t halt your blessing against others, God didn’t bless you for you to keep it to yourself bless others when God blesses you as fr. Chidi does”. He said.
The host later took his guest to reception ground where they were treated with special food and assorted gifts.