The late Sir Gregory Olaitan Anthony Deinde would go down in the annals of the history of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos as a rare gem and giant among his peers who dedicated his entire life to rendering selfless service to the Church and society. This much was revealed by Very Rev. Fr. Anthony Fadairo, the Parish Priest of St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos in the homily he delivered recently at the funeral Mass of the deceased described by many as a repository of knowledge in Church matters.
Fr. Anthony Fadairo who is also the Dean of Maryland deanery, noted that the Church is celebrating the life of Sir Gregory Deinde whom he called an elephant, who has gone back to meet his maker after giving his all in the service of God and humanity. Relating it to the Gospel of John 11:21- 27, the homilist said that as Christians we are reassured of the plan and promise of Christ even in death! “I am the resurrection and life. He who believes in me, even though he dies, shall live, and whoever believes in me will not die.” Sir Deinde, he said, attended Mass daily to commune with his Creator and so he was prepared.
“As a practicing Catholic he proclaimed faith in the risen Lord and taught others to do the same while he was here on earth. The Lord will surely grant him his due reward where there is no pain or sorrow.” He reminded the Faithful that there is no need to be afraid of paying the ultimate price that awaits all and just as St. Ambrose said “The foolish fear death as the greatest of evil, the wise desire it as a rest after labour and the end of ills.” Fr. Anthony Fadairo encouraged the Faithful to work hard and emulate Sir Deinde who, he emphasized, has gone to receive his Heavenly reward after committing himself to the service of the Church in different capacities. He quoted several adjectives used by Msgr. Philip Hoteyin to describe the deceased thus: “He was an Elephant; a petit man who stood among giants.
He was a giant among fellow lectors, giant among Catholic Men Organization, giant among Devotees of Mother Mary and Sacred Heart of Jesus.” In the words of Fr. Fadairo, Sir. Deinde was ‘a one-man riot squad’ whose services would be missed. The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, who graced the Funeral Mass, described late Sir Gregory Deinde as a committed Catholic who rendered selfless service to God in the Church for which he was conferred with the knighthood of St. Sylvester, by Pope St. John in appreciation for his service. Similarly, His Eminence Anthony Cardinal Okogie, said thus of him: “His sojourn on earth was a significant landmark for selfless service in the Church and society.
He was a repository of knowledge, proficient, dependable, a true Church militant who served God and humanity diligently.” The bishop of Ijebu-Ode diocese from where the deceased hails from, Most Rev. Francis Adesina was on ground to perform the final commendation. Also present at the event, aside from children and family members were a number of priests, including Msgr. Philip Hoteyin, representatives of Papal Knights and few Rev Sisters. It would be recalled that the late Sir Gregory Deinde died on Thursday 23rd of July 2020 at the age of 75. He served as Secretary of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council for several years. He was also a Lector and live wire at parish events in the Archdiocese of Lagos.