Sunday, October 11 was a special day at St Margaret, Olodi Apapa when parishioners celebrated the good works of their out going priest Rev. Fr. Gabriel Ukhurebor. Catholic Herald gathered that Fr. Ukhurebor, a missionary priest of the Order of St. Patrick is going for further studies, even as Fr. Joseph Okpala his classmate way back in the seminary takes charge of the parish. Parishioners during the two masses of the day (6:15 am and 9 am) were all full of prayers and praise for the amiable priest who they said they would miss, given the fantastic job he did while with them.
Most of the parishioners during the send forth mass dressed in the parish uniform with the church choir who lit up the masses with hymns in Ishan (Edo) language being at their very best. Delivering his homily, Fr. Okpala who apologized on behalf of his brother priest over Fr. Ukhurebor’s inability to be physically present at the occasion, no thanks to his tight schedule, noted that Fr. Ukhurebor is a hardworking and dedicated servant of God who puts in his very best in every task.
He disclosed that at the seminary, Fr. Ukhurebor goes by the name “Chairman” courtesy of his leadership role and charisma. Fr. Okpala offered prayers that God should guide and protect Fr. Ukhurebor as he moves to take on new assignments in the Lord’s vineyard. Fr. Okpala charged the parishioners not to turn down the Lord’s invitation to the wedding banquet as those invited by the king did in Mathew’s gospel chapter 22 verses 1-14 in one of the parables of Jesus.
The priest regretted that many christians today give an avalanche of reasons why they can’t accept God’s invitation to serve him, even as he warned that those who refuse to heed the call, would like the man that found himself in the wedding hall without his garment on, be thrown into outer darkness where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Fr. Okpala gave a pat on the back to the church choir for being at their best during the 9 am mass, even as he added that he wished Fr. Ukhurebor was present to hear them sing in his native Ishan dialect. Members of the choir appeared in native Edo attire to the admiration of all.