Priests and lay faithful of Blessed Tansi Catholic Church Ugwu Orji Owerri have poured encomiums on Rev. Fr. Paschal Nwaobasi, for his excellent performance throughout the period he served as their Assistant Parish Priest.
They expressed their feelings on Saturday, June 12, 2021 during a cocktail party at the Parish Hall organized in honour of Fr. Nwaobasi, who is proceeding abroad for further studies.
Speaking at the occasion, Rev. Fr. Dr. Alex Okoro, Parish Priest, who thanked his assistant for his dedication to duty, described him as a priest called by God from his mother’s womb and not one persuaded to become priest by a fellow man.
He said: “Fr. Paschal loves the priesthood. With priests like him, the Catholic Church has a great future in our land.” Fr. Okoro stated that although he will miss Fr. Nwaobasi so much, his consolation is that he will return to Nigeria after his studies.
The parish priest, who said that he did not merely stay with Fr. Nwaobasi, but really lived with him as a brother, testified that he (Fr. Nwaobasi) diligently carried out every bit of his instructions to him. Fr. Okoro further stated that in his 35 years as a priest, Fr. Nwaobasi is among the best Assistant Parish Priest he had seen.
“Although I am about 30 years older than Fr. Paschal, he, the Priest-in-Residence, Rev. Fr. Austen Uchegbu and I, always discussed as brothers. If we preached love, we also lived it,” said Fr. Okoro, who prayed God to continue to bless Fr. Nwaobasi.
In his remark, the Priest-in-Residence, Fr. Uchegbu said that true friends are rare to find and that Fr. Nwaobasi is not only a friend but like a brother to him and he will miss him so much. He described him as a very sincere colleague, and assured the parishioners that God will send them another Assistant Priest like Fr. Nwaobasi.
The Chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council, Mr. Isaac Uzoagwa prayed to God to grant Fr. Nwaobasi success in his studies abroad. He however advised him to reject any offer of permanent employment abroad by those who he will meet there that will be attracted by his qualities.
Sir Dr. Clifford Nwagu, past President Catholic Men Organization (CMO), his successor the incumbent president, Mr. Paul Nwanguma, Comrade Tony Ezulike, Catechizer, Mrs. Ibeawuchi, St. Cecelia CWO Chairperson, Sir Christopher Chikwe, Catholic Charismatic Renewal leader, all spoke in a similar vein.
Each speaker extolled Fr. Nwaobasi for devotion to duties, regretted that the parishioners will miss him but assured him of the prayers of Christ’s faithful.
In his response, the Assistant Parish Priest, thanked Fr. Okoro for his fatherly guidance, pointing out that he carried out his instructions promptly because he knew they were all in his own best interest.
He placed on record the financial and moral encouragement he received from both the parish priest and the priest-in-residence since the plan for his oversea travel came up. Fr. Nwaobasi prayed that God will send a priest better than himself as Assistant Parish Priest to Blessed Tansi Church.
There were freewill donations to him by those present at the party as well as in all the masses the next day. Mr. Kelechi Amaku, Catechist was the MC.