It was a day of celebration and thanksgiving, yet one of reflection and meditation at the Chapel of Lux Terra Leadership Foundation on Sunday the 15th of August, 2021 as Rev Fr George Omaku Ehusani marked his 40th Priestly Ordination Anniversary. The anniversary celebration, which coincided with the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was started with the celebration of the Holy Mass with Fr Ehusani as the Chief Celebrant. Concelebrating the Mass were the Emeritus Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Ojeifo, Rev. Fr. Richard Ehusani, Rev. Fr. Vincent Ogunsoro, Rev. Fr. Romain Hounwanou from Benin Republic and Deacon Nick Agule. In attendance was Sr. Leonie Okaraga, the immediate past superior of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus among other religious, well wishers and members of the Chaplaincy of which the celebrator is Chaplain.
In his homily, Rev Fr Emmanuel Ojeifo, the outgoing Pastoral Assistant of the Chapel, extolled the virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and touched on the various ways and reasons the Blessed Virgin Mary is honoured in Christendom. He explained the dogmas of the church that relate to the Virgin Mary, citing quotes from various church fathers while also drawing parallels between the Ark of the Covenant of the Israelites and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Addressing the congregation, Fr. George Ehusani expressed his appreciation to God, to his colleagues and to all who have journeyed with him for the past 40 years. He prayed for the repose of the souls of his former bishops and fellow priests who have gone to be with the Lord. He went on to pray for much more fulfilment in his work, the grace to be able to slow down the more and look inwards, noting that he hopes to keep aging gracefully and to die gallantly when the time comes.
Also speaking to the congregation, John Cardinal Onaiyekan congratulated Fr Ehusani and prayed for him for much more fruitfulness in his ministry. The scholarship beneficiaries of Fr Ehusani presented gifts to him while congratulating him and thanking him for being not just a benefactor, but also a mentor and a Father indeed. The children and their parents noted how much of a help Fr Ehusani has been to them and prayed for many more years of fruitfulness for him.
The entire congregation joined the celebrator in a thanksgiving procession to the altar.
Rev Fr George Omaku Ehusani was ordained priest of the Catholic Diocese of Lokoja on the Solemnity of Assumption, 15th of August, 1981 by the then bishop of the diocese, the late Most Reverend Alexius Makozi. He worked as Assistant Parish Priest of his home parish, Christ the King Catholic Church, Okene immediately after his ordination. He was later posted to the Teacher Training College in Ogori as a teacher and chaplain of the college. He was also the Editor-in-Chief of the Lokoja Diocesan Newspaper “The Light”, for many years starting from 1990. He would later join the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, becoming Deputy Secretary-General to the then Rev. Fr. Matthew Kukah (now bishop of Sokoto Diocese) and later the Secretary-General of the Secretariat. At the end of his tenure at the Secretariat, he went on sabbatical leave in Germany for a year. He returned to serve the Archdiocese of Abuja as Parish Priest of Church of the Assumption, Asokoro, while setting up Lux Terra Leadership Foundation of which he is currently Executive Director.
Fr. George Ehusani is an accomplished theologian, author, preacher, teacher, administrator, musician, social commentator, activist and above all, dedicated priest of the Most High. He has been a standout achiever in his many engagements, applying his remarkable talents and enormous energy to dream up ideas and initiatives that have substantially impacted many lives in diverse ways.
His call for prayers and support to mark his four decades of priestly life, encapsulates his vision and desire for a life of stillness and tranquillity, having exerted himself tirelessly and restlessly in the overwhelming will to change his world. In his reflection, he yearns to ‘BE MORE’ rather than to ‘DO MORE’ or to ‘HAVE MORE’. He prays for relief from life’s frenetic pace as he journeys into life’s second period.
As Fr. George Ehusani struggles with what to do with his vision, his emotive instincts and his endowments, may his wishes and the prayers on his behalf be granted.