Eight priests of the Catholic Diocese of Awka have been elevated to the status of papal chamberlain otherwise known as monsignor by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, in recognition of their fidelity, loyalty to the Pope and contributions to the growth of the Church.
In a press statement made available to Fides by the Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, Very Rev Fr Francis Chidume, the eight new monsignors who were announced this November, included Very Rev Msgr. Sylvester Mgbemfulu; Very Rev Msgr. Luke Anameze; Very Rev Msgr. Simon Amateze; Very Rev Msgr. Jeremiah Ikegbusi; Very Rev Msgr. Bernard Nwakonobi; Very Rev Msgr. Martin Ezekoli; Very Rev Msgr. Mark Ezeamaechi and Very Rev Msgr. John Ezeanyika.
On why the reverend fathers were elevated to the status of papal chamberlain, the chancellor said they were given the recognition based on their fidelity as priests, loyalty to the Pope and contributions to the growth of the Church at all levels. He added that the recognition as monsignor followed the recommendation made to the Pope by the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Dr Paulinus Ezeokafor.
The chancellor urged the new monsignors to see their elevation as a call to strengthened commitment to their priestly calling and service to the Holy Mother Church.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Diocese of Awka has announced the death of her priest, Rev Fr Emmanuel Idika, who died on Friday, November 20, 2015. The late Rev Fr Idika hailed from Umunze in Orumba South L.G.A of Anambra State and was until his death a priest in-residence at St Patrick's Catholic Parish, Umuchu in Aguata L.G.A of Anambra State.
According to an announcement signed by the chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, the body will on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 leave Regina Caeli Hospital, Awka at 1 pm for lying in state in his country home in Umunze. There will be a funeral Mass at St Joseph's Catholic Church, Umunze at 2.30 pm and vigil Mass at St Patrick's Catholic Church, Umuchu at 5 pm.
On Thursday, December 17, 2015, his body will lie in state at St Patrick's Catholic Cathedral, Awka at 9.30 am while the burial Mass follows at 10 am at the same St Patrick's Catholic Cathedral, Awka, after which his remains will be interred at the priests' cemetery.