By Chinwendu Uzoatu
All roads led to St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Parish, G.R.A. over the weekend as Anambra State Commissioner for Housing, Hon Pauly Onyeka and his wife, Lady Jacy Onyeka celebrated 25 years wedding anniversary.
The event, attended by many priests and dignitaries from all walks of life started with a Pontifical Holy Mass.
The Chief Celebrant, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, who is the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese extolled the couple for their steadfastness, stating clearly that it is not easy for two different people to live together for so many years.
“We thank God that you are still together for the past 25 years with happiness. Married life is not easy. It’s a testimony to others. We are here to rejoice with you.”
He prayed God to help them more, even as he urged them to continue in their good deeds; to train their children to be good to the society.
Bishop Ezeokafor advised the congregation to remain firm in their different vocations, married or otherwise; with trust, sincerity and love.
During the Mass, the couple, Hon. Pauly and Jacy, surrounded by their children, renewed their marital vows.
Also, a Papal Blessing from His Holiness, Pope Francis was presented to them by Bishop Ezeokafor.
Hon. Onyeka expressed his gratitude to all, saying: “We welcome you, bishop to our church today, and all priests. Thanks to those here for Mass to pray for love and peace in my family.Thanks to Pope Francis for his blessing…”
The parish priest of St Thomas Aquinas, Fr Francis Oranye, former parish priest of the church, Fr Anthony Akabogu, with others, commended the couple for their great efforts.
Sir Joseph Ojukwu, Grand Knight of St. Mulumba, Amawbia Sub-Council described the couple as good people, adding that the Papal Blessing given to them is a testimony.
Younger brother of Lady Onyeka, Nze Hillary Arazu said: “This event is grand. My prayer to my sister and family is peace and long life. As they celebrate silver jubilee, they will also celebrate golden jubilee.
Anambra State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hon Ify Obinabo, Member representing Aguata ll in Anambra Sate House of Assembly, Hon Tony Muobike, immediate past Deputy Majority Leader, Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Emeka Afoka and Ocheze Mediatrix Idigo, wife of Igwe Mike Idigo of Aguleri, in separate remarks, indicated that the event was remarkable and thanked God for them, praying for long life, good health , more love and for their children to be blessings to them.
Engr. Obinna Nnoruo, Coordinator of St Cecilia Choir, St Thomas Aquinas Parish said: “Hon Onyeka is a father, a wonderful patron, motivator, adviser, a capacity builder. He supports the word of God with all his means. He serves God with 3 T’s: Time, Talent and Treasure. Our prayer is for God to continue to sustain him, with good health of mind and
body, to continue the good work to humanity.”
The last born of the family, Miss Nneoma Onyeka said: “I thank God for making the event a success. I wish my parents a happy married life and pray for our family to be always blessed.”
Among many pious societies in the Catholic Church whose members graced the occasion with their uniforms, indicting the couple as their leaders and members include Legion of Mary, League of Sacred Heart of Jesus, Divine Mercy Group.
Highlights of the event included cutting of silver jubilee cake, special numbers by St Cecilia Choir, among others.