Pope Francis, Peter Obi, Mbah, Onayeikan pour encomiums on Bishop Gbuji’s 50th Episcopal anniversary

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Gov. Peter Mbah of Enugu State, has charged Nigerians to emulate Emeritus Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Anthony Gbuji for his services to humanity.

harmed Nigerians to emulate the bishop’s selflessness, hard work and sense of excellence which he had exhibited over the years..

He made the commendation on Wednesday during a Holy Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Parish Emene, Enugu, to mark the Episcopal Golden Anniversary of the 93 year-old bishop.

Mbah, while congratulating the nonagenarian clergy, said that Enugu was fortunate to have benefitted from Gbuji’s sacrificial and impactful journey as a priest and thanked the bishop for a lifelong dedication to duty and service.

“Let me on behalf of the government and the good people of Enugu State, join His Lordship, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Most Rev. Calistus Onaga, to also express our profound gratitude and our heartfelt congratulations to the celebrant.

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“We must continue to draw inspiration from the celebrant’s life and his sparking episcopal accomplishments. The Church and humanity can never forget his Lordship’s immense contributions to the society.

“His lordship has never been selfish with the deep knowledge he has been privileged to gather.

“Taking advantage of his various postings, first as a teacher at the St Paul’s Minor Seminary in Benin and subsequently as a Principal at St. Paul’s Grammar School, Ebu, Delta State, he imparted his knowledge in the younger ones,” Mbah said.

The governor added that, “From Issele-Uku, His Lordship continued to blaze the trail through the Diocese of Enugu, where he, among many other things, laid the foundation for an initiative like the Godfrey Okoye University that is today one of the leading private universities in the country.

“Another example of His Lordship’s evident penchant for hard work is the New Evangelization, which has gained him the sobriquet of the Father of New Evangelization.

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“So, on behalf of the government and people of Enugu State, I express deep appreciation for the pathfinding roles he has played throughout his life, and the effort he continues to make for the Church and the society at large.

“His legacies will continue to inspire us” the governor stated.

In his goodwill message, Pope Francis described Gbuji as an outstandingly dedicated servant of God.

“We remember the profound magnanimity of his spiritual fervour, spirit of Evangilisation, active pastural solitude as well as zeal for the aforementioned diocese, his outstanding dedication to the clergy and people of God”, the Pope said.

In his homily, the Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Cardinal John Onayeikan, described Bishop Gbuji as “one, very dedicated to the building of both the Church and society, a social critique even in the military era.

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Onayeikan also said that the cleric was a rallying point for peaceful co-existence among priests, religious, and people of God.

In his remarks, Bishop Gbuji thanked the Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, clergies, and people of Enugu, among others, for celebrating him, pledging to continue to give his best to the Church and the society.

The event was graced by many political and spiritual leaders, among them the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi; former governors of Enugu State, Mr Sullivan Chime and Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, seven Catholic Cardinals and 20 bishops.

Bishop Gbuji, born on Oct. 29, 1931, was ordained a priest on Nov. 23, 1958 and Bishop in 1973.

The nonagenarian was the first bishop of Issele-Uku Catholic Diocese in Delta State and moved to Enugu State Diocese in 1997 where he retired.

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