Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu on the 3rd of May, 2023, held a requiem Mass to honor the passing of one of her lecturers, Late Mr. Mac-Donald Onyebuchi Okereke. He was an Italian language teacher in the philosophy department until he passed away on March 14th, 2023. The Rector, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Albert Ikpenwa, who was the Chief Celebrant of the Mass described him as hardworking, dedicated and always available not only for lectures but also for other activities of the seminary. The Rector extended his condolences to the bereaved family and friends, including the Bigard family.
During the homily, Rev Fr. Dr. Humphrey Ani also offered his condolences to the family and reminded the congregation about the two lessons presented in the day’s gospel. Firstly, a good teacher, like Christ, should be able to accept skepticism from their students and use it as an opportunity to teach. Secondly, while the human mind is prone to doubt, it should lead to understanding and ultimately foster belief, as exemplified in the doubts of Thomas and Philip.
Fr. Ani further emphasized that the belief in resurrection was the reason why they had gathered to pray for the repose of Mr. Okereke’s soul. He also reminded everyone to show compassion and sympathy towards the bereaved family, just as Jesus showed compassion towards the sisters of Lazarus.
Towards the end of the Mass, the Vice Rector I, Rev. Fr. Dr. Kevin Udenwagu, expressed the condolences of the Seminary to the family and appreciated all especially the Rector’s efforts both during Mr. Okereke’s sickness and after his passing. One of the family members of Mr. Okereke also appreciated the seminary community for their support during their time of sickness and loss which she described as “practical Christianity”. The lecturers and staff of the department also presented an oration.
May the soul of late Mr. Mac-Donald Onyebuchi Okereke and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.