Friday, September 20, 2019, a good number of our Claretian Missionaries, Delegation West Nigeria, in sorrow, but in total submission to God’s will and unshakable hope in the resurrection, gathered at the Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, to celebrate the last obsequies of the foremost Claretian benefactress in the entire North/West, Mrs Leotina Olasumbo George (nee King). She was 84.
In reality, the final rites started a day before, in the evening of Thursday, September 19, to be precise, with the celebration of the Christian Wake Keeping in the same Church.
Practically, the Friday event was a Claretian-organized funeral. About six Claretians, largely from within the Archdiocese of Lagos. Very Rev Bro Isaiah Olarewaju came all the way from Kabba, Kogi State, in the North Central region of Nigeria.
Fr Marcellinus Rebecca Igirigi led the Mass flanked by Fr Emmanuel Terser (received the mortal remains into the Church and did the Final Commendations), Fr Louis Ajinge (homilist), Fr Philip Agada (prayer of the faithful), Fr Paul Ameh (rites at the graveside, VCC, Mayfair). A priest representative of the Dominicans read the Gospel while a Vincentian was present at the Mass.
Mrs George, as the title suggests, was the foremost benefactress to the Claretian Missionaries, then, Province of Nigeria, when she gave 2 plots of her land in Ojodu as priestly ordination gift to Fr Jude Arinze (after his first Mass at St Dominic’s Yaba in 1996). A portion of that land was developed, for the first-ever Nigerian Claretian Mission Procure office in 2004 by Fr Igirigi (also, Chaplain to Tansi, Ado-Ekiti, then). It was blessed by VR Fr Wence Madu the Provincial Superior. Fr Stephen Chukwu was a pioneer member of the Procure office.
Today, the complex houses the Curia of the Delegation West Nigeria.
She was later in 2006 to relinquish another land, strategically located at the entrance of the same Close to Fr Rebecca Igirigi upon request for bookshop and other needs. On this property situates the Shopping Complex, and most recently, the Water Factory and offices for the Delegation West Nigeria.
Pray also for the son, Kunle, she left behind.
Eternal rest give unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace. Amen!