Maryland, Nekede-Owerri, August 31, 2020. Rev Fr Ebenezar Okoro, CMF, who died in the evening of Monday, August 24, 2020 after a brief illness, was laid to rest after a requiem Mass in the Mother House of the Nigerian Claretian Missionaries, Maryland, Nekede, Owerri in Imo State, Nigeria. He was nearly 62.
Fr Ebeni or Ndaa Ebeni, as fondly called, was born on November 17, 1958 in Egbu, Owerri of Imo State. He made his First Religious Profession in the Congregation of Missionaries Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Claretian Missionaries, on November 8, 1980. His Final Evangelical Vows as a perpetually consecrated person, committed Religious for life, in the footsteps of Padre Anthony Mary Claret were on September 13, 1987.
To realise his dream of becoming an untiring Missionary in the manner of Father Claret, Fr Ebeni proceeded to the Altar to be ordained a priest of God on August 15, 1989.
True to his dreams and intentions, to his call and life, the soft-talking Fr Okoro was a veteran Missionary. Beyond ministering in many difficult parts of the Claretian Missions in Nigeria, Ndaa Ebeni was among the pioneer Nigerian Claretian Missionaries to berth and minister in very challenging terrains of Gabon (west coast of Central Africa) and, later, Republic of Chad (North-Central Africa). But, like his name, the power of the Lord, was his ‘stone of help’.
Fr Ebeni gave in to the cold hands of death in the evening of Monday, August 24, 2020 in Owerri, and was lowered into the mother earth on Monday, August 31, 2020 in the Claretian cemetery, Nekede, Owerri, Nigeria.
May his soul rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing. Amen!