Nekede-Owerri, Nigeria: Wednesday, October 27 2021. The Nigerian Claretians gathered to lay to rest, the mortal remains of Rev. Fr. Joseph Mary Obika, CMF at the Claretian Cemetery, Maryland Nekede, Owerri, Imo State, South East of Nigeria. The Provincial Superior of the Claretian Missionaries, East Nigeria Province, Very Rev. Fr Simeon Nwobi, CMF, led the Requiem Mass attended by over fifty priests, some consecrated persons of different Congregations, and many members of the Obika families.
His historical trajectory as a Claretian Missionary is as follows:
First Religious Profession: January 08, 1977
Perpetual Religious Profession: September 09, 1984
Deaconate Ordination: December 14, 1985
Priestly Ordination: November 02, 1986
JMJ died a veteran missionary having worked devotedly in many dioceses of Nigeria and Ghana. He gave himself to those in the margins, especially, the sick, thus, he constructed and administered a popular sickbay at Nekede, Owerri.
If one element in Claret’s definition of a Claretian Missionary charmed, struck and stuck with Fr Togetherness, it is the Phrase: “Nothing daunts him.” In more profound adjective, Fr Obika was without reserve an audacious missionary. He was a powerful motion. He saw no darkness, only light! Unstoppable. No wonder he named his humble prayer ministry after the hallowed names of the members of the Holy Family: Jesus, May and Joseph, JMJ.
Fr Joseph Obika will be remembered not because he failed in various missionary initiatives. Rather, he will be immortalised because he ventured fearlessly. He traded heavily where even angels walked with trepidation. He was a self-made man and believed in his convictions. His life of itinerant preaching, prayers and abstinence attracted many followers who flocked to him interminably seeking spiritual guide, counsel and divine intervention in their life.
This audacious son of Padre Claret died on October 09, 2021 after a brief illness. At that sad notice, a nun immediately sent a Tribute via one of our social media handles. We publish below the short Tribute uncut:
To those who love and trust in God; “Death is transition into glory.” We thank God for the brave life that you have lived. Your life of fasting and prayer cannot be forgotten. We pray that God forgive your sins and give you joy of everlasting life. Sleep well Rev Fr. Joseph Obika OKOKOBIOKO. (Fr Joe’s most popular exclamation of surprise was “Okokobioko”. However, “Okokobioko” is mushroom in Pidgin Cameroon.)
Rest in Peace JMJ!
Rest in Peace Togetherness!
Rest in Peace Fr Joseph Mary Obika, CMF!

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