Fondly referred to as the gentle giant, Reverend Father Longinus Ugwuegbulem, Ph.D, on July 21, 2018 was the cynosure of all eyes as he celebrated the 25th Anniversary of his ordination as a Priest and his graduation with a Doctorate Degree.
Rev. Fr. Ugwuegbulem was showered with commendations by relatives, colleagues, Catholic faithful, especially parishioners of Blessed Sacrament St. Charles Borromeo Church, Newark, New Jersey, United States, and others from far and near who came to celebrate his special day with the very humble priest.
The Mass for the Silver Jubilee and Doctorate Degree celebration took place at Blessed Sacrament St. Charles Borromeo Church, Newark, while the well attended reception was held at Sacred Heart Church, Grove Street, Irvington, New Jersey.
Besides the profuse outpouring of love and affection for Rev. Fr. Ugwuegbulem from those who gave testimonies about his impactful years of service at the Igbo Catholic Community Church of Blessed Sacrament St. Charles Borromeo Church, the colourful and well packaged brochure of the event also had messages full of commendation, love, joy, encouragement and prayers for a more glorious future.
For instance, Monsignor Anselm Nwaorgu, Ph. D, wrote, ‘The “Gentle Giant,” the “Man of Peace,” the unassuming prelect, the “Priest of God Most High,” it is with deepest gratitude to God, with an enduring and endearing spirit of friendship that I congratulate you on your 25 years of committed and dedicated service to God and His people. You have served in the vineyard of the Lord with such exemplary disposition and unwavering spirit. May the good Lord continue to load you up with the abundance of His grace, so that, being sufficient in all things and at all times, you may continue to abound in every good work for many, many years to come, in this most rewarding call and priestly ministry.”
Rev. Fr. Erasmus Okere, Ph. D, in his own tribute, among other encomiums showered on Rev. Fr. Longinus, wrote, “ You have distinguished yourself in humility, dedication to priestly duties and Christ-centred affection of the vocation to which you have been called and passionately pursued.”
Architect (Sir) Linus and Star Lady Dr. Ngozi Korieocha thanked God for the gift of Rev. Fr. Dr. Longi, for his 25 years of service in God’s vineyard and for the achievement of a Doctorate Degree, noting that God created the clergyman not only for his immediate family but for the world. “We are better people for knowing you,” they wrote.
Hon. and Lady (Mrs) Elliot Isibor congratulated Rev. Fr. Ugwuegbulem, Ph.D on the double-barrelled celebration and prayed that God who has been with him in his 25 years of dedicated service to Him and His people will continue to guide him as he shepherds in His vineyard.
Sir & Lady Chinedum Harold Uche pinpointed one crucial area of service where Rev. Fr. Ugwuegbulem has distinguished himself when they wrote: “We are proud of you and very appreciative of your work in our parishes… Our children…are equally indebted to you for preparing all of them for their various sacraments in the Church. Thank you ‘Gentle Giant.’”
The testimonies of the Korieochas, the Isibors, the Uches, Monsignor Dr. Nwaorgu and Rev. Dr. Okere reflect the views of very many others who have come in contact with the celebrated priest, and Rev. Fr. Dr. Ugwuegbulem must, as a result, be reassured that he is on the right track as he faces the future.