Justin Ekennia

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Ahiara Diocese

scan0009In January 1988, the new bishop of Ahiara Diocese, Most Rev Victor Adibe Chikwe gave Msgr Emma Ogu and Fr Ekennia a joint posting to Sacred Heart parish Nguru. ( Reasons for the good of the Church-- another rescue but joint mission). Barely six months in this parish, the Bishop sent him to Belgium to study philosophy in the Catholic University of Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, in view of teaching appointment and formator in the provincial Seminary. This study leave lasted from July 1988 to Dec 1994. On return from studies in 1994, the Bishops of Owerri ecclesiastical Province appointed him a lecturer and formator at Seat of Wisdom Seminary Owerri. From 1995 till date he had some important appointments in Ahiara Diocese.

For five Years, he was in-charge of the Propagation of Faith; a member of the Senate of priests for four years; a member of the board for St John Paul 11 International Secondary school Umunagbor Ihitte, a spiritual adviser to the Knights of St John International 561 and their ladies   since 2003 till date, and a visiting priest to some parishes in the diocese .From 1996-2001, Fr Ekennia was appointed a visiting lecturer to the Vocationist Noviatiate in Oparanadim .

On return from 15 months sabbatical leave in St Anonius Pfarrgemeinde Herten, in  Muenster Diocese Germany from July 2010 to September 2011, Fr Ekennia had a temporary pastoral assignment at St Paul's Parish Egbelu Umuhu Enyiogugu from November 2010 to January 2011.It was a short but memorable stay with Fr Ben Ogu- the parish priest.  The parish was revitalised thanks to the re-introduction of sunday evening services with benediction and Eucharistic adoration every friday evening.  On the 27th of January 2012, Fr Ekennia was appointed the parish priest of St Thomas Aquinas Parish Lude Ahiara. H e replaced Fr Raph Nwachukwu , the former parish  priest  on account of  his ill health.  Fr Chima Ahaneku who until then acted as the administrator of the parish was appointed the assistant parish priest.  The challenges before Fr Ekennia was enormous, but thanks  to Divine help,  St  Thomas Aquinas parish Lude has become a peaceful and one of the vibrant parishes in Ahiara. 

On assumption of Duty in January 2012, the new church bulding under construction had been prepared for roofing and zincing. Thanks to God in September 2012,the main section was completely roofed and zinced. Meanwhile the T cross section of the Church has reached the stagfe of roofing. It is our target to complete the roofing and zincing of this section before the end of the year. I must single out two great parishioners who have sacrificed their time and energy to ensure that the Church building is completed. HighChief A. ODOM - the Chairman of the building committee and Sir Tobias Okoro the Treasurer of the Parish Council and ofcourse my Catechist Mr Stephen Anyanwu who is a dependable companion in all my pastoral work in Lude .