…Cardinal Arinze was ordained a Priest in Rome in 1958 and consecrated a Bishop in Onitsha in 1965
Governor Chukwuma Soludo on Thursday felicitated with His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze who celebrated his 90th birthday anniversary.
Presidential candidate of Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi, former Governor Willie Obiano and wife, LP candidate for Anambra Central Senatorial District. Chief Victor Umeh, among others were also present to rejoice with the celebrant.
Speaking at Holy Mass of Thanksgiving held at Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha, Soludo described the Cardinal as an inspiration to the world, wishing him good health and many more years on earth.
He gave special thanks to the Diocese of Onitsha for organizing such an auspicious event and to everyone who attended the mass on a working day.
He said: “We have gathered to celebrate one of the finest gifts God has given to the world. You have been such a great influence and inspiration to the universal world, Anambra State, Nigeria and to me personally.
“I recount, you had a special mass for me and my predecessor, giving me a message which I will never forget. You told me, that while I am in a haste to change the world, I should always remember that the people i deal with, are children of Adam and Eve,”
Responding, Francis Cardinal Arinze, an illustrious son of Eziowelle Community in Idemili North Local Government of the State, thanked the Governor and other personalities who came to celebrate the special occasion with him.
Cardinal Arinze is the Arch Bishop Emeritus of Onitsha Diocese, a highly placed patriarch and an Ecclesiastical Ancestor in the Catholic World.
Born in Nigeria on November 1, 1932, Cardinal Arinze was ordained a Priest in Rome on 23rd November 1958 and consecrated a Bishop in Onitsha on 29th August, 1965.
He became the Archbishop of Onitsha between 1967 and 1985, President of Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, 1984-2002.
Personalities in attendance include, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe (Agbogidi), Sen. Victor Umeh (Labour Party Senatorial Candidate, Anambra Central), Hon. Ikenna Iyiegbu (Ike Cubana) APGA Candidate, Idemili North and South Federal Constituency, Cardinals, Bishops, Monsignors, Rev. Fathers, Traditional Rulers, Papal Knights among others.
The cadinal later became the Prefect of Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments between 2002-2008.
Governor Soludo also stated that it was nice to be in the same Mass with his immediate predecessor, Chief Willie Obiano and wife, Ebelechukwu Obiano, APGA Senatorial Candidate for Anambra North, as well as the former Governor of Anambra State and the Labour Party Presidential Candidate, Mr. Peter Obi.