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The body of the founder of the Block Rosary Crusade in Nigeria, Oblate Eusebius Oguizu (JP) has been committed to mother earth after a requiem Mass presided over by the Catholic Bishop of Orlu, Most Rev. Augustine Ukwuoma at St. Andrews Catholic Parish Urualla, Ideato North LGA of Imo State. He was buried in the premises of the church as a mark of honour.

In a homily at the Mass, the Owerri Provincial Chaplain of the crusade, Rev. Fr. Dr. Longinus Chinagorom said that the death of Oblate Eusebius Oguizu was worth celebrating and thanksgiving to God based on the fact that God gave him a special spirit through which he distinguished himself to serve God.

Late Oblate Eusebius Dominic Oguizu (JP)
Late Oblate Eusebius Dominic Oguizu (JP)

Fr. Chinagorom reminded Christ faithful the importance of the Holy Rosary, which Oblate Oguizu propagated by founding the Block Rosary crusade that is now recognized even at the international level. He further stated that the deceased started the crusade as a way to protect the young church with the help of God. My contact with him has remained indelible and a motivation for me to go on to contribute my little quota.

In an oration, the first son of the deceased, Mr. Richard Oguizu, traced the life of Oblate Eusebius Oguizu, who was born on December 8, 1939 and started his early education at Alandu Primary School, Urualla.

The deceased traveled to Port Harcourt in 1949 and ventured into business, dealing on religious articles. The deceased got married to Mrs. Margaret Oguizu on June 27, 1970. He disclosed that Oblate Oguizu was a man who spent all his life in serving God, touching the lives of people as well as teaching little children through which he founded the Block Rosary Crusade in 1956 in Aba, Abia State. He joined the Oblate of St. Benedict (Lay Monks living outside the Monastry) and was professed in 1981. He went to pilgrimage to Holy Land, Israel in 1980 and was given the tittle Jerusalem Pilgrim (JP).

Richard said that his father devoted his life and time to serving God with humility and never relented both in sickness, under rain and sun in doing the work of his creator till the day he died. The deceased held many positions and received many awards, including National Golden Jubilee Merit Award in 2006 by St. Ambrose Parish Block Rosary Crusade, Ogbor-Hill, Aba.

Priest at the burial

In their own message, the Aba Diocesan chapter of the Block Rosary Crusade described the deceased as a special gift to the entire Catholic Church, adding that he founded the crusade in Nigeria through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

In his reaction, the Chairman National Burial Planning Committee, Chief Sir Kizito Ajaelu pointed out that Oblate Eusebius was a God sent, who Mother Mary used to propagate the Fatima Gospel, having founded Block Rosary which is now approved children Apostolate Ministry in Catholic Church, where little children are caught young.
“He lived a prayerful life, filled with humility, worthy of emulation.”

Photo: Members of the Boys Brigade conveying the remains of Oblate Eusebius Oguizu to the cemetery

He was optimistic that the members of the crusade will continue to propagate the aims and objectives of the founder, while advising parents to encourage their children and wards to join Block Rosary in order to be rooted in faith. Chief Ajaelu described the plea of the bishop to build a National Shrine in the area as a welcome development, adding that they will also consider his beatification. He encouraged the deceased family to keep aglow the light which their late father has ignited.

Photo: The National President of the Block Rosary Crusade, Bro. Fidelis-Mary Nwachukwu (3rd from left) and Chief Sir Kizito Ajaelu (2nd from right) with other members of the National Burial Planning Committee

The burial was attended by priests from within and outside the diocese including the National Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Paschal Nwosu, Very Rev. Fr. Prof. Bonni-livy Bonico from Port-Harcourt Diocese and other provincial chaplains. Other dignitaries were Noble Lady Prof. Viola Onwuliri (former minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Education), National and Provincial Executives from across Nigeria; members of the Block Rosary from Kaduna, Lagos, Abuja, Aba, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Orlu, Onitsha among others.

Oblate Eusebius Oguizu was survived by his wife, 8 children, grandchildren, and brothers. He hailed from Umuturu Urualla in Ideato North LGA. He was aged 80.

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