Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has bemoaned the loss of pioneer Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Orlu, His Grace, Most Rev. (Dr.) Gregory Ochiagha, describing the deceased as a soldier of Christ.
Bishop Ochiagha died on December 29, 2020, aged 89, at the Annunciation Hospital, Enugu where he was receiving medical attention after a brief illness.
He transited at a time the Catholic Church faithful in Orlu were planning a thanksgiving service in his honour.
Bishop Ochiagha was ordained a priest in 1960, working in God’s vineyard for 60 years, out of which 40 years were spent in the Episcopacy.
He served as Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orlu, Nigeria, from 1981 until 2008, and till his death, his name was synonymous with the Catholic Diocese of Orlu.
Governor Uzodimma said most of today’s Catholic Bishops and several priests in the country learnt at the feet of late Bishop Ochiagha.
The Governor regretted that Bishop Ochiagha died barely a week to January 6, 2021 when a thanksgiving Holy Mass was being organized in his honour at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Orlu.
“His death is a big blow to the Catholic Church and faithful, particularly the members in Orlu where the late Bishop played a key role in the spiritual and physical development of the people. We have lost one of our own, a consummate soldier of Christ and his death is highly regretted,” Governor Uzodimma said.
The governor commiserated with the Ochiagha family in Mbano in Imo State where the late priest hailed from, the Catholic Bishop of Orlu Diocese, His Grace, Most Rev (Dr.) Augustine Ukwuoma and his brother Bishops as well as the entire Catholic faithful and prayed to God Almighty to grant them the grace and fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.