Fr. Boniface Ezeokeke
Father Boniface Ogonna Ezeokeke, known to some as Fr. Bonny was born on September 18, 1978 in Ula- Ekwulobia, Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State, Nigeria. He was 5th of nine children born to Mr. Boniface Ezeokeke and Mrs. Monica Ezeokeke, four boys and five girls. He enjoyed the camaraderie of his siblings and friends in the neighbourhood of Ula village in Ekwulobia where he grew up.
His parents were deeply rooted in Christian practices and the Catholic faith, attending Mass frequently with their children. Fr. Boniface more than any of the others, developed and expressed a keen interest in going with them. He was an active participant at Mass, becoming an altar server at the encouragement of the priests and the parish community. His decision to become a priest was a result of these influences in his life, and the encouragement of the young men who had entered seminary before him.
Fr. Boniface received his first formal kindergarten/ preschool education through his mother who was the kindergarten teacher of the village. He had his primary school education at Nwannebo Primary School which was followed by his entrance into St. Dominic Savio Seminary, Akpu, where he began his secondary education. He completed his secondary education at St. John Bosco Seminary School, Isuaniocha with a Diploma in Latin. He attended the Bigard Memorial Seminary in Enugu, a city in Nigeria and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts, Bachelors in Philosophy and a degree in Theology. He attended Enugu State University where he gained a High National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication. Fr. Boniface graduated from the Federal Technical College in Umunze, a city in Nigeria with a Post Graduate Degree (PGD) in Education. He admitted that he enjoyed his school years.
Fr. Boniface was ordained on August 21, 2010 and assigned to St Mary’s parish in Oraeri where he spent two years then to St. John’s parish in Ezinifite for another two years. He moved to St Vincent and the Grenadines on March 7, 2015 and was parish priest in the newly formed Corpus Christi parish alongside fellow Nigerian, Fr. Peter Okonkwo. Though he was unprepared, having left Nigeria with its large Catholic population and different culture, he felt encouraged seeing people who looked like him, that is, people of African descent. That, coupled with the warm welcome he received, gave him a degree of comfort. He found Vincentians to be kind, caring people.
A year of travelling back and forth between the Southern Grenadines and mainland St. Vincent then followed as both priests took turns celebrating Mass in Corpus Christi Parish and Holy Family parish in the Southern Grenadines. Finally, on March 1st, 2019, Fr. Boniface assumed the responsibility of two of the islands in Holy Family parish, namely Union Island and Mayreau. He has already created an impact with his passionate homilies, his zeal for Christ and the Christian way of life. People are returning to the church, and he has established an up and coming music ministry in that part of the parish.
While in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Fr. Boniface furthered his education, gaining a Masters in Clinical Psychology from the Atlantic International University in the United States of America via a two year online course.
Fr. Boniface wants us to know there is hope for the Church in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, however, he expressed that the Church needs to make more of an effort at outreach and be more committed to fostering the Christian way of life, taking a stronger stance against immorality and unchristian lifestyles. He is of the opinion that there should be more focus on family, as family is the first and bed rock of the Church.
We appreciate Fr. Boniface. His dedication. His stewardship.