Fr Emmanuel to return to Nigeria

Decrease font size
Increase font size
Print this page
Email to friend
Share to Facebook
Share to Twitter
Home > Media > News > Fr Emmanuel to return to Nigeria
Fr Emmanuel to return to Nigeria

Fr Emmanuel Ibeke, who has served at the Cathedral Parish for the past four years, is set to return to Nigeria this month.

Fr Emmanuel has been in Tasmania on a four-year loan from his home diocese of Onishta since May 2015 and has undertaken a variety of priestly and pastoral ministries including Masses, school ministry, sacramental ministry and working with youth at the Cathedral.

His ministry to schools has been significant, and has included Guilford Young College (GYC), Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Primary School, St Mary’s College and St Virgil’s College.

As well as Masses and liturgies, Fr Emmanuel visits classrooms, particularly at GYC and Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Primary School, to speak with the children about faith.

“That helps to boost their faith,” he said.

“To live out faith in their daily lives, having Christ as a model in their lives.”

Aware that most of the students are not Catholic and don’t have faith, he says his job is “to gather them together, to let them know that they come from the same Creator God”.

Within the parish, his work with younger children includes the sacramental program where he has worked alongside the parish catechist.

For the older youth, there is the Cathedral youth group which meets each week following the 10.30am Sunday Mass.

“I’m in charge of the Cathedral youth and we are trying to pull them together,” he said.

Eucharistic adoration and prayer, learning about service and going more deeply into learning about the Catholic faith are all part of the program for the Cathedral youth group.

He has also participated in the annual youth Pilgrimage to St Patrick’s Colebrook and hopes to attend again this March before heading back to Nigeria.

“In general, my priestly work here has been very satisfying,” he said.

He says the huge cultural differences between Nigeria and Australia have meant that he has had to “learn everything” – something for which he gives thanks to God.

“In challenging situations, you learn,” he said.

Fr Emmanuel says he’s also learnt the importance of building good pastoral relationships, and will miss the people with whom he’s worked, as well as Archbishop Julian and Cathedral parish administrator Fr Shammi Perera who he lived with at the Cathedral presbytery, and regularly prayed with.

Fr Emmanuel says he has proposed to return to Nigeria on March 22, and is looking forward to seeing his family again, and learning what work his bishop has planned for him.

The Cathedral youth are hosting a farewell event for Fr Emmanuel on Sunday, March 10 following the 10.30am Cathedral Parish Mass.