The remains of late Very Rev. Fr. Peter Sweneyaw Joe, popularly known as Fr. Joe Pee laid to rest, Wednesday, September 4, 2019, at the Diocesan Priest Cemetery located at Sacred Heart Seminary, Rumuibekwe, Port Harcourt. He was aged 45.
Fr. Joe who died at his 15th year of priestly ministry, served as Vice Rector, Sacred Heart Seminary, Rumuibekwe, Port Harcourt, Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Elele-Alimini, Rector, Sacred Heart Seminary, Parish Priest, St. James Parish, Eneka, Parish Priest, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Bori, Principal of St. John Paul II Secondary School, Bori, and Worked as Sub-Committee Chairman of the Episcopal Ordination of the Diocesan Auxiliary Bishop in May 2019.
The Catholic Bishop of Port Harcourt Diocese, Most Rev. Camillus Etokudoh appreciated the Metropolitan Archbishop of Calabar, Most Rev. Joseph Ekuwem, the Auxiliary Bishop of Port Harcourt Diocese, Most Rev. Patrick Eluke, Monsignors, Priests, women Religious and the lay faithful for their love and last respect to the deceased.
He called on Christians to be ready to die at anytime. “We are living dead. God has decided to call His son to Himself and nobody can question God”, he said.
In his homily at the funeral Mass, the Vicar Pastoral of the Diocese, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Cyprian Onwuli recalled that the news of the death of Fr. Joe took them totally aback when it was announced at the priests’ annual retreat after night prayers on 20th August.
He said that late Fr. Joe contributed immensely to the pastoral work of the Diocese. “The upright though they die, shall find favour with God”, he said.
Msgr. Onwuli reminded Christians that Jesus is the resurrection and the life and enjoined them to believe in Jesus.
The Vicar who acknowledged how the deceased reconciled his family with the Church, baptized some and gave them Holy Communion before he died, challenged the priests to follow the good example.
In his vote of thanks, Bishop Eluke commended the Diocesan Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Stephen Dedua, the Director of the Health of the Sick Hospital, Rev. Fr. Noel Nalelo, Priests, Religious, CMO, CWO, CYON and the Knights for their support and show of love during Fr. Joe’s illness and upon his demise.
The Deceased’s class mates, 2004 graduate priests of St. Joseph’s Major Seminary, Ikot Ekpene, in a tribute read by their President, Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Emmanuel Dafe, disclosed that late Fr. Joe was jovial and intelligent, and was known for his diligence, discipline, and good character.
In his condolence message to the Diocese and the mother of the late priest, the Metropolitan Archbishop encouraged the mourners to cry as if the priest had traveled to Rome to work with the Pope, as in this case it’s the greater travel to be with Jesus.
Speaking with Catholic Link, Rev. Frs. Sixtus Chikwe and Eric Bien revealed the uniqueness and simplicity of late Fr. Joe during their seminary days and prayed God to accept his gentle soul.