The Bishop Emeritus of Okigwe Diocese, Imo State; Most Rev. (Dr.) Anthony Ekezie Ilonu is dead. He died on Friday, June 15, 2012, the feastday of the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, after a protracted Illness. The late bishop was the first local ordinary of the diocese.
Born on November 13, 1937, the late Bishop Ilonu was ordained a priest of Umuahia diocese on December 19, 1964. He was appointed the pioneer Bishop of Okigwe Diocese by Pope Pope John Paul II on January 24, 1981. His Episcopal ordination took place on March 29, 1981 with Archbishop Carlo Curis as the ordaining prelate, assisted by Francis Cardinal Arinze and late Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo CS.Sp.
Bishop Ilonu retired as the local ordinary of Okigwe Diocese on April 22, 2006; after diligently nurturing the diocese as an exemplary leader and father. He was succeeded by Most Rev. Solomon Amatu as the chief shepherd of the diocese.
According to the statement released by Very Rev. Simon Anyanwu, Chancellor of the diocese, the late bishop emeritus will be buried on Wednesday, July 11, after a funeral Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, Okgwe.