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Br. Joachim Ngwaka

Date of Death: 29/08/2019
Place: Nigeria
Province: Nigeria

Reverend Br. Joachim Ngwaka was born in Ebe in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State on 6th August, 1937 to the family of late Charles Ngwaka and Bernadette Ngwaka. His journey to religious life started on 15th January, 1958 when he entered the Marist Brothers’ Juniorate, Uturu. He was admitted to the Postulancy on 9th July, 1959. After one year, he proceeded to the Novitiate on 9th January, 1960, and on 9th January, 1961, he made his First Religious Profession at Uturu. Five years later in 1966, he made his Perpetual Vows.

In 1975, Br. Joachim Ngwaka was sent to Maynooth College, Kildare, Ireland for his studies and came back to Nigeria in 1980. He did his apostolate in the following places: St. Alphonsus Primary School, Ihioma, Orlu, Imo State, Marist Brothers’ Juniorate, Uturu, Abia State, and Marist Comprehensive College, Uturu, Abia State. Others include: Sacred Heart Marist College, Ejule, Kogi State, Marist Comprehensive College, Ezzagu, Ebonyi State, Marist Nursery/Primary School, Azaraegbelu, Imo State, and Marist Comprehensive College, Nteje, Anambra State, where he spent his last years until his death. He had great love for young people. When he could no longer teach in the classroom because of his health challenges, he continued with moral instruction and supervision of students.

Brother Jack, as he was fondly called, others call him “PAJERO,” died on 29th August, 2019. He had his last supper with his Brothers in the Community amidst jokes and laughter the previous night. In the morning of 29th August, 2019, he was found in a bad condition. A priest was called who anointed him before he was rushed to Niger Foundation Hospital, Enugu, where he was confirmed dead. He was due for his medical checkup at Niger Foundation Hospital, Enugu, and for his eye surgery at Mgbirichi on 2nd and 5th September, 2019 respectively, and had already planned for them.

The Psalmist says: “Our span is seventy years or eighty for those who are strong” (Ps. 90:10). Brother Jack had the grace to live up to eighty years and above. He was eighty two even though it’s not how long one lived that matters, but how well. Out of the 82 years Br. Jack spent on this earth, he spent 58 years as a Marist Brother. He had great love for Marist vocation. He was a happy and fulfilled Religious and a man of prayer. He had profound devotion to Divine Mercy Prayer.

Br. Jack was full of jokes and humour. He contributed immensely in making the community lively. He was gentle and peaceful. He never liked anything that would disturb or bring problem to himself. He was grateful to the Marist Province of Nigeria for taking good care of him.

Br. Jack will be missed by many who enjoyed his story telling and his sense of humour. His words of encouragement will be greatly missed by all came his way. May the soul of Br. Joachim Ngwaka through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.