Rev. Francis Alex Okafor C.Ss.R., Redemptorist Student, was ordained a Deacon in early July. On or about August 15th, he died by drowning during a send-off party organised by the RYVM (Redemptorist Youth Vocation Ministry) in Nigeria, in his honour at the Ibeshe Beach. He was about to move to another area to work as deacon for some time.
According to an eyewitness account, while Rev. Okafor and some of the group were swimming, a strong current came and carried him, together with some of the people. Divers who were immediately mobilized were able to rescue three of them, while Bro. Okafor could not be found.
Two days after, the lifeless body of the 30-year-old was found floating at the edge of the sea.
He was to be ordained a priest in July 2016!
Our sympathies are with our confreres in Nigeria.
P.S. A number of Irish Redemptorists were involved over the years, working in Nigeria and helping to establish a Redemptorist presence there. The first Redemptorists,- from Oakland in California- came to Nigeria about 1989. There are now enough Nigerian Redemptorists, priests, brothers and students, to form their own ViceProvince, after less than 25 years.