Until his advent to meet his maker, John Alale, from Alesa Eleme, was the pioneer Catechist and foundational old-block of St. Paul’s Catholic Parish, Alesa Eleme.
Records have it, that, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, through some part of 1980s, whilst Eleme was yet an out station, under St. John’s Parish, Rumukwurusi, and later under St. Patrick’s Bodo, Ogoni, John Alale , in his early youthful age, had already begun the teaching of Catechism from place to place as the Church sent him. His popular friend and Minister of the Blessed Sacrament, was Bishop Edmond FitzGibon. At a time, Catechist Alale rode on his lady’s byke from Eleme to Sacred Heart Parish, to get catechetical materials, any time he didn’t get one at St. John’s Parish Rumukwurusi.
Our path crossed in 1996 when he inducted me into the Catechumenate, and subsequently, I became a fully equipped Catholic, John Alale personally presented me for baptism, while Chief Arthur Osaro (now in the USA) stood behind me at the Sacrament of Confirmation, from thence I proceeded to the Seminary. And so, when you hear people call me Catholic Fanatic, I thumb for such.
All these happened under the sponsorship of Sir Samuel Obonda Ngoke KSM and his lovely wife, Lady Alice Ngoke KSM.
It will be informative to underline, having secured all the necessary sacraments, before proceeding to the Seminary, John Alale had also nominated me for the noble office of Junior Catechist, which was approved by the first Resident Parish Priest, Very Rev. Fr. Clement Dekoo, the latter in turn prepared me for the Teaching Office, which finally got sealed by Bishop Alexius Obabu Makozi (may he be blessed), the Bishop annointed me a Catechist, an office I occupied, during all my practical stay at the Parish, which later gave birth to other Junior Catechists, who have blossomed to maturity today, and are doing well in the dispensation of the Catechisms of the Holy Roman Catholic Church in the Parish.
Today, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, the Clergy, Laity and entire Eleme LGA converged on St. Paul’s Parish Alesa, to honour this man of history and Saint-in-the-Making.
An array of Catholic Priests, Sisters, Catechists, other Men/Women of God from other denominations, Alesa Council of Chiefs led by Emere Emperor JD Nkpe, Youths and people of all walks of life, were in attendance at Alesa Eleme Parish (my home Parish), to pray for the transiting Senior Catechist.
The fullness of the Church today, to bury Catechist John Alale, in my ecclesiastical view, is an ample pointer that the First Eleme Catholic Catechist, is already at the verge to his Beatification (only enlightened Catholics know what I mean).
May God comfort and bless the earthly family which Most Senior Catechist John Alale left behind, especially his ageing beautiful wife, and beloved children.
Catechist John Alale was a dogged teacher of the faith, he was an unrepentant Catholic, he was diligent in service and took the Church as his last and permanently home.
I am not in tears, and believers too aren’t, because Most Senior Catechist John Alale is in a state of perpetual bliss- he served God with all he had.
Many thanks to Rev. Fr. John Poroma, Parish Priest, the Laity Council and Members of St. Paul’s Catholic Parish, Daughters of Charity, and indeed the Church of Rome in Portharcourt, for athe classical obsequies put up for Late Catechist John Alale.
To God be the Glory!