Necrology - REV. FR Basil Aguinam, MSP

Necrology - REV. FR Basil Aguinam, MSP

Rev. Fr Basil Aguinam, MSP

The loss of the MSP family here on earth is the gain of its community in heaven. As the Society's community in heaven grows, it is now sure of singing in harmony with Fr Basil Aguinam who had a great passion for liturgical music. He also carried that same passion and zeal in all that he did in his ministry as a priest.

Fr Aguinam was born fifth in a family of seven on June 9, 1955 to Mr & Mrs Mark and Paulina Okoli (both deceased). He had his primary school education at the Central School, Obeledu in the present day Anambra State from 1961 – 1971. He then went into business for a while before going back to undertake his secondary school education at the All Hallows' Seminary, Onitsha from 1976 – 1981. Two years later he was admitted to begin his one year of spiritual formation at the Missionary Society of St Paul's Formation House in Iperu-Remo, Ogun State. This was followed by his three and four years' studies of philosophy and theology respectively in the National Missionary Seminary of St Paul, Gwagwalada, Abuja. He was ordained a deacon on December 8, 1990 and a priest on June 22, 1991.

After his ordination, he was assigned to Idah Diocese for his one year pastoral experience, which he undertook in St Peter Claver Church Akpanya. Subsequently, he was sent on mission to Sierra Leone, and he left Nigeria on September 21, 1992. He worked in St Theresa Parish, Tonibara ( Sierra Leone), and at the same time  taught Christian Religious Education in a Catholic secondary school. However, his mission in Sierra Leone was cut short by the war there and he returned to Nigeria in 1995. He was assigned to Abuja Archdiocese, where he served in St Mary's Parish Karu for a while.

On May 15, 1996, Fr Aguinam received another letter from the superior general of the Society appointing him as the bursar of the National Missionary Seminary of St Paul, Gwagwalada.   The appointment took effect on September 6, 1996. He successfully completed his two three-year terms as the seminary bursar in 2002, after which he was sent on mission to Lagos Archdiocese, Nigeria. He served as the assistant parish priest at Holy Family Catholic Church, Festac Town, for a while and was appointed parish priest of St Brigid's Parish Ijesha-Teddo, and later the parish priest of St Thomas Parish, Onilekere, Ikeja. It was while ministering in Ijesha that he had a case of food poison that triggered off his ill health that eventually led to his withdrawal from Lagos Archdiocese in January of 2007. He was assigned to the MSP Community in Iperu-Remo and was receiving medical attention. However, without warning of any sort, he retired for his usual night rest and slept on to the Lord in the early hours of Thursday October 22, 2009.

Fr Aguinam was a simple and dedicated missionary. He had a great passion for his priestly ministry and was committed to whatever assignment that was given to him. He has left behind a legacy of hard work, simplicity and commitment. Farewell, dear brother; go in peace to your eternal reward. We hope to meet again one day and sing, once more, the alleluia chorus that you loved singing while here on earth with us.

Fr Martin Yina, MSP

Secretary General