Catholic parish priest Fr Chukwudi Chinaka will be leaving Australia at Christmas
St Mary’s Catholic College principal Carmel O’Brien presented Fr Chukwudi with a special hand-made card bearing messages from hundreds of parishioners

November 24, 2021

A special thanksgiving Mass was hosted by St Patrick’s Catholic School on Saturday morning for departing Parish Priest Fr Chukwudi Chinaka.

The school’s hall was packed for the celebration with parishioners from the Catholic parishes of Kingaroy and Nanango.

Fr Chukwudi has been serving the Catholic communities in Kingaroy, Kumbia, Nanango, Blackbutt, Yarraman and Cooyar since January 2018.

Born in Nigeria, Fr Chukwudi has been in Australia since 2010.

He was invited to the country by the late Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby to complete his studies for the priesthood at Banyo Seminary.

After his ordination, Father “Chook” (as his parishioners call him), served at the Corinda and Caloundra parishes before being transferred to Kingaroy / Nanango.

Many friends from these parishes also travelled to Nanango for the celebration.

Sadly for his parishioners, his allotted time in Australia is now up and he will be returning to Nigeria at Christmas.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” Fr Chukwudi told the congregation.

“I am overwhelmed by who you are and all you have done for me.”

The Mass and morning tea attracted a number of Fr Chukwudi’s fellow priests and current seminarians as well as retired Brisbane Auxiliary Bishop Brian Finnigan.

Brisbane Auxiliary Bishop Brian Finnigan chats with parishioners from St Malachy’s, Cooyar
Retired priest Fr Dan Grundy, a familiar face in the Kingaroy / Nanango parishes, was one of several priests who concelebrated the Mass with Fr Chukwudi
St Patrick’s Catholic School principal Justin McCarthy welcomed the visitors to the school assembly hall
Fr Chukwudi with Cr Kathy Duff, from Boondooma
A host of priests, deacons and seminarians joined Fr Chukwudi at the celebratory Mass

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