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A multicultural jubilee celebration for Father Theo Ebulueme

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Father Theo Ebulueme, pastor of Holy Name Church in East Nashville, celebrated his Silver Jubilee of priestly ordination on Sunday, April 18, 2021. His actual 25th anniversary of ordination was July 22, 2020, but the celebration was postponed due to the pandemic. Video by Theresa Laurence

Father Theo Ebulueme, pastor of Holy Name Church in East Nashville, celebrated his Silver Jubilee of priestly ordination on Sunday, April 18, 2021 with a festive outdoor Mass.

Bishop J. Mark Spalding was the principal celebrant for the Mass, which took place outside on a perfect spring day with the sounds of the Holy Name, Nigerian and Sudanese Catholic community choirs providing the music.

After the Mass, Father Theo’s multicultural communities enjoyed a lunch together, some parishioners greeting each other for the first time in over a year, ushering in a new season as the parish begins to emerge from the pandemic.

“Seeing people together brings me a lot of joy,” Father Theo said.

A priest of the Diocese of Nnewi, Nigeria, Father Theo has served in the Diocese of Nashville since 2004. 

“Every country and every parish is different,” he said. Throughout his ministry in the priesthood, he has served as a parish priest in Nigeria, a missionary in Cameroon, a hospital chaplain in Nashville, associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Church in Clarksville, and as pastor of Holy Name since 2015. 

Representatives from all the countries and communities Father Theo has served were on hand to celebrate his 25th anniversary of ordination with him.

“I thank God for blessing me with these people,” he said of those he has served as a priest for the past 25 years. “They support me and I’m very grateful.”

Father Theo’s actual 25th anniversary of ordination was July 22, 2020, but the celebration was postponed due to the pandemic.

Read the full story on Father Theo’s anniversary previously published in the Tennessee Register:

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