Celebration – In our spiritual journey through life we are offered numerous occasions to acknowledge those milestones, which we, our family, and community celebrate: Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, and Marriages. But for some, there is a special occasion to celebrate – Ordination to the Priesthood. On Sunday, May 22nd St. Anselm Parish joined with Fr. Anthony Alimnonu for just such a joyous celebration, the 25th Anniversary of his Ordination.
Fr. Anthony Onyebuchi Alimnonu, the son of Agnes and Benneth Alimnonu, was born in Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria. He discerned his calling to the priesthood while in secondary school in the minor seminary of the Holy Ghost Fathers. Fr. Anthony was ordained into the Congregation of the Holy Spirit on August 9th, 1997.
Fr. Anthony’s educational background is a rigorous one, with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Religious Studies & Psychology, Master’s degrees in Social Sciences, Theology, & Psychology, and a PhD in Psychology. Several of his degrees were earned in Rome, which also enabled him to become fluent in Italian.
Fr. Anthony has served in many capacities including: Pastor, High School Chaplain, Registrar, Seminarian Lecturer, and as a Parochial Vicar. While in Italy, Fr. Anthony also ministered in parishes in various regions. After his doctoral studies, Fr. Anthony was appointed the first Director of Holy Ghost Hospital in Nigeria. During his tenure there, he oversaw the expansion of the hospital and the move to a permanent site. One of the initiatives he supervised was a free medical outreach program, which provided much needed physical care and emotional support to the people in the community.
Fr. Anthony first came to St. Anselm in 2005 as a substitute priest during the summers, and has since become a vital member of our St. Anselm family. In 2018 he was appointed a Parochial Vicar at his home parish of St. Anselm. He proudly became a United States citizen on May 13th, 2021.
The Anniversary celebration began with the 12 noon Mass, which was concelebrated by Fr. Anthony with Msgr. Maloney, Msgr. Phillips (Welcome Home!) and Fr. Szymon Galazyn. At the conclusion of the Mass the celebration moved to Meletia Hall for the party, where Fr. Anthony was thrilled to share the joy of his Silver Jubilee with his St. Anselm family and friends. During the celebration, New York State Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus and Chris McCreight, on behalf of Councilman Justin Brannan, who was unable to attend, presented Fr. Anthony with citations. Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, who was in Washington, DC sent her best wishes along with a proclamation, as did New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes. Fr. Anthony was also presented with a Papal Blessing from the parish.
But, the true focus of the afternoon was the opportunity for Fr. Anthony and the parish to share their joy on this special occasion. Parishioners joined Fr. Anthony’s guests in thanking him for his years of service and wishing him many more. While enjoying a delicious selection of sandwiches, snacks, cookies and cake, the crowd chatted happily with Fr. Anthony and one another. It truly was a great party!
Our thanks to Eileen Loughlin, Msgr. Maloney, and a wonderful committee and group of volunteers: Jeanine Condon, Cono D’Alora, Katie Dean, Florence Diaz, Barbara Fabris, Mary Gelormino, Kitty and Mitch Gennaoui, Bob Kassenbrock, Peter Loughlin, Bernadette McLaughlin, Linda Naradovy, Nancy Nolan, Kim Parker, Michele Soto, Mary Sutera, Mary Jane Tunny, Josephine Volpe, Eileen White, Suzanne Whiteaker, and Gary Williams. And, a special thanks to the 8th grade Bay Ridge Catholic Academy volunteers who provided cheerful and much appreciated assistance throughout the afternoon and to the 8th grade student pianist, from the Academy, whose beautiful playing added so much to the party.
Congratulations and Happy 25th Anniversary, Fr. Anthony! Thank you for your years of faith, friendship, and service. We are blessed to know you.
All the best,
The Saint Anselm Publicity Committee