Catholic Church members in Umuchu town in Aguata local government area of Anambra State, southeast Nigeria, have been thrown into mourning after their priest, Rev Father Emmanuel Idika, slumped at Our Lady of Fatima parish altar and died during the celebration mass.
The church workers went to the altar rescued him and rushed him to a hospital. Before the doctors at the hospital could attend to him, he was already dead.
The 82-year old Idika who hailled from Umunze in Orumba South in Anambra, was posted to the parish after his retirement as an active priest. He voluntarily assisted other priest to celebrate mass.
On the day the incident happened, Idika went to the church to conduct mass before he slumped before the congregation. According to an eye witnesses, half way to the service Idika fell down and slumped on the altar and became unconscious. The incident threw the congregation into commotion as the mass ended abruptly. His corpse was deposited at the Visitation hospital mortuary in Umuchu till when he will be buried.
The late Idika was ordained priest some decades ago and left at the retiring age before the incident happened. Some of the parishioners who spoke to our correspondent said the late Idika lived a good life throughout the period he was active as priest.