The Reverend Father Thomas Treacy was born to Thomas and Nora on April 25, 1945 in Ireland. He was ordained a Catholic priest on December 16, 1970 in Ireland, under the Society of African Missionary (SMA). He came to Nigeria that same year as a missionary and travelled to his country in August 2019 for annual leave, where he took ill.
The Rev Father Treacy worked in different parishes and Catholic schools in Kano Diocese. He served as a principal of the St Thomas Secondary School, Airport Road, Kano and a rector of the St Joseph Minor Seminary, Zaria.
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He was the brain behind the formidable structure and worship in the Catholic Diocese of Kano, which began in today’s Our Lady of Fatima Cathedral in the early 1950s. When he left Our Lady of Fatima, he served in St Louis Parish, Bompai, St Thomas Parish, Airport Road, and back to the cathedral before he was appointed to develop and pastor the faithful of Saint Charles Catholic Parish, an SMA parish, in 2002. He immersed himself in and flowed with the faithful of the diocese, which earned him a chieftaincy title, Ọchịrịọzụọ, at Our Lady of Fatima Cathedral.
Father TT, as he was fondly called, came to Saint Charles Parish at its onset and worked for 17 years. He laid the first stone, which has grown into an immense and noble parish. He deployed his vast insight and measureless astuteness on every facet of St Charles, developing her human resources, style of worship and character.
As a result of his style of leadership, he never had any reason to fall out with anyone.
Oh death! Where is your victory? Where is your sting? But give thanks to God, who gives us victory through Christ Jesus our Lord (1 Cor. 15:55 & 57).
We are deeply saddened by the demise of our beloved brother, priest and friend, a dynamic, amiable, humorous and humble pastor. Though our hearts are heavy, we are nevertheless consoled that he has gone to be with his creator and redeemer, whom he served so well.
The almighty God will always do what is the best, and we must continue to trust him, regardless of the outcome. We have lost a giant and distinguished pastor, mentor and teacher. We shed tears that you have left us, but we also smile because you lived well for God. You have gone, but we are consoled in the fact that your labour will continue to propagate countless fruits.
Your name is synonymous with beauty, compassion, power and intelligence. You had an infectious sense of humour, as well as a noble character, no wonder you were cherished by many. You were a man of the people and an embodiment of humility, courage and faith.
You were a man of formidable accomplishments. You impacted on the lives of many and remain a role model to many young people you nurtured to adulthood. You were a builder, change agent and development advocate. You were a blessing to humanity and a great ambassador of peace. You were also a pillar of support to the needy and underprivileged, caring for them through the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) and Society of Saint Vincent De Paul (SSVP).
As a missionary, you enjoyed quiet and simple moments and beauty of nature. You never cared about wealth and social status. Indeed, you were a pride to the church. And you left indelible marks on the sands of time. In your priestly ministry, you faced life situations and challenges resolutely, prayerfully and calmly. You walked through the hilly, rough and narrow path of life victoriously and made a huge impact on humanity in remarkable ways.
Your numerous works and great writings over the years have inspired and generated faith in the minds of millions of persons. You will be remembered for your dedication and commitment to service. You will continue to occupy a special place in our hearts. Your legacies will forever be remembered. We have no doubt that you fought a good battle, so, rejoice in victory and rest in the bosom of your redeemer.
Adieu; may the saints of God in heaven welcome you with open arms, amen.
Fr Michael Adefemi Adegbola & Ijeoma Paulette Ezuruike
Adegbola is the Vicar-General, Catholic Diocese of Kano, while Dr Ezuruike contributed from Kano