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St. Ignatius Gabriel Project members celebrate wedding, baptism with Nigerian couple

May 22, 2015
Catholic San Francisco

A couple from Nigeria celebrated the baptism of their baby Uche and had their marriage blessed in the Catholic Church on May 9 – part of a journey in which St. Ignatius Church Gabriel Project played a significant role.

St. Ignatius pastor Jesuit Father Greg Bonfiglio walked Chinonso Jane Etumnu down the aisle for the wedding to Chinonso Ezenwa Etumnu, a graduate student at University of San Francisco who was already civilly married to Jane in Nigeria but did not have time for a religious wedding before leaving for the U.S., said Diane Gutierrez, a member of St. Ignatius Parish and a Gabriel Project ‘angel’ to the family. Her husband Eddie, a deacon, baptized the couple’s baby girl Uche. Diane Gutierrez and Dolores Tulkoff were Gabriel Project ‘angels’ or helpers to the family. Diane was godmother, said Janet Healy, coordinator of the archdiocesan Gabriel Project. Gabriel Project is a parish-based ministry to women who are pregnant and need support and continues after the baby is born.

Jane arrived in the United States eight months pregnant, and when she had her first ultrasound the doctors immediately called for an emergency Caesarean section. “The name Uche was chosen by Jane and Chinonso because it means ‘God’s plan for us’ in Nigerian,” Diane Gutierrez said.

Members of the young adults’ Emmaus group planned and hosted the wedding reception, Gutierrez said. Parishioners Caroline Milward Grinder and Alyson McGee Gembela were matrons of honor, Nano Visser took photos, and Clara McInerney arranged the flowers. “It has been rather beautiful to see God present and working through the parish,” Gutierrez said.

“Jane told me how grateful she is for all the help the Gabriel Project has given and continues to give her and her new husband,” Healy said.

For more information about becoming involved with the Gabriel Project in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, contact Janet Healy, program coordinator, at (415) 480-4017 or sfgabrielproject@gmail.com. If you are pregnant and need help, call (800) 910-2848 or visit https://angelforme.wordpress.com.

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