Parish in shock after priest found dead

Anukam Anukam Parishoners of Rockdale’s St. Joseph’s Catholic Church are in shock this week after priest Father Anselm Anukam was found dead at the church rect ory Sunday morning.

Fr. Anukam, 61, a native of Nigeria had failed to show up for masses Friday and Saturday nights.

When a large congregation gathered for Sunday morning mass, and waited several minutes for Fr. Anukam to appear, church members went to the rectory, 521 East Davilla, about three blocks away, and discovered his body.

“He was ver y ill,” Lt. J. D. Newlin said. “Of course there is absolutely no indication of foul play or anything like that. An autopsy was ordered but that’s just a matter of routine.”

Police and the Rockdale VFD were summoned to the rectory after the body was discovered.

Parishioners said Fr. Anukam had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday.

He had been pr iest at St. Joseph’s for about a year.

Two observances are planned, both at the KC Hall.

A vigil and rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Friday with a funeral mass at 10 a.m. Saturday presided over by Joe Vasquez, Bishop of Texas.

Condolences may be sent to St. Joseph Parish, PO Box 548, Rockdale, TX 76567.

See obituary page 5D.

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