Joachim Cabanyes, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, has died of COVID-19 complications.
The Opus Dei community in Canada confirmed the death, which it said occurred on Thursday, via its Twitter handle.
“Fr. Joachim Cabanyes of Opus Dei died [of] COVID in Enugu, Nigeria. He was from Madrid. On Wed, he was rushed to isolation center as he needed oxygen. He was anointed. On Thurs, he seemed better but all of a sudden at 9:00am, things changed dramatically & by 10:15am, he had died,” the post read.
— Opus Dei Canada (@opusdei_canada) July 18, 2020
A statement made available on Saturday by Nkemjika Igweshi, secretary to Callistus Onaga, bishop of Enugu diocese, the priest has been buried according to the safety guidelines issued by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The priest died at the isolation centre of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH). Cabanyes, a Spanish priest of the Opus Dei prelature, served the Nigerian church for more than 20 years.
The deceased joined the Catholic priesthood in June 1985, and also had a degree in biochemistry from the Autonomous University of Madrid (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid).
“He was such a nice, easy-going, cordial, generous, prayerful, and dedicated pastor,” the statement read.
“He hailed from Spain, but loved our people so much and always attended our diocesan functions.
“His body has just been laid to rest, following the NCDC guidelines.
“Please, as we pray for his peaceful repose, let us know that COVID-19 is real and we will do well to observe all the necessary health precautions and safety measures.”