Ordaining six priests and two deacons at St. Anthony Mary Claret Parish Area ‘A’ New Owerri, Imo State, on Saturday July 10, Most Rev. Ernest Obodo, auxiliary bishop of Enugu Diocese encouraged the candidates to be ministers with the mindset of Christ.
“Today that you are ordained priests you have to be those with a changed mindset – a mindset like Christ who though he was God, humbled himself to become a servant.”
Reflecting on the Gospel text Matthew 9:35-38, Bishop Obodo said: “there are so many priests, but the Lord is looking for labourers not businessmen; there are many clerics, but the Lord is looking for harvesters because the labourers are few”.
In a time when the vocation to the priesthood is being questioned, the prelate reminded the newly ordained that they are called by the Lord through the Church to minister in the peripheries of the world. “The vocation is not just a function but a call by God to be obedient, prayerful, and compassionate,” said the prelate.
While addressing the deacons, the bishop reminded them that among the many functions of a deacon, they should remember that they were called to be servants of others.
He appreciated the goodwill of the lay-faithful, he however beckoned on them to pray and take care of their priests.
The six new priests ordained by Bishop Obodo are: Rev. Frs. Patrick Kenechukwu Adisionu Cmf, Jude Ikechukwu Akujuobi Cmf, Peter Claver Onyekachi Amaku Cmf, Raphael Chinwuba Chiaha Cmf, Emmanuel Terhile Igba Cmf, Maxwell Chigozie Nnonyelum Cmf.
The new deacons are: Rev. Jude Chidube Nwachukwu Cmf and Martin Ugochukwu Ogbuokiri Cmf.
In another ordination on the same day at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity Onitsha, Anambra State, Rev. Sylvester Chukwudi Omelukam, CMF, along with eighteen others, was ordained a priest by Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, the Archbishop of Onitsha.
Rev. Omelukam belongs to the Claretians East Nigeria Province, but was permitted to be ordained with the candidates of Onitsha Archdiocese.
In a vote of thanks shortly before the end of Mass, Provincial Superior, Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Nwobi Cmf, who was at the Mass with about 50 other priests expressed delight on the success recorded at the event. He appreciated the ordaining prelate for honouring the congregation with his presence, while thanking the Owerri Metropolitan, Archbishop Anthony J.V. Obinna for his paternal permission.
The event shifted after the Mass to a mini reception where the newly ordained were entertained alongside their various guests, family members and friends.