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July 18, 2018

Archbishop Obinna ordains 16 priests

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  • Charges priests to prefer nothing to Christ

With the prayer of consecration to the priesthood which was said at exactly 11:45am, Archbishop Obinna ordained 16 priests at Assumpta Cathedral, 5th August 2017.

Twelve of the priests namely: Frs. David Achugwo, Eustace Agwulonu, Victor Asoluka, Leslie Eluchie, Francis Ngere, Cornelius Ogbonna, Justin Obijuru, Boniface Okea, JohnPaul Okeke, Emmanuel Nnanabu, Chiaka Uzoigwe and Cosmas Uzoigwe were ordained for Owerri Archdiocese while four, namely: Frs. Eustace Diala, Jerome Iwuchukwu, Vincent Oguejiofor and Stephen Ozokoye were ordained for the Congregation of the Servants of Charity (SC).

In his homily at the Mass, the Archbishop called on the ordinands to always remember that they were not chosen by God because they are the most worthy for the work or the most intelligent among their brethren, but purely out of his grace. He therefore urged priests and the ordinands to carry out their priestly services with humility and obedience, and to eschew pomposity and the pursuit of material things.

The Archbishop presented Christ to the priests and ordinands as the model of service per excellence; Christ who at the last supper took the function of a servant by washing the feet of his disciples instead of sitting at the table to be served as the master. Christ he said, condescended, taking the nature of man to serve and save humanity. The prelate further said that just as Christ was stripped of his garment at Mount Calvary, mocked and insulted by the Jews, so also those who want to serve like him should be ready to be mocked and insulted by the people. He admonished priests to be ready to receive persecution and be killed in the course of their service to Christ.

Furthermore, the prelate hinted on obedience which he said is of paramount importance in the priesthood and religious life. He regretted that recently in Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, Obedience to Ecclesiastical authorities has become a serious problem. He observed that many priests are finding it difficult to live under their Bishops and superiors. He thus advised such priests to ask God for forgiveness.

He later called on priests to be mindful of the one whose priests they are and whose vocation they carry. He said priests are not ordained for food, drinks and politics in the parishes but for the work of Christ. With the words of St. Paul, he reminded priests and the ordinands that they are prisoners of Christ and as such should soak themselves in Christ so that he will do with them whatever he wills. In the words of St. Benedith to his monks, Archbishop Obinna Charged priests to prefer nothing to Christ. He told them not to prefer money, the pope, bishops, parents and friends to Christ. When one prefers Christ above everything, he will be able to take care of everything.

Finally, while admonishing the ordinands to live up to the vow of celibacy which they will take, the Archbishop cautioned them not to copy the livestyle of the western world where over development has made people to lose the spirit of God.

After the homily, the ordinands assembled before the sanctuary and took the priestly vows of obedience, poverty and chastity. After the prayer of consecration to the priesthood, the newly ordained priests were vested with the full regalia of priests. Thereafter, their palms were anointed by the Archbishop with the oil of Chrism to sanctify the people of God and to offer sacrifices to God. Later, the Archbishop handed over to them the vessels for the sacrifice of the Mass and charged them to understand what they do, imitate the mystery they celebrate and model their lives according to the mystery of the cross of Christ.


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