Bishop Ukwuoma ordains 19 priests …Charges them to represent the church not themselves
The newly ordained priests with lit candles in a show of willingness
The Catholic Bishop of Orlu Diocese, Most Rev Dr. Augustine Ukwuoma August 20, 2016 ordained 19 able young men into the order of priesthood. The newly ordained priests, one was ordained for the Augustinian Society, the other one for Missionaries for Africa, while the rest were for the diocese.
Delivering a homily during the Holy Mass, the Most Rev Augustine Ukwuoma expressed happiness for the 19 young men, who he said devoted their lives and talent to serve as priest in God’s vineyard.
He thanked God for giving man the privilege to participate in the priesthood of his son Jesus Christ whom the priests represent. He noted that though everyone is called through baptism, but Christ and the church chooses men who will be co workers with the Bishop for the work of salvation.
The Bishop pointed out that before their ordination, they have refined and proved with the qualities and the shape the church want them to be during their stay in the seminary. He reminded them that being a catholic priest is hard work but a choice made to serve God, therefore should complain to God in their difficult moments as well as to endure what comes out of it.
He said that priests after their ordination are configured to the person of Christ and should be committed to their vow. The homilist encouraged them not to be distracted by earthly gifts but remain focused in their ministerial work. Bishop Ukwuoma maintained that no priest can carry out any work without collaborating with the Bishop of his diocese. He said that to become a priest is a gift and privilege from God not a right.
The prelate further stated that a priest remains a mediator between God and man; he charged them to represent the church not themselves. “A priest must always be identified anywhere through his dressing, character and approach to the people”.
He warned the families and relatives of both the newly ordained and old priest not to burden them with family issues, as well as some priests who engage in family ties to desist with forth in order to carry out the evangelical work, which they are called to do.
Bishop Ukwuoma extended his profound gratitude to the families of the newly ordained priests for accepting to offer their children to serve God, the church and humanity. He also thanked their formators in their various seminaries during their training as well as the Vocational Interest Promoters Association (VIPA) who helps in the training of the priests for their support. The event attracted friends and well- wishers of the ordained from different parts of the country.