Just like the psalmist, “how can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me, a thanksgiving sacrifice I will make, I will call on the Lord’s name,” the Son’s of Mary Mother of Mercy Congregation rejoices and thanks God for his goodness and for the grace of ordination as they ordain eight Deacons into the presbyterate at their Generalate Afaraukwu by His Lordship Most Rev. Augustine Echema, the Catholic Bishop of Aba Diocese.
Today is indeed a joyful day as eight Deacons are been elevated into the order of priesthood having been certified of meeting with the necessary requirements for ordination and having completed both their philosophical and theological studies in their respective seminaries.
The eight Deacons to receive ordination today includes: Rev. Desmond Adazie, Rev. John Obialor, Rev. Sampson Nwachukwu, Rev. Remigius Okoronkwo, Rev. Damian Okenwa, Rev. Emmanuel Odoh, Rev. Kenneth Nwachukwu and Rev. George Alugwo
However, the celebration began with a solemn mass of thanksgiving whereby the prelate welcomed all and sundry who came from far and near to witness this thanksgiving of amazing Grace in the lives of our brothers. He made it clear that priesthood is not a child’s play that it is for the matured and for those who have given up everything in the pursuit of that which is priceless and has more value.
Going further in his homily, the bishop stresses the fact that the priesthood is not a family business or a place one can start up an investment; but that it is the priesthood of Christ who came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a random for many.
Hence, he admonished the ordinands that their lives henceforth, should be that of service to humanity. He charged them to lead a live worthy of emulation and that which will lead people to God and not to shatter them.
He equally stresses the fact that, many priests have lost the meaning and value of their priesthood and that they should be careful lest they begin to experience it themselves. He charged them never to allow the grace and anointing they will receive today to drain or go empty but instead they should always fan into flame these gifts they have received today through daily reading of the scriptures, celebration of the Holy Mass, going for sacramental confession, liturgy of the hours etc.
Meanwhile, he expressed his dissatisfaction on the people of God who always tries to pull the priest down and encouraged the newly ordained to bed calm but vigilant for the enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat and that they should stand up to him strong in faith.
After the homily, the eight Deacons were elevated into the order of presbyterate through the words of ordination and great jubilation resounded the whole premises and arena. The families offered their gifts of thanksgiving to God.
Finally, the bishop concluded by thanking the families of the newly ordained for the gift of their children and encouraged them and the people of God to keep praying for them, for the task they have decided to undertake is such a herculean one but that with the grace of God and through their prayers and support, they would surmount all difficulties. He then gave his final blessings and had the celebration come to an end.