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Cardinal Okogie ordains 7 new priests
Jun 25, 2011
Lagos – Seven Catholic priests were on Saturday ordained by Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, the Archbishop of Lagos.
In accordance with the catholic doctrine, the new priests took oaths of celibacy, spirituality,
obedience and service to Jesus before a capacity crowd at St. Dominc’s Catholic Church, Yaba.
Those ordained were: Rev. Fr. Peter Ayangbola, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Ayonote, Rev. Fr. Julian Egwuatu, Rev. Fr. Simon Okelezo, Rev. Fr. Sylvester Oladunjoye; Rev. Fr. Kingsley Oristseweyimi and Rev. Fr. Fidelis Umole.
In the homily (sermon), Rev. Fr. Anthony Obadinor, Parish Priest, Holy Family, Festac Town, urged the priests to be tolerant in their priesthood.
He further encouraged them to be submissive, faithful and supportive of the bishop.
“Priests should express an enduring spirit to face challenges. As young priests, do well to follow instructions and do not listen to strangers.
“You need not allow temptations, all at the expense of your bishop’s instructions. Priesthood is a work of co-responsibility.
“Each role of the priests and bishops complement the other,” he said.
Obadinor also stressed the need for the priests to be modest in their appearances, prayerful and above all, humble in their service to God and humanity.
Rev. Fr. Marcel Amadi, Secretary, Catholic Archdiocese, Lagos, who also spoke at the event, described a priest as “a mediator, who represents the people of God’’.
“He presents himself as the representative of another; he prepares a way by which people can approach God.”
He said that priests were men of prayer and that their spiritual lives should entail regular confession, which would help them to avoid distraction from the “way, the truth and the life”.
“His spiritual life must entail monthly spiritual recollection which helps to keep him in tune with Christ, in spite of heavy pastoral engagements,” Amadi added.
The Cardinal, in ordaining the new priests, laid his hands on them and prayed God to “support them with your unfailing love’’.
The new priests wore their stoles and were vested with chasubles, while their palms were anointed by the cardinal, who by doctrine, gave them “a kiss of peace’’.
Some of the new priests expressed joy at being ordained.
Rev. Fr. Fidelis Umole said: “I was inspired and called first by God and the unique thing about priesthood is service to God and humanity.”
He urged the youth to emulate priests, shun violence of any form, and cultivate a live of prayers.
“The youth are the future of Nigeria. They need to be trained now to be better tomorrow,” Umole said.
His colleague, Rev. Fr. Julian Egwuatu advised the youth to dedicate their lives to God.
“As a youth or an adult, you cannot live without God. You must dedicate your lives to God. It is the most important thing in life,” he said.
A mother of one of the priests, Mrs Maria Umole, urged mothers to encourage their children to join the priesthood.
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