… Installs Acolytes, Lectors
By Daruwana Daku and Onyinyechi Ekoyo
St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Awka was agog, on Saturday, December 16, as the Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, Most. Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, ordained a priest, and 11 deacons and installed 12 acolytes and 9 lectors into the Church.
The ordination ceremony had priests, religious and lay faithful from different parts of the diocese in attendance and the deacons.
While calling on the priest to be true shepherd of God’s own people, Bishop Ezeokafor charged them to be one of his type. This was even as he noted that the journey into priesthood is not an easy one owing to the many years of formation.
The Catholic prelate reminded them of their mission, stating that Christ’s mandate in the New Testament to the disciples to proclaim the gospel and baptize the people in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, was the major mission of their priesthood.
While he cautioned the newly ordained priest to always be a priest after the mind of Christ and the Church, Bishop Ezeokafor also charged all the newely ordained to always live a life of chastity and celibacy.
While speaking with Fides, one of the seminarians who was installed lector, Evaristus Okakpu, expressed gratitude to God for giving him the opportunity to get into this stage of priesthood. The seminarian who noted how much he longed for the day, added that this first step of his journey into becoming a priest was coming to fruition with the installation as lector.
Also speaking with Fides, one of the installed acolytes, Cyprian Nwabueze, noted that the stage of acolytes was an encouragement and motivation into his journey of priesthood. The seminarian, while thanking the bishop and vocational director for finding him worthy into the stage, pledged to intensify efforts in his preparedness of becoming a priest.
Rev. Paschal Omaga, who is one of the newly ordained deacons, also shared his joy in the diaconate ordination, noting that the Bishop’s call concerning their duties and responsibilities of being priests would be taken seriously.
For his part, the newly ordained priest, Rev Fr Izuchukwu Joachim Anakweze, from St. Mark’s Parish, Abagana, who belongs to Klerksdorp a diocese in South Africa, maintained that the journey had been long for him and that it was a dream come true.
The priest also noted that the support of his family doused the tension of many who never believed he could be a priest. The priest who traversed many countries in his formative years, added that the support of his mother in particular pushed him through in becoming a priest.