The Catholic Diocese of Awka, the largest in Nigeria and Africa in terms of the number of priest today added eighteen more priests to its ranks. The priestly ordination was conducted by the Diocesan Bishop, His Lordship, Most Rev. Paulinus C. Ezeokafor, on Saturday, in an ordination mass held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka.
The ordained are Rev. Fr. Ezenekwe Anthony, Rev. Fr. Anyaorah Solomon, Rev. Fr. Okoye Cornelius, Rev. Fr. Igboka Jude, Rev. Fr. Nwankwo John, Rev. Fr. Onwuchekwe Emmanuel, Rev. Fr. Okoye Polycarp, Rev. Fr. Nwakaeze Martins and Rev. Fr. Ike Kilian. Others are; Rev. Fr. Nnabugwu Chidiebere, Rev. Fr. Igboamalu Anthony, Rev. Fr. Obiano Godwin, Rev. Fr. Ezulike Christian, Rev. Fr. Izuakor Fidelis, Rev. Fr. Okoye Nelson, Rev. Fr. Onwumelu Gerald, Rev. Fr. Paschal V. Okafor (SAC) and Rev. Fr. Fidelis C. Anajekwu (SAC).
In his homily, Bishop Ezeokafor reminded the newly ordained priests that priesthood is the greatest beauty of the Roman Catholic Church and charged them to always teach sound doctrine.
The ordination was attended by some eminent personalities, family members and sponsors of the ordinates, thousands of jubilant worshippers, friends and well wishers who filled the cathedral to the brim and spilled out to the terraces.
The Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, attended the priestly ordination mass with other dignitaries such as Senator Uche Ekwunife, Mr Oseloka H. Obaze, Dr. Victor Oye, HRH Igwe Kenneth Orizu and a host of others.
Mr. Obaze, the leading PDP governorship aspirant in the November 18
election in Anambra State, who it was announced sponsored the vestments worn by the priests after their ordination, said the society stood to benefit from their choice vocation. “I congratulate the newly ordained priests, their families and the entire body of Christ. Their ordination today is a thing of joy. It is a plus to the church and the society at large.”
Obaze, who himself is a product of a renowned Catholic school, said he believes the newly ordained priests were carefully selected and properly nurtured. He prayed for God’s grace to continue with them throughout their lifetimes.
With the ordination, Awka Diocese now has over six hundred priests and is the Roman Catholic Diocese with the highest number of priests in Africa.