By Ononye VC
On 10th of July 2021,the Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha Most Rev Valerian Okeke, ordained 29 deacons to admit them into priesthood in THE ancient order of Melchizedek.
Providentially, two of the candidates were from the Cameroons.
Significantly, a great-great grand son of the traditional ruler of Onitsha, Obi Anazonwu who with open arms, welcomed the early missionaries of both the Catholic and Anglican church extraction,deacon Emmanuel Anazonwu was one of those ordained into priesthood,a development that was likened to a divine manifestation of the wish of his fore fathers.
In a homily, the Archbishop pointed out that the world depicts a relay race where one runs and hands over the baton to another and that all those who win the race would be appreciated.
The Archbishop reminded the congregation that the ordination came as the Archdiocese was celebrating the centenary of the coming of Bishop Shanahan and his colleagues who exhibited great missionary heroism for the growth of the church in Southern Nigeria.
Bishop Shanahan he said, passed on the splendour of sacrifice such that he and his colleagues paid the Supreme price such that a great church arose over their bones.
” They worked for the salvation of man.This is the tradition we are called to accept and sustain”.
The Archbishop expressed gratitude to God for lifting the deacons to such height of priesthood where they can partake in the high office of serving God in his vineyard.
He admonished the newly ordained priests to shun wealth and pleasure and work assiduously towards the salvation of those entrusted to their care.
The ordination mass was concelebrated with the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Most Rev Denis Isizoh and hundreds of priests from the Presbyterium.
Chancellor of the Archdiocese Very Rev Dr Prudentius Aroh,the Rector of the Basilica, Rev Fr Dr Nwokedi Ezumezu, the Vice Chancellor, Very Rev Fr Dr Basil Ekwunife,Secretary to the Archbishop Rev Fr Kevin Chukwuka,Rector of St Pius XVI Seminary,Akwaukwu Very Rev Fr Dr Celestine Umeh and others were present.
It was a colourful day as various dance groups hired by relatives of the newly ordained Priests came to felicitate with them.
By Ononye VC