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Love your vocation – Bishop Ezeokafor urges young seminiarians

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The 2018 investiture of  17 seminarians at Holy Family Spiritual Year Seminary, Okpuno in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State was held recently..

The annual event,  which was preceded by a Eucharistic celebration at the school chapel, attracted  people from all works of life such as Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese,  who presided over the church service. Others were Rev Fr. Paul Mary Chukwukebe, Rector of the school, Fr Alex Okoye, his assistant, Fr Frances Chidume, among other priests, as well as parents, friends and well wishers of the seminarians.

In his homily, the Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, Bishop Ezeokafor, reminded the congregation that the day  was the feast of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary who accepted and was prepared to be the mother of Jesus. He advised the seminarians to also accept Jesus as they are being prepared to priesthood.

According to him, “to whom much is given, much is expected. Be constant and consistent. You must start early to lead a good life. To be a priest, you must be a person of substance.” The bishop also admonished them to be humble and chaste.

He said: “Training is sometimes difficult, so it’s important to accept it. Prepare yourselves well, to whom much is given much is expected, what the congregation needs from a priest is word of God and Sacrament. Open your hearts for formation”.

Bishop Okafor also prayed for them to love their vocation because it is God’s will for them.

He further advised parents to help in preparing them, to watch and advice them and even report to the authority for direction.

On his own part, the Rector of the seminary, Rev Fr Paul Mary Chukwukebe, thanked God for the gift of faith. He appreciated the bishop for the event and also for his fatherly support to the seminary , even as he thanked his assistant, Fr Alex Okoye for his efforts and other priests that are of immense value to them. Fr Francis Chidume and Fr Cyril Ezeani.

Fr Chukwukebe also appreciated the parents of the seminarians for their efforts, even as he advised them to help in training them  at home during the holidays . He stressed that they should be allowed to go to farm and even help in the kitchen.

The seminarians received prayers and good wishes from well  wishers, including the chairman of the occasion, Benedict Asiegbu and Mrs. Stella Mary Uzoukwu who spoke on behalf of the parents.

The seminarians in their address, read by Justin Umeozor, expressed their thanks to God , the bishop, rector staff, parents  for their support.

Highlights of the event include investing of the seminarians with garland, lighting of candles, cutting of cake, cultural dances, among others.

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