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150 started journey to priesthood,15 scaled through

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…Ubuluisiuzo gets new priest after 36 years

UBULUISIUZO community, Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State was overwhelmed with joy as they had their second Catholic Indigenous priest, Rev.Fr. Christian Echezonachukwu Mbaukwu after 36 years of having Very Rev. Fr. Samuel Okechukwu Muodiaju as the first indigenous priest.

Fr. Mbaukwu was ordained by the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese,  Most Rev. Hilary Odili Okeke with 22 other priests, who were ordained the same day at St John Cross Parish, Uruagu, Nnewi, in Nnewi North Local Government Area, Anambra State. 

The ordination, held over the weekend, was graced by priests from far and near, government officials, dignitaries, friends and family members.

Speaking during the event, Most Rev. Hilary Okeke, who charged the newly ordained priests to have the love of God, urged them to love their fellow human being, put themselves in the right way of the sacrament of holiness, work according to the help of the Holy Spirit and according to the ways of Catholic Church, in order to be  good priests of God.

At St John the Baptist Parish, Ubuluisiuzo, where Rev. Fr. Christian Mbaukwu celebrated his first Mass, the event attracted priests from different parishes within and outside the diocese, Council of Knights, government functionaries, among many other dignitaries.

In his homily, the Diocesan Chancellor of Nnewi Diocese, Very Rev. Fr. Hyginus Aghauno noted that it is his mission in holy cooperation with Christ and through his Church, to teach, govern and sanctify the people of God, urging the parishioners to be praying for the newly ordained priest for more grace. 

 Parish Priest of St. John the Baptist Parish, Ubuluisiuzo, Very Rev. Fr. Felix Umegboro, expressed  gratitude to God  for the gift of life; charging Fr. Mbaukwu to be focused on his priestly vocation. He prayed that his priestly ministry will be a fruitful one.

Fr. Umegboro, however, said that the first Mass celebration of Fr. Mbaukwu,  which was at St John the Baptist’s  new church building was the first time of celebrating Mass in the church and explained that April 30, 2022, will be the launching of the new church building. 

Expressing his gratitude to God, the celebrant, Rev Fr. Christian Echezonachukwu  Mbaukwu  said that he was very happy as it pleased God to call him unto priesthood .

Fr. Mbaukwu  went down memory lane to narrate his ordeals in the seminary, stating that the journey started 17 years ago, Sept 11,2004.  He maintained that they were about 1015 that enrolled in the seminary but only 15 were ordained priests. He expressed gratitude to God for the wonderful opportunity of being a priest and prayed for God’s reward on  everyone who supported him all through the years and those that supported him in the preparation for the ordination both in kind, cash and prayers.

While assuring to serve God sincerely,  Fr. Mbaukwu thanked the bishop, Most Rev Okeke for finding him worthy, stating that he was chosen out of many that were called.

Felicitating with the celebrant, the Chairman, Parish Ordination Committee 2021, who is also the  Managing Director and  Chief Executive Officer, Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, publishers of National Light Newspapers, Ka O Di Taa and SportslightXTRA,  Chuka Nnabuife said the ordination of Fr. Mbaukwu as the second Catholic indigenous priest  was a development of immense joy.

According  to Sir Nnabuife, “in the entire Ihiala Local Government Area, Ubuluisiuzo is one of the earliest communities to have an indigenous priest who was ordained in 1985, Very Rev. Fr. Samuel Okechukwu Muodiaju.    We are very happy to have another priest and I pray that this priestly ordination also serves as unquantifiable motivation to our children and youths to seek and heed God’s calls in priestly and evangelical vocation.

 The Secretary of the Ordination Committee, Lolo Fidelia Obi, in an address by Ubuluisiuzo Catholic Community, pledged their total commitment to seeing their sons and daughters in clerical missions excel in their missions.

President General, Ubuluisiuzo Progressive Union, Chief Sunday Mbaukwu, family of Sir Mentus Agba, who was instrumental to the success story of the celebrant and the Deputy Registrar, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Dr. Festus Ntomchukwu, implored the new priest to be focused in his priestly calling and adhering strictly to the doctrines of the Church.

Mother of Fr. Mbaukwu, Mrs. Regina Mbaukwu,  alongside  the sister of the celebrant, Mrs Chika Chukwuemeka and   Raymond Mbaukwu, brother of the celebrant, who were highly elated, appreciated God for keeping them alive to witness the day and seeing Fr. Mbaukwu  through despite the turbulent times and challenges. They charged him to imitate Christ as he is there to represent Christ and to  look up to Him for courage, strength and wisdom to work in His vineyard.  

Presentation of car and so many other gifts to Fr. Mbaukwu, cultural dances and special renditions by the choir formed the highlights of the event.

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