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Ordination: Catholic diocese of Enugu ordains 28 priests

It was a Historic and joyous day for the faithful of Catholic Diocese of Enugu on Saturday the 14th of Dec 2019, as 28 young men were ordained to the order of priesthood, the largest number in recent time.

     The Event which began with Pontifical High Mass at St. Paul's Parish Agbani with four Bishops in attendance, The Bishop of Enugu Diocese Most Rev. CVC Onaga, the Principal Celebrant, Most Rev. Ernest Obodo, Auxiliary Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Okonkwo Gbuji, Bishop Emeritus of Enugu Diocese and the Catholic Bishop of Markudi Diocese, Benue State, Most Rev. Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe and host of Priests from within and outside the diocese.

    In the Homily delivered by the Auxiliary Bishop, Most Rev. Ernest Obodo, Theme "The harvest is Rich but laborers few" drawn from the Gospel Reading of the day, the bishop said it might seem "absurd and ridiculous" in the present pastoral circumstance in Enugu diocese since 28 young men most ready and willing to go into the lords Vineyard and with a total of 400 priest incardinated in the Enugu, 168 other priests working in Enugu, 16 missionary priest, 550 Reverend sisters, 20 Reverend brothers, 60 Monks 697 major and minor seminarians. but mathematically when divided among the 3 million Catholics in Enugu it is one priest to 2250 Catholics.
He further told them to not be afraid, there's enough work for them and they should come with implements and talents and good disposition for the work of Christ. he based his reflection on four basic points, Their identity; who is a priest, the Catholic Priest a divine Choice, those whom the lord calls he strengths and finally his advice.
Bishop Obodo explained who a priest is stating that the bishop chooses whom to ordain, that there's no contract between the bishop and anyone, just as Christ choose 12 Apostles from the many disciples.
He further said that only baptized and confirmed Catholics can be ordained priests stating that the church expects a high expectation from the priests.
“We are the ministerial priests, serving the laity who are the royal Priest hood. They are going to make themselves available to the service of the common people.

“Cannon 10:24 says that only baptized and confirmed can validly receive sacred ordination as Priests”,
Speaking further, Bishop Obodo explained on why the Priesthood of the church is reserved exclusively for men. He however dismissed the assertion that it is segregation against women by the church.

“The church excludes women not as segregation; the Priest represents Christ himself in his relationship to the church which is spousal in itself. It is like a relationship between husband and wife. The males represent Christ the head and the church represents the bride”, His Lordship explained.

He advised those to be ordained to always pray and be of good conduct as the people expect almost perfection from their priests and also not to disobey the bishop.
he told them not to be afraid and ready to face all manner of persecution, spite and difficulties because of being a priest especially in a world that now lacks respects of sacredness and also reminded them that priesthood is a gift and a vacation and also urged them to ask themselves four basic questions, "Am i weak to become a priest, am i brave enough to become a priest, am i courageous enough to become a priest and am i afraid to become a priest".

   Highlight of the occasion was the presentation and election of the Elects and prostration of those to be ordained in front of the Altar and the invocation of the Saints to Pray for them through the chanting of the Litany of the Saints, swearing of oath of obedience to the bishop and the church and vesting of the newly ordained with the priestly Robe.
   Also present was The wife of Enugu State Governor, Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi and her Benue State counterpart, Mrs. Eunice Samuel Ortom, thousands of faithful, government officials, friends and well wishers.


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