By Mercy Hill
On Friday 14, February 2020, four nuns, Srs Mary Consilia Ukadike, OSB, MaryAnn Nneji, OSB, Mary Benedicta Ikebudu, OSB and Noela Maria Offor, OSB, took their solemn vows as nuns of the Saint Scholastica Benedictine Monastery, Umuoji, while three others, Srs Mary Vincentia, Mary Lucy and Mary Emmanuela, made temporary vows to mark their first commitment to the contemplative monastic life .
The episcopal Mass which took place at the Monastery Chapel in Umuoji was presided over by the Archbishop of Onitsha and Metropolitan of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Valerian Maduka Okeke.
In his homily, titled the ‘Mystery of Divine Election’, Archbishop Valerian Okeke, noted that it was a privilege for one to be chosen by God to serve. He explained that from the days of old, God has always made his choices of those he wanted, irrespective of who they were. ”He chooses and makes the chosen exceptional for his service”, he said. He cited examples of David, Paul, Blessed Virgin Mary and many other saints, as those elected by God for his service.
He encouraged those who had chosen to answer God’s call in the monastic vocation to keep the fire burning and reflect Christ in all they do.
Highlights of the ceremony were the taking of vows of obedience, virginity and poverty by the nuns, reception of habits, rings and signing of certificates. Cultural troupes were in hand to add colour to the ceremony after the Mass.