. . . Celebrant Describes Ordination Day as Best Moment
By Chioma Ndife
On January 3rd, 2020, Adazi-Nnukwu Community in Anaocha LGA of Anambra State played host to people from all walks of life as they gathered for the priestly Silver Jubilee of Rev. Fr. John Mark Agulefo, popularly known as Fr. Onyewetuobi.
The 25-Year Priestly Anniversary of Rev. Fr. Agulefo held at St.Andrew’s Catholic Church, Adazi-Nnukwu, availed indigenes of the entire community, among others, from far and near, the opportunity of celebrating the Adazi-Nnukwu illustrious son for attaining a milestone in his priestly vocation.
Fr. Agulefo had represented Awka Diocese since his ordination in good light.
It will be recalled that the Silver Jubilee celebrant currently on a mission in the United Kingdom, was ordained in 1994 by Archbishop A.K. Obiefuna of blessed memory.
Fr. Agulefo since his ordination in 1994 had held many pastoral posts at various places which included: St. Mary’s Parish, Awka 1994-1996; Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Igboukwu 1996-1997; St. Theresa’s Parish, Awgbu 1997-1999; St. John’s Parish, Enugwu-Agidi, 1999-2005; St. Joseph’s Parish, Umunze, 2005-2009 and St. Theresa’s Parish, Ichida, 2009-2015 before he travelled to United Kingdom.
Leading in the concelebrated Anniversary Thanksgiving, Fr. John Mark Agulefo, who was visibly happy, thanked God for the opportunity to serve in God’s vineyard as a Priest and the grace which had sustained him for the past 25 years in the priestly apostolate. He described the 25-Year Anniversary as a very special period for him to renew and fortify himself for more cultivation.
He noted that the celebration was in a bid to give quality thanks to God for his faithfulness and sustenance. According to the celebrant, it was a celebration of God’s immense love and graces for the various accomplishments which he had achieved.
Speaking to Fides, Fr. Agulefo, noted that his greatest day in life was the day he was ordained a Catholic priest, as his life took another dimension from that moment. He disclosed the challenges that threatened him at early stage in his journey into priesthood, saying that his father’s advice brought him back to focus.
He described the journey of priesthood as one characterized by storms, sweetness and filled with God’s divine assistance. He revealed that God’s grace had been his driving force and maintained that he has always been a witness to God’s consolations in numerous ways.
Also Speaking, a brother to the celebrant, Mr. IzuchukwuAgulefo, described having a priest brother as a very interesting experience and a blessing to him. He said his brother was instrumental to the achievements which he had attained in life as he had looked up to him as a role model. He noted that Fr. John Mark’s service in God’s vineyard had brought fulfillment not just to the priest but to all around him.
For his part, an Indigene of Adazi-Nnukwu Community, Mr. John Arachie, noted that Fr. John Mark had an exemplary character that projected his Community and Awka Diocese in a good light since his ordination in 1994. He disclosed that the celebrant’s priesthood had shown that the priesthood was not for everyone as there were individuals who had been selected even before their conception for the priesthood of Christ.
Earlier in a homily, Rev. Fr. PaulMaryChukwukebe, described silver Jubilee celebration as a period of retreat and rethink for the celebrant. He noted that such anniversary could be compared to Christmas celebration as Christians renew their faith at such period.
He said that the large number of the ordained was something to glorify the name of God for and regretted that such had also made most people to forget about the mystery in the Catholic priesthood. He said that many times, priests’ behaviour as human beings with flesh and blood, limited people’s understanding about the mystery in the priesthood, saying that the celebration was in thanksgiving to God about the mystery of the priesthood. He said that an ordained priest had no life of his own but lived for others.