By Rev Fr Obinna Dike
…Seminarians’ joy is my joy says Dominic
The Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor has blessed and commissioned for use, a brand new international standard Volleyball court at St John Bosco Seminary Isuaniocha, Anambra State on February 1, 2021. The court was singlehandedly built and donated to the seminary by an old boy of the seminary, Dr Dominic Nwankwo.
The bishop in his opening speech, reiterated the need of a sound mind in a sound body, the balance which sporting activities bring. He said it was even more appropriate for future priests to engage in sports for balance pastoral ministry. He noted that it was rare if not impossible to see a seminary school without sports being integral in the formation of seminarians.
On this ground, the bishop commended the Bosco Seminary Management, led by the rector, Rev Fr Paul Mary Chukwukebe in championing the cause of raising a worthy sports complex to aid the integral formation of seminarians. The prelate praised the donor of the volleyball court, Dr Dominic Nwankwo for both his donation and commitment to seminary welfare which he, the bishop witnessed firsthand.
‘I am impressed with you, Dr Dominic. As soon as I came in for this function, I saw you right in the site inspecting and directing. The rector here, told a lot of good things about you, and I have seen them myself firsthand. Keep it up’ the bishop said.
Fr Chukwukebe would continue to praise Dr Dominic for his promptness with time, humility, sacrifice and dedication to duty which were rare for his type out there. The rector said he was losing a lot of sleep ever since he came into the Bosco Seminary on how to attend to the yearnings of the teeming number of students sports wise. He said he promised the students that the school would leave no stone unturned in securing sports facilities and equipment as vital tools in formation.
Fr Chukwukebe said he approached the Directorate of Sports of Awka Diocese (DOSAD) for a plan for the complex which Fr Obinna Dike, the Director did and the push started.
‘We have a lot of needs in the seminary now. We are trying our best to address them. But that of sports facilities and equipment are highly engaging in terms of resources and expertise. That is why we had to call for help. I thank Dr Dominic for taking the lead. What we planned today was just turning the sod for the sports complex. But as you can see, we are already commissioning this international standard Volleyball court. All thanks to Dr Dominic who insisted that instead of turning the sod, let one completed sports facility be commissioned to capture both the necessity and urgency. God will bless him for us’ Fr Chukwukebe, himself a retired Seminary Games Badminton medalist, and active Tennis player said.
In his short address before cutting the tape alongside the bishop and rector to declare the volleyball court open to use, Dr Dominic said as an old boys who enjoyed God’s grace through the seminary, the joy of seminarians was his joy, being one time like them. He promised to do his possible best to assist in any capacity he has, and urged others to join the train.
‘The seminary is for all of us. When we support the seminary God blesses us more because we involve ourselves willingly in evangelization through support. Therefore I am doing my little best to motivate others to cue up and assist. I was here as a student and I know what these people go through. Anything that can make them happy is worthwhile, and that is what I am trying to do. God will surely help us’ Dr Dominic said.
After the blessing and commissioning of the court, the bishop served the inaugural volley, followed by Dr Dominic and a veteran priest, Rev Fr Longinus Egbeonu. The Bosco volleyball team entertained the audience with flashes of volleys, followed by group pictures.
Dr Dominic later took also the construction of a standard badminton court. Savio Bosco Alumni Association (SAABA) 1986 set pledged to take the construction of the second Volleyball court assisted by the national body. This was announced by SAABA General president Comrade Celestine Oguegbu at the event. Also an ace philanthropist Chief Patrick Ubajiaka (Ike Nnewi), pledged to construct another badminton court for the seminary. Open to the public sponsorship were two tennis and basketball courts.