… Welclomes 2022/23 Episcopal Household Seminarians
By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
Awka Diocesan priests, religious, 2021/2022 out-going and 2022/2023 in-coming Episcopal Household, last Tuesday, filed out at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral’s refectory to witness the celebration of Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor’s annual Iwaji ceremony.
The priests were seen in their numbers adorning all manner of traditional attires.
Speaking during the event, Bishop Ezeokafor expressed gratitude to God for the gift of life and also for the bountiful harvest, saying that God had actually blessed and rewarded their handwork, adding that there was dignity in labour.
‘We are grateful to God for this. He has shown that He loves and rewards hard work. We are appreciative of what God has done. You cannot do without your culture. We hold our culture and tradition in high esteem. This is my 14-15 years of celebrating this special season. New yam festival is what we are here to celebrate,’ he said.
Receiving and appreciating the 2021/2022, 2022/2023 Episcopal Household seminarians, the Local Ordinary charged the incoming seminarians to be of good conduct and work towards surpassing their predecessors, noting that they would be recognized and appreciated for putting in their best at the end of their stay, even as he commended the outgoing seminarians for carrying out their assignments to the best of their abilities.
In separate speeches, the Chancellor of the Diocese, Rev Fr Charles Ndubuisi Bishop Ezeokafor’s secretary; Rev Fr Evaristus Ifeanacho, the Cathedral Administrator; Rev Fr Patrick Okafor, Financial Administrator; Rev Paulinus Okonkwo, the Bursar of the Diocese; Rev Fr Michael Oguno; former Cathedral Administrator; Rev Fr Patrick Chukwuma, and a lecturer in the department of Igbo, African and Communication Studies, Faculty Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Rev. Fr Dr. Patrick Umezi, extolled the bishop for what they described as his fatherly love and care, as well as the way and manner he piloted the affairs of the Diocese.
They advised the new seminarians to be useful to themselves, community, Church and Society at large, emphasizing that there was no short cut to success.
The outgoing seminarians are Onyema Victor, Onah James, Okafor James, Anyaorah Anthony, Ezeofia Gregory, Okafor Francis, Ebede Paul, Nwoguh Gabriel Henry, Dim Shalom, Obodo Bonaventure, Okechukwu Kenneth and Iredobia Bernard.
The 2022/2023 incoming seminarians are Aguinam Johnpaul, Amaechi Valerian, Mmadubuike David, Nwafor Francis, Onuigbo Emmanuel, Okoye Romanus, Nwankwo John Mary, Oji Johnpaul and Ogbu Edward.
Speaking on behalf of the outgoing seminarians, Dim Shalom thanked God for His mercy and blessings and for seeing them through. He applauded the bishop, priests and religious, for their guidance and asked God to reward them abundantly
Presentation of cash and gift items to the outgoing seminarians, cutting and eating the new yam with well garnished sauce by the Bishop, rendering of beautiful songs by St Patrick’s Choir formed the highpoints of the occasion.