By Uchechukwu Enem
It was all smiles by members of the Ezenwata family, Akpo as one of them, Rev. Fr. Aloysius Ezenwata, MSP, celebrated his Priestly Silver Jubilee at St. Paul’s Catholic Parish, Akpo, Orumba South LGA, Anambra State, October 27.
At the thanksgiving Eucharistic Celebration, the homilist, Rev. Fr. Cyprian Okpalike, said it was a thing of great joy to celebrate with Fr Ezenwata on his silver jubilee of his priestly ordination. He said society had embraced power tussle which had become an issue that had contributed to the downfall of many Christians.
After sighting some examples, he encouraged Christians to involve God in their affairs and to build their success on humility and sincerity. Fr. Okpalike encouraged Christians to always be grateful to God, adding that God had played significant roles in their lives and families.
At the reception ground, the chairman of the occasion who is also the chairman, Central Ordination Committee, Akpo, Donatus Okpalaojimadu, welcomed all to the event. He thanked God for the priestly silver jubilee of Fr Ezenwata and God’s grace on Srs. Chinelo Dorothy Ezeawusiobi and Rita Amarachukwu Dim, on their final profession thanksgiving.
Speaking at the event, the Parish Priest, Msgr. B.C.B. Muojekwu, welcomed all who came to the event and thanked the Akpo Catholic Community for all their support and cooperation; praying for and encouraging them to keep the faith.
The celebrant’s eldest brother, Celestine Ezenwata, expressed his joy, happiness and gratefulness to God for everything. He thanked the family and all who had helped through the formation of his brother. He confessed how happy he was to be alive to witness his brother’s silver jubilee.
Fr. Aloysius was ordained a priest on July 2, 1994. He served as the Assistant General Bursar for one year before going for Missionary assignment to the Cameroons for 2 years and was posted to the society’s office as the Director of Promotions for 3 years in Nigeria. Fr. Aloysius was then posted to work in Chad for about a year before going to the USA. Aloysius has worked in healthcare before, first as a chaplain and now as an administrator.
Fr. Aloysius had his PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, with specialization in Corporate Consulting and Coaching from Capella University, Minneapolis, 2016. He is a Board Certified Chaplain from the National Association of Catholic Chaplain (NACC) and a Board Certified CPE Educator, from the Association or Clinical Pastoral Education. He is also a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), a part of the American Psychological Association (APA).
In his vote of thanks, Rev. Fr. Ezenwata thanked the Akpo Catholic Community and the Missionary Society of St. Paul of Nigeria (MSP) congregation for their love and support towards him. In a special way, he thanked his family members, friends and well-wishers for all their encouragement and goodwill.
Interview with the Celebrant, Fr Ezenwataon his fulfilling and challenging moments in Priesthood.
My fulfilling moment is realizing that the effectiveness of my ministry doesn’t really depend on me but on God. I work primarily as a Chaplain in the hospital and many times, you don’t see people when they are feeling well, but when they are feeling down. I have had the opportunity to work with people who are sick by living with them and meeting them when they are depressed. At the point of their depression, I explain to them that God is working with them; even in their difficult moments and trials.
I feel fulfilled when I see them brightening up and believing that God is with them, even when they didn’t realize it. My ministry has been about bringing the presence of God to the people around me
To see how much suffering there is in the world and the little power I have to change it. Although, I do a little and support people spiritually. I still wish I could take away their pains and sickness. I strongly believe that even in their sickness and pains, God is working with them, perfecting them and leading them to salvation.
Advice to young priests
Priesthood is about falling in love with God. If you love God and allow prayer to be the bedrock of your life, then nothing will shake your faith. If we don’t forget that we are called to serve people in the person of Jesus, we remain focused in our calling. We run into problems when we allow ourselves to be distracted by material things, pursuit for power and many other things. If we can limit ourselves to things of God and falling in love with Christ, we will make a head way. Whenever we keep that focus and pray to God, he will always see us through.