By Chioma Ndife
St. Mary's Catholic Church, Nimo, Njikoka LGA of Anambra State, last Sunday held a grand reception in honour of her newly ordained priest, Rev. Fr. JohnPaul Kenechukwu Ezebili.
Rev. Fr. JohnPaul Kenechukwu Ezebili who was ordained for the Archdiocese of Ontisha, was received on Sunday, August 5, 2018, after his first holy mass at his home parish. His ordination increased the number of indigenous priests in Egbengwu Nimo to eleven.
Fides gathered that Fr. Ezebili had been received two Sundays ago alongside other newly ordained priests, silver and golden jubilee celebrants, by the Nimo Catholic Community at Assumpta Parish, Nimo.
Leading in the first solemn Mass, Rev. Fr. JohnPaul Ezebili praised God for the enabling grace showered upon him which necessitated his ordination as a priest of God. The joyous new priest said God's mercy and love had been in abundance with him in his journey into priesthood. He thanked the Catholic Community and all who helped him in answering the call of God and prayed for God's divine goodness to submerge on them.
Speaking at the reception, the Parish Priest of St. Mary's, Nimo, Rev. Fr. Zeph Uzor, advised the new priest to always bless people, as his ordination was not to curse people. He charged the new priest to always bear in mind that the main purpose of his ordination was to win souls for God who raised him to the status of priest. He noted that the life of a priest was that of sacrifice and charged the new priest to be ready always to sacrifice his whole being for the good of others and the propagation of Christ's gospel on earth.
In his address of welcome, the Secretary of the Parish Pastoral Council, Mr. Francis Okoye Diji, disclosed that the new priest had lived a life of self-denial from birth in Onitsha Arch Diocese. He described the ordination of the new priest as a step in his missionary work to be the patron of widows, as he was singly-handedly trained by a widowed mother after he lost his father early in life.
He said one of the major challenges to be faced by the new priest was curbing the rate at which youths imbibed the spirit of paganism and other cult practices.
He described the mother of the new priest as a blessed widow and commended her efforts in the training of her children after the departure of her husband. He noted that the effective training given to the priest and his siblings by the mother made them outstanding.
He prayed God to equip the new priest with wisdom, strength and grace to serve the Church efficiently.
Speaking to Fides, the member Representing Njikoka II in the Anambra State House of Assembly and first Vice Chairman of the Parish Council, Hon. Dr. Pete Ibida, expressed conviction that the new priest would help to solve the spiritual needs of the people. He noted that the training which the new priest received from his mother, apart from the one received during the seminary formation, would make him to be greater than his counterparts.
Also Speaking, Engr. Hyacinth Odigwe stressed the importance of continuous education and urged the new priest to keep up with updating his knowledge in all fields of life, saying that such knowledge would enable him to pastor to the people effectively.
For her part, the mother of the new priest, Mrs. Edith Ezebili, thanked God for assisting her son to answer the call of the almighty. She disclosed that she abandoned the training of her 6 children to God in prayer after losing her husband 24 years ago, saying the ordination was a product of God's deed.