…Receives Silver Jubilarians Religious, Final Professed; Celebrates Rev Mother Kate Egolum of University Sisters of Assumption
By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
Eleven years after the ordination of her last priest, Nri Catholic Community, Awka Catholic Diocese, on Sunday, September 30, 2018 rolled out her drums for a grand reception in honour of her 2018 twin priests, silver jubilee celebration of her two female religious, final profession of Rev. Sr. Ebele Muodieze, IHM and her indigenous Rev Mother Kate Egolum, who was recently elevated as the Superior General of University Sisters of Assumption Congregation.
Leading in their concelebrated First Solemn Thanksgiving Mass at St Mary's Eucharistic Parish, Nri, one of the new priests, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Abana, who was ordained for the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi, on July 7, 2018, on behalf of himself and his brother, Rev Fr. Munachiso JohnBaptist Igwenagu-Okafor, CSSp., thanked God for the privileged share he gave them in the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ.
He appreciated God for the increased vocation in Nri which He manifested through their ordination, elevation of Rev Mother Kate Egolum, University Sisters of Assumption; final religious profession of vow of Rev. Sr. Ebelechi Muodieze, IHM, as well as the religious profession silver jubilee anniversaries of Rev. Sr. Catherine Okoye, DDL and Rev. Sr. Geraldine Onwubuya, Mother Theresa of Calcutta Congregation. Fr. Abana appreciated all who stood by them throughout their formation to priesthood, and prayed God to bless them abundantly.
In his homily, Rev. Fr. Emeka Onyedimma, CSSp, of Spiritan University, Nneochi, Abia State, described a priest as a voice of God, called to manifest as a symbol of God's love among the people of God. He enjoined the new priests and the religious, who he said sacrificed everything for the sake of Jesus Christ, to put in their best and uphold the vows they took, so as to justify their priestly and religious calling.
Pointing out that the mystery of priesthood was abnormal to the world, the homilist enjoined the new priests to, at all times seek the grace of God and the intercession of Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of priests so as to swim across obstacles on their way to successful apostolate. This was even as he advised them to brace up for the many negative attacks, criticism and obstacles that would come their way.
He thanked God for such a multiple privilege of the gift of new priests and the various female religious to the Church. This was even as he enjoined the faithful to give the priests and the reverend sisters, the necessary prayer and material supports they need to excel in their vocation, so as to receive their rewards.
On his part, the chairman of Nri Central Catholic Pastoral Council and parish priest of St Mary's Eucharist Parish, Nri, Rev Fr. Clifford Aniefuna, thanked God for the gift of priesthood and religious to the Church. He commended all who contributed to the success of the historic reception.
In his remarks, the chairman of the occasion and Vice Chairman, Nri Catholic Central Pastoral Council, Dr. Chris Obiora Okafor, KSM, thanked God for the bountiful gifts of priests and religious which gave the Catholic Community and beyond, the cause to celebrate.
Dr. Okafor, who is the Director, Consultancy Services, Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe, congratulated the priests and reverend sisters, and urged them to remain worthy ambassadors of the community.
The chairman of Ordination Committee, Nri Catholic Community Central Council, Mr. Joseph Chiamah, in his address of welcome, described the event as the harvest of God's uncommon blessings to the Catholic Community and the town in general.
Rev. Mother Egolum got elevated to Superior General of University Sisters of Assumption on August 15, 2018 (Solemnity of Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary). She is currently the Vice Principal (Special Duties), St Patrick's College, Awka, having retired as a civil servant after 35 years of teaching profession.