By Egodi Nkiruka Okeke
Parishioners, friends, families and well-wishers converged at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Ora-eri, Aguata L.G.A. of Anambra State, on 5th August, 2018, to celebrate the newly ordained indigenous priest, Rev.Fr Valentine Kenechukwu Onyekwelu, who was ordained on 14th August, 2018 at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, Ihiala. By His Lordship Most Rev. Kelvin C. Rhoades, the Bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana,U.S.A .
Leading in the solemn Thanksgiving Mass, Rev Fr. Valentine thanked God for his grace and favour which saw him through the formation and also appreciated in a special way, Rev.Fr. Francis-Mary Okposio for his contribution towards his formation years to answer the call of God. He also thanked God for the life of his mother whom God kept alive to witness his ordination and prayed for God’s blessings upon her, his siblings and their entire families.
In his homily, Rev. Fr. Dr. PhilipMary Anyika, said that the priests are gifts from God to us and as such we have to accommodate them with all truthfulness. Drawing from the Sunday reading’s, that God has sent his manners above from heaven to us to cherish, he advised all to live a better life as Christians.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Mrs. Felicia Onyekwelu, mother of the celebrant, thanked God for the life of his son and for seeing him through his seminary years. she appreciated the entire communities for their support in making sure the celebration was a success.
Also speaking, the parish priest of St Mary’s Catholic Church, Ora-eri, Rev.Fr Andrew Nwakelu, thanked God for the successful ordination and the gift of the newly ordained priest. He added that the Ordination of Fr. Onyekwelu has increased the number of the Indigenous priests in the community to eleven. He commended the parishioners for their support which made the day’s celebration a success.
The highlight of the event included; welcome song, cultural dance, presentation of gifts etc.