. . . Ordains 14 deacons, installs 15 Acolytes, 22 Lectors
By Chioma Ndife
The Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye has emphasized the need for all individual’s especially the ordained to stand on the path of truth, noting that truth was eternal.
Bishop Okoye gave the charge on Saturday, December 21, 2019, at St. Joseph’s Pro Cathedral Ekwulobia, Aguata LGA, Anambra State, during the ordination of 14 deacons and installation of 15 Acolytes and 22 lectors into ministries in the Catholic Church.
Leading in the 2019 Awka Diocesan diaconate ordination and installation, Bishop Okoye appreciated the individuals for their intention to give themselves wholly to God and noted that such means that they would serve perpetually in God’s vineyard. He said that the adoption of life of self-abandonment would help them achieve their intention. He thanked the parents of the individuals for allowing their children to follow their life path. He advocated for continuous support from the parents of the deacons among others, saying that the support would help for the translation of the candidate’s dreams into reality.
Addressing the newly ordained deacons, Bishop Okoye said the deacons had been ordained to save souls and charged them to prepare for the ministry ahead. He said that their ordination as deacons would change their prayer life and other things in their lives.
He explained that standing on the path of truth was necessary for the ordained to be empowered to speak to the conscience of the faithful. He noted that there had been laid down rules in every human endeavour and maintained that observance of such rules, with firmness, was necessary. He stressed the benefits of chastity and obedience in the lives of the ordained, as they were required from the newly ordained deacon to make great difference in their ministerial lives.
He advised the newly ordained to be ready to face various challenges which life will pose to them, saying that people will mock, accuse them falsely and persecute them for no just cause. He beckoned on them to be happy when such persecutions and tribulations come their way, as it would help in purifying their soul for the ultimate goal which was heaven.
Bishop Okoye advocated for people’s collective support to individuals who had shown interest to serve perpetually in the vineyard of God. He explained to the deacons, the responsibilities that comes with their new positions and urged them to live up to the expectations demanded of them by the Catholic Church and society. He beckoned on intending priests to re-examine themselves and ascertain if it was God’s true desire for them, rather than force themselves into the priesthood for the fringe benefits to be gained. He regretted that some individual’s desires to be priests, rest totally on the respect which priests are accorded with, noting that it was a very wrong motivation that would lead one into frustration.
Speaking at the event, the Episcopal Vicar of Ekwulobia Region and the Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Pro-Cathedral, Rev. Fr. Ignatius Onwuatuegwu, expressed conviction that the ordination of the new deacons would help propagate the teaching of Catholic faith. He thanked the Auxiliary Bishop, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, for being a great gift to the diocese and urged him to carry-on with his character disposition, as he spreads the gospel of Christ through his life style.