By Amaka Olua
Parishioners, Friends, Families and Well-wishers converged at St Michael’s Catholic Church, Umueze Uga , Aguata L.G.A of Anambra State, on the 15th July 2018, to celebrate the newly ordained Indigenous Priests, Rev Fr Francis Chiduluo Abanaobi who was ordained on 29thJune, 2018, at Immaculate Conception Cathedral Austria, for the Catholic Diocese of Linz Austria by His Lordship Most Rev Dr Manfred Scheuer and Rev Fr Cyril Ejezie who was ordained on 14th July, 2018 at Holy Cross Cistercian Monastery Illah for the Catholic Diocese of Isele Ukwu by the former Bishop of Ahaira Diocese, Most Rev Peter Okpaleke.
Leading in the first solemn thanksgiving Mass, Rev Fr Francis Abanaobi thanked God for his grace and favour which saw him through the vigorous formation and also appreciated in a special way Mrsg John Bossco Akam for his contribution towards his formation years which saw him through to answer the call of God, He also thanked the Catholic Bishop of Linz Austria, Most Rev Dr Manfred Scheuer and other Priests working with him who left their tight schedule to come back and celebrate with him. 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 and their entire families.
Also speaking, the parish Priest of St Michael’s Catholic Church Uga, Rev Fr Robinson Agbadugo thanked God for the successful ordination and the gift of the newly ordained Priests whose courage and wisdom were very commendable. He added that Uga has increased the numbers of the Priests in the community; He then thanked the Catholic Bishop of Linz Austria for visiting their parish and prayed that God would lead them back safely. This was even as he commended the parishioner for their support which made the day celebration a success.
In his remarks, the Catholic bishop of Linz, Austria, Most Rev Dr Manfred Scheuer, expressed his joy over the faithful, saying they were a true devoted Christians, He commended the family of Rev Fr Francis Abanaobi for giving out their son to serve God, He also extolled Fr Abanaobi for his steadfast faith and expressed gratitude to God for being the one that ordained him, and commended the people for their hospitality.
Also speaking, the founder Tansian University, Msgr Prof John Bossco Akam, congratulated the newly ordained Priests and thanked God for making it possible for him to see Fr Abanaobi through his seminary years, saying that when he came for Fr Abanaobi father’s burial, he saw the situation of things in their family and so asked the family to give him one person he would sponsor in education and he was happy Fr Abanaobi was given to him. He thanked God that he is now a priest of God.
In his homily, the Vicar, St Jude Thaddeus ‘Catholic Church Awka, Rev Fr Pascal Udo, drawing from the Sunday reading, described Amos as a gospel preacher who preached against false prophecy , saying he lived his life preaching the word of God . He maintained that God loves us so much that was why he sent his servant and prophet to them in order that his word would be proclaimed throughout the world. He added that Amos did not associate himself with false prophets and was trying to correct the impression of false prophecy. He charged the faithful to beware of fake prophets and advised them to always do the will of God. This was even as he stated that so many men of God no longer preach the word rather preach prosperity and material things lamenting many had lost their faith in God.