The joy of the Catholic faithful of Abakaliki Diocese knew no bounds on the 21th December, 2019 as His Lordship, Most Rev Dr. M.N Okoro ordained seven deacons, elevated 11 seminarians to the office of acolytes, and 10 to the office of lectors.
The ceremony started with a solemn procession which began at exactly 8:45am, with the altar servers, seminarians, ordinands, priests and the bishop, processing into the church for the mass that began at exactly 9:00 am, presided over by the bishop.
In his opening remarks, Bishop Okoro thanked those who out of their busy schedule were able to make it to the Eucharistic celebration.
He beckoned on them to keep constantly in their prayers the deacons elect, that as they move into the ministry of the diaconate that God would strengthen them and give them the courage to remain steadfast and faithful to their calling.
He also thanked the deacons elect for accepting the wonderful call of God to serve at his altar and to humanity at large.
During the homily, Rev Fr. Dr Joseph Orji, intimated the deacons elect on the importance of purity and holiness of life in their vocation.
He said, “It is not enough wearing the white with all its shimmers and then be dirty inside, try as much as possible to keep your white white always. The importance of faith in your lives is that your lives should show those who fervently believe in what you celebrate and teach.”
“You should equally take seriously your prayer life and you shouldn’t see the diaconate ordination as a point whence you can say, ‘we have arrived’ rather you should keep building yourselves and know that you are majorly called to service, to serve God and His people.”
After the homily, the rituals for the installations began. The first to be installed were the lectors charged with the sole responsibility of reading at mass, 10 seminarians were elevated to this office, they are: Chukwu Augustine, Ezenagu Daniel, Mbadiwe Batholomew, Ngele Israel, Oba Linus, Ogbu Paschal, Oreba Matthew, Ugwu Godwiin, Umozurike John and Unah Stephen.
After the installation of the lectors, that of the acolytes followed suit. They were charged with the sole responsibility of assisting the priest at the altar and getting things ready for mass.
11 seminarians were elevated to the office of the acolyte, they include: Agbo Cornelius, Awoke Patrick, Ekpe Jude, Ezedigwe Oliver, Ezema Patrick, Igboji Gilbert, Nwankwo Christian, Nwigum Stanley, Nworie Peter, Onwe Jude and Uguru Philip.
The installations were followed by the ordination of the deacons elect. But before the ritual for the ordination commenced, as a way of disposing the candidates of the great ministry they were about stepping into and its prerequisites, Fr. John Nwoba briefed them on celibacy, which is a major constituents in the ministry they were about to undertake. He advised them to avoid close intimacy with the opposite sex.
He went further to explain that celibacy is the state of being unmarried and having no children. He urged the deacons elect to live a life detached from materialism but completely attached to doing the will of God and serving his people.
After the briefing on celibacy, the ordination of the deacons followed suit. Seven seminarians were ordained, they are: Oyim Michael, Chinyelugo Udegbe, Ugochukwu Udegbe, Ode Raphael, Nwankwo Joseph, Ofoke Peter and Agbom Raphael, thereby making it a total of ten deacons.
The other three, Ojiocha Sixtus, Omenyi Peter and Oketa Joseph, were earlier ordained on the 14th November, 2019, during the 95 years anniversary of Bigard Memorial seminary Enugu.
The Bishop thanked all who were in attendance for their patience and equally congratulated the newly ordained deacons.
At the end of the mass, each deacon was accompanied by his parishioners, friends, family and well-wishers amidst shouts of joy and thanksgiving as they marched to their respective reception grounds where they were properly welcomed.Follow us