First Letter From Raymond Ezeonu To Patrickmary Mmuo


Rev. Fr. Raymond Ezeonu was my very intimate associate at the beginning of our vocation to the priesthood. We wrote many letters to each other in connection with our call to the priestly life. Most of the letters were lost during the Nigerian-Biafran War. One of his letters is related below:
Mary Knoll Secondary School,
Okuku,
Ogoja.
8th Feb. 1965.
Beloved brother in Christ Jesus,
I got your letter last week and I eagerly went through it with joy and admiration at the wondrous inspired advice and encouragement in it. Dear brother, I am always very grateful to our Most High God for his kindly gifts to you especially, and also to me. Just as the Most Provident God has united us together and endowed us with his great grace of understanding of the spiritual life, so also I pray and ask you that we beg God to spare our lives and keep us alive fairly long as priests, under the same bishop. I like to live together and die together with you. I pray to succeed to the same seminary with you so that instead of the long delays involved in transmitting letters, we live together in one dormitory, maybe pray together and eventually become priests and go to old Ogoja Diocese to start the most holy work of saving numerous souls through visible examples of charity and kindness and particular care of the poor, sinners, the downtrodden and the most neglected. I wish we were already ordained to go into the streets with our First Aid Boxes to care for and treat the wounds of many unfortunate people whom poverty and misery have reduced to a condition unworthy of human beings. For these purposes I wish I were now a priest of God. And as I see that an even more forceful desire for these holy works is in your heart I desire madly to keep in closest contact with you on earth and if possible in the next life. So then Patty I beg you to accept my offer and request that we answer and regard ourselves as “brothers” in Christ Jesus till our last parting day on earth. Honestly speaking, I have never come across a boy who has such identical spiritual ambition as I have except you who has it even more. Just as we have the common purpose of serving God in much the same way let us team up together as brothers and work hard in the divine vineyard. You know, unity is strength and brothers work more earnestly and honestly for their family, in our case the large family of God’s kingdom. I am glad that you offer your powerful prayers for me. I do also offer my poor prayers for you to God. By helping each other God will bless and prosper our plan of working brotherly in his vineyard. Pray, pray, pray hard for me. Concerning my life of prayer here, Patty my brother, l will tell you that instead of long prayers I have long studies, all in accordance with God’s wishes. I only beg you again to pray hard for me, l have something which keeps me miserable here but after reading through your letter I offered it to God I will tell you that thing when we return at Easter. I was very happy when I saw the holy picture you sent me. In fact I have been so fond of it that I even now find it hard to return it to you. However, as you cannot do without it, here it is again. Here is my gift for you, a holy picture. I will be happy if you read the ‘Love’ paper and send it back to me in your reply next week, or, if you like, retain it till Easter. I beg to stop so far till the next mail. May the graces of God help you, dear brother, to make still more rapid progress towards perfection. I am, your brother in Christ Jesus,
Raymond Ezeonu

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