By Chukwuma Umeorah, Lagos
The Catholic Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, His Grace, Most Rev Alfred Adewale Martins, ordained 9 new Catholic priests as he marks his 10th year anniversary as Bishop of Lagos. The ordination conducted by the Archbishop at Holy Cross Cathedral in Lagos on Thursday marks the initiation of the seven deacons into the order of the Catholic priesthood.
The newly ordained priest include Rev Loius Anyanwu, Rev Richard Nwabugwu, Rev Emmanuel Fashanu, Rev. Clement Idobogbe, Rev Paul Mba, Rev Benjamin Mkpahu, Rev Hilary Ongunyemi, Rev Dominic Okafor and Rev Anthony Olympio.
Speaking at the ordination, Archbishop Adewale, who also marked 10 years as Bishop of Lagos Archdiocese, expressed gratitude to God and everyone present also to the Archdiocese for availing him the opportunity to serve. He attributed his milestone to God for His divine strength.
“I must say that I am truly delighted that I have had this opportunity to serve the Archdiocese in the last ten years. I must say that I began with fear and trembling because I had no illusion about the enormity of the task that I was about to take up. But I remember that my prayer was that God would give me ‘a pair of shoes ‘ that was my own size so that I could walk comfortably. I can tell you that in these last 10 years, I have seen that God answered my prayer,” he said.
Adewale appealed to the public to take the coming elections seriously and to remain patriotic citizens. Likewise, he urged the newly ordained priest to teach the doctrine that will nourish the people of God, to be shining examples to society and to live a life worthy of emulation.
Delivering the homily, Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Benin City, an ex-president of the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) His Grace, Most Rev. Augustine Akubueze congratulated Archbishop Adewale on his anniversary. He expressed gratitude to the bishop for his profound works and examples shown so far in his 10 years as the bishop.
He commended the Bishop as he described him as a leader who has led the faithful with love and compassion. “I greet his grace Most Rev. Adewale Martins who have governed the faithful with compassion and love. I congratulate you as you mark your 10th anniversary as the Archbishop of Lagos and at the ordination of 9 priests for the church in Lagos. I greet all the candidates for ordination for making themselves available to be used for God’s work,” he said.
He congratulated the newly ordained and advised them to spread the word of God according to the Spirit as they have now been vested the power and auction to perform on basis capacity. He advised them to strive to improve themselves in all ramifications, intellectually and otherwise so as to promote and protect the virtues of the church. He urged them to be obedient and submissive to the authorities of the church. Akubueze also recognised the presence of Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, Archbishop emeritus of Lagos as well as the presence of religious leaders of others faith.
He appealed to political leaders to listen to the plight of the people they govern. In the same vein, he commended the effort of security agencies and sought God’s protection over them. He enjoined the public to be true to their conscience in the coming elections.
Speaking to Daily Sun, Rev Father Benjamin Mkpahu one of the new priests, expressed gratitude to God for their accomplishment, attributing it to prayer, perseverance and the Grace and mercy of God.