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By Udechi Francis Jr

The Catholic Diocese of Orlu was agog on Saturday, August 17, 2019 as the Catholic Bishop of Plymouth Diocese; England United Kingdom, raised 14 young men to the Order of priesthood.

The Catholic Bishop of Orlu, Most Rev Augustine Ukwuoma, before the beginning of the Mass handed over his staff of office to the visiting bishop to proceed with the Eucharistic celebration and the ordination.

Bishop Mark O’toole, while delivering a homily, expressed his happiness to Bishop Ukwuoma and the entire Catholic faithful of the diocese for giving him the opportunity to celebrate the ordination Mass. He reminded the newly ordained priests that they represent the image of the high priest, who is Jesus Christ and stand as mediators between God and his people.

He stated that at those stages of the Mass, when the priest kisses the Holy Bible, after reading the gospel and the altar before the beginning of the Mass and at the closing time, signify the real friendship with Christ, as well as for the service of God and humanity.

“You must not leave Christ behind because everyone wishes to encounter him in everyday of their lives”. Bishop O’toole urged both newly ordained and old priests. He also advised them to live the life of Christ, who they personify on earth and let all they do propagate the gospel of Christ as well as preach the message wherever they are.

Photo: Priestly Ordination Orlu Diocese: Bishops Augustine Ukwuoma and Mark O'toole with the newly ordained priests after Mass.

Photo: Priestly Ordination Orlu Diocese: Bishops Augustine Ukwuoma and Mark O’toole with the newly ordained priests after Mass.

He advised them to show love to the people, identify with them in times of joy and sorrow, direct them on the right path and also respond generously to the mission of the Church, warning that the massage of the gospel could be rejected because of the messenger.

The prelate admonished priests not to cause what will make the people reject the massage which they have been sent to deliver for the salvation of souls which is the main priority.

The bishop commended the families of the ordained priest for giving out their children as well as supporting them to serve God and humanity. He advised the lay faithful to always pray for their priests in order to remain steadfast in their work.

Bishop O’toole said that he understands that many Nigerian citizens are suffering and also facing many challenges of insecurity and political problems. He promised to always remember Orlu diocese in prayer, as well as relate to his people his experience during his visit to Nigeria. The event was attended by the Emeritus Bishop of Orlu, Most Rev Dr. Gregory Ochiagha, priests, religious, families, as well as friends and well-wishers of the ordained priests.

Our correspondent said that Bishop Mark O’toole was honoured with a Chieftaincy title of “Nwanne di naMba (Bother in Diaspora) by the Traditional Ruler of Amaifeke community, Eze Emmanuel Okeke on Thursday, August 15, which Bishop Ukwuoma described as a sign of love and mutual relationship between the diocese of Plymouth and Orlu diocese.


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