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He was very sick and did not respond to medical treatment … his parent’s relations said he should be thrown away …his mother refused and took him to God and prayed, “God, if you heal this boy, I will give him back to you.” …he was healed …he passed through a Minor Seminary without the knowledge of his parents …he became a Catholic Priest …he founded the Catholic Adoration Ministry (CAM) where barren women conceive, the sick and dumb are healed, orphans and widows get help …The person is Rev Fr. Cyriacus Nnadozie Onwughalu.

His mother may not have realised the weight of her promise to God when on that faithful afternoon, she placed her very sick and almost dying boy-child on the central eye of the altar of Holy Family Catholic Cathedral, Sokoto and prayed, “God if you heal this boy, I will give him back to you.”

The boy was healed, but his mother forgot she made a covenant with God. Not until more than 30 years later when her son lay on the same spot, in same Cathedral, to be ordained a Priest that she remembered her vow to God, and burst into tears.

Today, Fr. CY, as he is fondly called by friends and parishioners, is the Parish Priest of St Mary’s Catholic Church, Argungu, Kebbi State in Sokoto Diocese. He is also the Youth Chaplain in the Diocese and Province, and Ministers the Catholic Adoration Ministry (CAM) of St Mary’s Catholic Church.

Not only did his mother forget her covenant with God over her son, she and her husband did not know when the boy entered the Minor Seminary till he was about to enter Major Seminary. Fr. CY tells the story “When I fi nished my primary school in Sokoto, I was asked by my parents to go and stay with my grand-mother in the village.

It was from there that I became a Mass Server. From there I joined the Minor Seminary. My parents didn’t know I was in the Seminary. Only my grandparents did and they trained me all through my days in the Minor Seminary. It was when it was time for me to go to Major Seminary that I had to return to Sokoto. Even at this point my mother never remembered she made such a promise.”

He recalls, “During my priestly ordination, each time I looked at my mother, she was always crying. I never knew her reason for crying. It was after the ordination process that she explained to me that there was a promise she made to God when I was an infant and that it was during my ordination that she remembered it. According to her, when I was a little child, I took very ill and was not responding to any medical treatment. She explained that on one occasion my parents, my uncle and I were traveling from Sokoto to the East and that I cried from Sokoto to Zaria. In Zaria they decided that it was either I was thrown away or my mother returned to Sokoto with me.

My mother said she opted to return to Sokoto with me rather than throw me away. As soon as she got back to Sokoto, she went straight to the Cathedral and placed me at the central eye of the altar and prayed to God, “If you heal this child, I will give him back to you.” He continues. “At my ordination, it was the same spot my mother kept me when I was a sick infant that I lay down and was ordained a priest. It was exactly at that moment that my mother remembered that over 30 years ago, she dropped me at that very spot to pray for my healing and made a promise to God to give me back to Him if He healed me, and at that same spot I was being made a priest.”

God so designed it that Fr. CY would not be ordained in the East; otherwise he would have continued his Major Seminary there. It was God’s arrangement that Fr. CY should come back to the place where her mother made a promise to give him back to his Healer. The priest explains.

“My mother has been a woman of very strong faith. I know she has always committed her life to God. She is very prayerful and puts God before every other thing. She was a leader of the Catholic Women Organisation (CWO) when she was in Sokoto and also a leader now in my village.

For the over 30 years that I have known her, once it is 5:00am, I know she would be praying around the altar in the house and never misses her morning Mass. She has infl uenced and encouraged me a lot. I know the faith that I have drawn from my mother is what is helping me. I pray God would keep her alive to reap the fruit of her labour.” Apart from being a Catholic Priest, Fr. CY is also a good panel-beater. If not the grace of God that took him to Priesthood, he would have been a professional panelbeater.

Like Jesus who served as an apprentice carpenter under his father, Joseph, Fr. CY learned the craft of panel- beating while helping his father, a professional panel beater, in his workshop. Like Jesus, he abandoned the skill he acquired from his earthly father and answered the call of his Heavenly Father – beating battered bodies and souls back to alignment to the glory of God. Through the power of prayers of Catholic Adoration Ministry he founded in 2013, many people have been healed. “Before I became a Priest, I asked from God for the gift of praying for those longing for the fruit of the womb. Since that time, it has been so. Many of those who have been coming for the fruit of the womb have conceived.

We have had several of such children dedicated and baptised in Abuja and other places. Many women have come to CAM and got the fruit of the womb. Many others who tested HIV positive and who participated constantly in our adoration have gotten their healing. We have testimonies.

There have been cases of people with heavy hearts such as having bad dreams and fears who have been relieved. There have also been cases of people who were possessed; people who even got violent and abused the Priest during prayers; but constantly came for adoration who have received healing. There have also been cases of people who have been having body pains who have received healing and the dumb healed,” Fr. CY testifies.

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