By Uzo Ugwunze, Ojoto
The Episcopal Vicar of Dunukofia Region and Parish Priest of All Saints Catholic Church, Nkpor in Onitsha Archdiocese, Very Rev. Fr. Theo N. Odukwe (Ojenamuo) has urged upcoming priests to avoid materialism but focus on the Lord Jesus Christ as the essence of their ministerial calling.
In his speech during the celebration of his 30 years priesthood anniversary at Nkpor Agu, Idemili North, Fr. Odukwe said that having Jesus as the center of everything one does was the same advice he gave to himself when he was newly ordained in 1987. He maintained that priests and other Christians should never lose sight of Jesus as their role model and master adding that prayerfulness was the key to ministerial exploits.
“Priests should look at Jesus; consult Jesus in everything you do. As a newly ordained priest I resolved to follow Jesus alone, not this or that other priest. The work I am doing is the work of Jesus Christ faithfully. To be faithful in following Him, one must commit himself to prayers because our savior was a man of prayers”, said Fr. Odukwe.
“Before you look at material provisions be ready to serve God with commitment. There is joy in serving Jesus. If you serve him, he will provide everything for you,” he said
The experienced shepherd reminded them to be wary, saying that the devil would continue to bring distractions to discourage and make them loose focus on their calling.
Fr. Odukwe also urged Nigerians to continue praying for and believe God for a better and peaceful country despite the menace of militia Fulani herdsmen. “I want to tell people to trust in God, not just believe in God’s existence but believe God’s word. There is nothing prayer cannot do in this nation. If we become prayerful even the president can be converted and those so called herdsmen will turn back”, Fr. Odukwe said.
He recalled the battle of Lobento where the Turkish sailors were about invading Rome but prayers caused confusion and destruction within the Turks on the high sea.
In his vote of thanks Fr. Odukwe thanked God and individuals, groups, parishes which include St Anthony Nkpor, St. Michael Fegge, All saints Nkpor and host of others who contributed in various ways to sponsor and ensure the success of the anniversary celebration.
The anniversary committee chairman, Bro. Anthony Okeke, Mr. Donatus Anya and the former executive chairman Idemili North, Chief Idemobi Obi in their separate speeches described Rev. Fr. Odukwe as a humble, dedicated Priest that prays and cares for the flocks under him not minding the persons social status, adding that they were convinced that the two prayer requests the Priest asked the participants to make to God must surely be granted
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