Ordination: Bishop enjoins priests on peace building, church, national development




Newly Ordained Priests
Ordination: Bishop enjoins priests on peace building, church, national development
By Bridget Ikyado/Emmanuella Onah
 The Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop ,His Grace, Ignatius Kaigama, has urged the newly ordained priests to choose the way of peace, building the church and nation.
He made the call at the priestly ordination of 12 Deacons at the Holy Cross Parish  in Abuja.
Kaigama said their task like that of Prophet Jeremiah was not to pull down and destroy the well-built physical structures.
”But, the unhealthy habits rooted in our tribal, political and religious subconscious. which manifest as poisonous prejudices or violent actions.
“This priestly action together with the sincere political will of our leaders will lead us to the national consciousness of being ‘one people and one nation.”
” We religious leaders in Nigeria must be united in inspiring our people in whatever is true, honourable, just, pure, lovely and commendable
 ” We must teach our fellow religious adherents how to accommodate others with respect and dignity and to use religion to promote integral human development and social harmony rather than hatred, division and violence;
“Just as politicians should teach their fellow politicians to behave patriotically and create a social ambience that fosters unity, peace and progress.”
The Bishop advised them to ensure that the aim of the church to build a holy family, a better society and  nation was met.
” The  temptation is to blame religion as the cause of Nigeria’s problems.
” But,  from empirical evidence, religious institutions had assisted the nation so much through educational, medical and social projects.”
He appealed to the priests to avoid sin so as to have the grace of God in them to evangelise and conquer evil.
“The aim of true religion is to help people to reduce spiritual, moral and social vices.
“We get it wrong when some of us lift private religious practices above national interests or the common good, letting religious distrust, suspicion and stereotypes dominate.
” And refusing to simply see fellow Nigerians as neighbours to be loved and cherished,” he said.
Kaigama urged the priests not be ”distracted by the very things you are renouncing for the sake of the kingdom of God.
“Jesus wants you and us to preserve the dignity of the office of the priesthood according to His will.”
The Bishop said the life of a priest is a life of giving more than receiving.
” Jesus is therefore sending you not in search of personal purses, haversacks, sandals, the very things He forbade His disciples from looking for while on mission.
“Go therefore and be ‘priest enough’ for the people. Be messengers of hope, animators of faith communities and spiritual guides to the people.”
The auxiliary Bishop of Abuja Diocese, Most Rev. Anselem Umoren said: ” I congratulate our newly ordained priests.
”I want to also thank the parents for supporting them. I want to thank Holy Cross Parish for their effort in making this event successful, it is beautiful.
“I  thank  the parents of these ordinands as well as their formators in the different seminaries in Jos.”
The Ordinants who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria expressed gratitude to God for such an opportunity to serve him.
Rev. Fr. Paul Anthony said: ” I believe with the help of God and with the cooperation of the people of God, I will perform my duties.
” I advise to my fellow priests that we should be sincere with our calling and to those who are aspiring may God help you and strengthen you.”
Rev. Fr. Mathias Bello- Dogo, thanked God for bringing him up to this point, adding,” I’m thankful to God for giving me this opportunity to become a priest in his vineyard.
 ” My life is a life of total service to the people, i will impact on the people by being there for them in prayers, evangelism and peace making for a better society.”.
Also, Rev. Fr. Patrick Kudame- Mallam  said that with the present challenges in the country, he would draw more men to God.
 ” The only solution is for man to turn to God who is the ultimate and the source of life. ”