There was celebration galore in Ubuluisiuzo community, Ihiala Local Government Area, Anambra State, over the ordination of Rev. Fr. Echezona Mbaukwu, as the second indigenous Catholic priest from the community. This came 36 years after the first indigenous priest, Very Rev. Samuel Okechukwu Muodiaju was ordained in 1985.
Fr. Mbaukwu was ordained by the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Most Rev. Hilary Okeke on Saturday, July10, 2021, at St. John’s Catholic Church, Nnewi. After his ordination, the freshly baked priest celebrated his first Holy Mass the following day at St. John the Baptist Catholic Parish, Ubuluisiuzo, amid great joy and excitement.
The Eucharistic celebration, presided by the Parish Priest of St. John the Baptist’s, Ubuluisiuzo, Very Rev. Fr. Felix Umegboro, had many other priests, including the Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi, Very Rev. Fr. Hyginus Aghaulor supporting.
In his homily, Fr. Aghaulor commended the community for breaking the jinx in getting a second priest after about four decades that the first priest was ordained. While commending the Ubuluisiuzo Catholic community for the feat, Fr. Aghaulor also called on the faithful to pray, so that the community would have more priests in thenearest future; as, according to him, “the harvest is much, but the labourers are Few.”
He further admonished the new priest to discharge his priestly duties in line with the doctrine of the Catholic Church, while calling on the church to pray for him, so that he would continue in the Lord’s vineyard till the end of time.
Chairman of Parish Ordination Committee, Chuka Nnabuife, in an address on behalf the Ubuluisiuzo Catholic community, described the ordination of Fr. Mbaukwu as a testamentof the spiritual advancement of the parish. He said that the entire community; Catholics and non-Catholics alike, were overwhelmed with joy, as, according to him, the ordination was one of the most remarkable developments in the town, after such eventful wait that made many skeptics doubt Ubuluisiuzo’s ability to produce another priest.
Speaking to Daily Sun after the Eucharistic celebration, Fr. Mbaukwu thanked Godfor making his ordination possible. He also thanked everyone that contributed to the success story, and promised to make the community proud.
Subcommittee Chairman on Publicity, Publications and Protocol, F.C. Ntomchukwu, who is also Deputy Registrar, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, urged the new priest to discharge his priestly duties in line with the commission of Jesus Christ to his apostles.