“The Church’s Doctrines, Liturgy and Laws are not subject to Personal Preferences”

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These were the words of Bishop Badejo at the ordination of 9 Dominican brothers of the Province of Saint Joseph the Worker (Nigeria-Ghana). frs Cornelius Ewuoso, Gabriel Odin, Augustine Awodipe, John-Mark Igboalusi, Ignatius Saiki, and Frederick Tettey were ordained to diaconate while frs Dominic Okoye, Felix Udolisa, and Joseph Okotie were ordained to the priesthood on Saturday July 21, 2012.

In his homily, entitled “The Priesthood: Spirit, Soul and Values,” the ordaining prelate, Most Rev Emmanuel Ade Badejo, the Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Nigeria, underscored the need for the ordinands to remain the light and true heralds of the gospel in the face of the encircling gloom and grand conspiracy against the word of God in our contemporary world.

“I wish to state the obvious brothers by saying that you belong to a different class and calling. You have been called, will now be ordained, and commissioned and then sent forth. That was the procedure of all authentic discipleship in the Scriptures. Yes, you are in the world but not of it and it is Christ who has chosen you and no one else (Jn. 15:16). As Catholic clergymen, you must be faithful to the church’s doctrine, liturgy and laws which are not subject to personal preferences. You are called to shun the crass materialism, the discrimination, the narrow minded tribalism, the idealistic and ideological barrenness and epicurean subsistence that have compromised our existence. In the Spirit of St. Dominic, you are ordained to preach the pristine Christ to others and defend his Church from heresy. Such a noble calling!”

He further reminded the ordinands,

“A priest’s life must demonstrate that it can indeed be fun to live the evangelical counsels of poverty obedience and chastity and for emphasis, all in Christian charity. Yes use your I Pad, I Phone, I tune and I everything. But do not forget your capacity to turn them into instruments of faith sharing, faith deepening and of prayer. Use them to research into the depths of spirituality and salvation so that others can come closer to God. Yes, use them such that they can all serve him who alone could ever be called ‘I AM.’ Build e-libraries, read e-books, send e-mails, play e-games but put at the top of your priorities the only one who ever was called E-MMANUEL. He is the one who has called you and will be your surest companion. Trust him and you will all have a bright productive future in His vineyard.”

As typical of ordinations in Nigeria, there were festivities with family and friends immediately after the Eucharistic celebrations. With the ordination of 3 new priests and 6 new deacons, the Dominican province of Nigeria and Ghana now has a total of 100 priest-brothers affiliated to it in addition to 7 priest- brothers assigned to the province from other Dominican entities.

By Bro. Samuel Onyiba, OP