God chooses whomever He likes as priest from among His people and every priest is called like Aaron, to a life of faithfulness.

Abuja Archdiocesan Vocational Director and Parish Priest, St. Mulumba’s Catholic Church, Igu, Rev. Fr. Louis Duniya stated this recently in Good Shepherd office while briefing on the preparations by Abuja Catholic Archdiocese for the raising of 15 Deacons to the Order (ordination) of priesthood.

Ordination of priests which has become an annual event in the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, Fr. Duniya observed, is a thing of joy for a diocese like Abuja which is still growing, praying God to make the event a huge success.

“It is a thing of joy because some dioceses hardly ordain up to five in a year. Even in Europe some ordain 5 in a year, some 10 and sometimes only one. We are blessed and my prayer is that God should use them as instruments of exploits in His vineyard,” he said.

Quoting from a letter to the Hebrews; the vocational director said, “we are called from among God’s people to serve through the ministry of priesthood. No one takes the honour upon himself.”

He described the Deacons who are due for ordination come February 4, 2017 as precious gifts to the Archdiocese as there are some who, apart from successfully finishing their courses of study and passing all examinations, still opt out from the race even when penciled down for ordination.

“There were those who finished very well but never made it to the priesthood. Some come to me after their exams, even when penciled down for ordination, and say Fr. ‘I don’t think I can make it. I consider the gift too big for me to handle,’ and they bow out,” Fr. Duniya revealed.  

Asked to comment on his expectations from the young priests, the ebullient director said; “Priests are not necessarily called for success. The success of any priest may be measured from the intensity of his faithfulness which entails living a life of service to the people of God; a life of good humanity, pastoral charity, generosity and life of prayer. Priests, he said, must recognize the fact that the nine years of their training was aimed at preparing them well for life in the ministry, adding that Catholic priests must realize that the platform to operate is given to them by the Church and so should not attack their foundation.

Continuing he said, “A priest must have sound teaching and his preaching must be faithful to the Church’s way of worship (today many people are prone to gyration instead of worship). Every ordained priest is called to a life of modesty. If you are not properly formed and you come out in your ideas looking for big cars, want to be in big parishes, then you will not find them and you get everything wrong. You must be modest and obedient,” Fr. Duniya explained. 

He advised young priests to remember that as special people called to a life of modesty, they should be prepared to remain unruffled by the lures of a materialistic world in which they operate, as well as remain united in one project - preaching the good news no matter the circumstances.

The February 4, 2017 priestly ordination scheduled to hold at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral Area 3 Garki Abuja, is expected to bring together over 2.5 million Catholics from different parts of Nigeria and beyond.

According to Fr. Louis Duniya, the event will gulp an estimated but conservative sum of nearly over N4 million.

He uses this medium to thank the ordination committee members and many members of the Abuja Catholic faithful, whom Fr. Duniya said have made various contributions and sacrifices to ensure that the event is a huge success.

He applauded the Cardinal Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan and his Auxiliary, Most Rev Anselm Umoren  for all their support and encouragement in raising priests for the Archdiocese, especially their concern for the continued development of Kuje seminary, the only Catholic school in Abuja with the mandate to raise priests for the Archdiocese.

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