First of all, I have a feeling of gratitude to God that He has counted me worthy to be a priest, and then helped me to keep going in these last 40 years. The day of ordination itself was an extraordinary experience that you walk into a Church as a Deacon, and by the grace of God, you come out a Priest with all the graces that God gives. So, that was a very momentous occasion for me, and I suppose also for all my classmates, and indeed, it has to be for all priests. A feeling of an abundance of grace that I have been called to some certain offices within the 40 years, first of all as Bishop, and now as Archbishop.
This is abundant grace that God has bestowed upon me, which obviously, it is not because I deserve it, but just grace in abundance. I was shocked when I was asked to be bishop, but again, when you get into a role, and you feel the grace of God coming through persons that are just there to help to get the work done, that for me is momentous. It’s an experience of life that one cannot put any value; financial value or material value upon.
And of course, I was appointed the Archbishop of Lagos. That was one thing I did not think of, even in the wildest of my dreams. But then, the grace of God just keeps one going. And actually, one asks oneself, ‘Where have the years gone? Where have they gone because we just basically do the things that need to be done, year by year, and suddenly, 40 years have sprung on us?’ So, we are grateful to God. We are grateful to people who have been our support all these years.
• Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos.