…As Fr. Onwudiegwu marks 30th priestly ordination anniversary
Christians have been asked not to conform to the world, but to cling to Christ and seek God’s kingdom and righteousness, rather than prosperity gospel; which many seek at the present time. The charge was given by Very Rev. Msgr. Pascal Nwaezeapu, Episcopal Vicar, Lekki Region and Dean, Lekki Deanery during the 30th priestly ordination anniversary of Very Rev. Fr. Michael Onwudiegwu, held last Sunday, at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Ifako, Agege, Lagos. Msgr. Nwaezeapu said Jesus began His ministry with a message of repentance, conversion and transformation of heart, which is the real goal, and foundation of Christianity.
Stating that in the past, missionaries used to come to Africa to build churches, hospitals, and schools, Msgr. Nwaezeapu noted that currently, the western world is struggling to maintain what they have. He added that whatever is shrinking the population of Christians there and making the faith go down is also coming to this part of the world. Msgr. Nwaezeapu said the quality of faith of people matters, and not the number, as he added that when they are put to the test, most people will run away, only those who have that quality of faith will remain. Speaking on Fr. Onwudiegwu, Msgr. Nwaezeapu described the celebrant and classmate, as a strong and reliable person who speaks his mind.
He said: “I’ve seen him as somebody one can truly rely on. And as he celebrates today, I want to wish him a very fruitful celebration, fruitful ministry and God’s special favours.” For the celebrant, it has been 30 years of God’s faithfulness, mercy and compassion. He added that he could not have done anything without God. According to him, “I wouldn’t have experienced today without God. So, For me, it’s 30 years of divine mercy, divine faithfulness, divine kindness, divine forgiveness. That is what it means for me. Asked whether he is fulfilled at this point in the priesthood, he said: “I’m not the one to give myself pass mark. I always leave such things to God because you don’t serve and praise yourself.
As a servant, you leave it to the master to give you your scorecard, whether you have done well or not. But I would say I’m happy, I don’t regret having been called to the priestly ministry.” On what he thinks needs to be corrected in the Church, he said it is more on the side of lay persons who are drifting, and allowing themselves to be carried away by every new idea. He said: “Like the preacher said, a lot of work needs to be done to ensure that such persons understand the Christian faith. If they understand the Christian faith as they should, they will know that drifting will not help them to become better Christians as some of them sometimes think.”