Well, of course, it’s the fact that we were just eight in number; that was basically the thing. But then, the fact was also that we bonded so well that we were like outstanding in the group of seminary students in some way. But of course also, the fact that in the Archdiocese of Lagos, at the time we were ordained, we were the highest number of seminarians ordained at the same time at that point in the life of the institution. So, the Class of Eight just kind of stood out as a result of this. And by the grace of God, even though we have had some of us who have gone to Heaven, we still refer to ourselves as the ‘Class of Eight’ because we are eight in this world and in heaven.
And so, we are very glad to be recognised as that. Congratulations! I, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins and; Very Rev. Msgr. Edmond Akpala, Very Rev. Msgr. Jerome Oduntan, Very Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Ania, Very Rev. Fr. Michael Akintolu, Very Rev. Paschal Atomori have made it to 40. And by God’s grace, we are going to continue to strive to become better versions of ourselves. We will continue to support one another, so that we can fulfill God’s will for us when He made us into priests. Let us keep on supporting one another. Ten years ago, we all celebrated our thirtieth priestly ordination anniversary.
But today on our fortieth anniversary, two of us have left to be with the Lord. Monsignori Christopher Ajala and Peter Oke. May God rest their souls in perfect peace! May the perpetual light shine upon them! I have an overwhelming feeling of gratitude to God that He has counted me worthy to be a priest, and then helped me going in these last 40 years. 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.
• Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred ADEWALE Martins, Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos.