By Gid Ahanonu and Emma Onumah
Bishop Cyril Okorocha PhD of the Anglican Diocese of Owerri, on Sunday, ordained two new priest, and 13 deacons and also collated two Archdeacons and two Canons at the Cathedral Church of Transfiguration of Our Lord (CATOL), Owerri, where Nigeria’s problems were blamed squarely on the spiritual disposition of the country.
The Rector of the Crowther Graduate Theological Seminary, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Rt. Rev. (Prof.) Andrew Igenoza stated this, as a Guest Preacher at a special service held in CATOL to mark the occasion.
The Rector said that it was shameful that in the 57 years of Nigeria’s Independence, the country has done little or nothing in the areas of good roads, security of lives and property, employment opportunities for the teeming youths of this nation, provision of essential amenities etc, but instead, everything seemed to be going from bad to worse, like the mad man’s dance – one step forward, two steps backward.
Professor Igenoza, a former lecturer at the University of Ife, who quoted extensively the Book of Judges in the course of his sermon, blamed the woes of Nigeria on the fact that we, as Christians, have forsaken the worship of God Almighty, in preference to idol worship, stressing that we cannot make progress unless and until we do away with idolatry in our lives.
He reminded those being ordained, collated, or installed, that God is using them to recover the spirit of vocation in Christ Jesus, adding that, as children of light, they needed to carry the light to every nook and cranny of the Owerri Diocese and beyond, in order to chase out darkness.
The Prelate who also made references to Exodus 19: 4-6, Ephesians 5, Acts 2: 17 – 21 as well as Matthew 28, prayed that the Holy Spirit and Power of God would move into the newly ordained Priests, to enable them proclaim the good news and perform all godly functions expected of them which, he said, would help to save the world.
Performing the ordination, collation, and installation ceremony, the host Bishop, Rt. Rev. Cyril C. Okorocha Ph.D, lamented that corruption in Nigeria is beyond description, and warned all Christians against impending judgement in this regard.
Bishop Okorocha, told the priests to stay away from shady deals, but to do what is right so that God will bless them.
He said, if they act in accordance with what the Bible teaches, their homes will witness peace, love and progress.
The Diocesan urged them to stay away from all kinds of evil acts, including child trafficking, homo sexuality, falsehood, greed, envy, and any act that would make them go to hell.
He warned them against ever thinking of taking their Bishop or Archdeacon to court and or go contrary to the Priestly Oath which they have sworn before the congregation and God.
Sir Goddy Nwachukwu read the Old Testament Lesson, from Ezra 7: 1- 10, while the Epistle, from 2nd Corinthians 4:1 -7 was taken by Mrs. Chinyere Onyekuru, wife of Rev. Josiah Onyekuru, one of those made Deacons at the service. Rev. Bonaventure Anunaonwu read the Gospel from John 15: 1-8.
Highlights of the service include the presentation of the Book of the Holy Bible to each of the Priests, to enable them further the preaching of the Gospel in their respective places of deployment.