By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The 20th Priestly Anniversary Celebration of St. Augustine Major Seminary Jos, plateau state came up on Wednesday in Kaduna state, northwest Nigeria.
The week long activities was more like a prayer crusade of men of purity to the nation and its leadership with high spirit displayed during the Holy Mass prior before the colorful celebration on Wednesday night.
Also a decade of reunion of the St. Augustine major Seminary’s Alumni convention, anniversary and celebration of the over 52 class of 2023, held at the popular Our lady of Apostles Parish, located at the Ancient Independence way Kaduna, Nigeria.
Kaduna Catholic Archdiocese host, celebrate 20th Priestly Anniversary of 52 St. Augustine Major Seminary
In a welcome address, the host, who’s an Alumini and Parish Priest of Our Lady of Apostles Parish, Kaduna Rev. Fr. Anthony Okelue, urged his classmates never to forget to pray constantly, adding that, prayer remains their compass for victory and gain.
“My dear brothers and classmates, I wish to, on behalf of our Archbishop, Most Rev. Dr. Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso, the priests, Religious, lay faithful, Rev. Fr. Peter Wazimtu, Rev. Fr. Peter Bakwaph, and my humble self, Rev. Fr. Anthony Okelue, welcome all of you.
He also on behalf of “the amazing people of Our Lady of Apostles’ Parish, Independence Way, Kaduna, warmly welcome you to the city of Kaduna for this special reunion to thank God for sparing our lives these past twenty years and still counting upon graduating from our alma mater and ordination to the Catholic priesthood.
“The love of God has indeed bound us together these past years, running through our formative years up until now. This is wonderful, but it is more wonderful still that we stick to one another and grow in brotherhood as servants of Jesus Christ.
“The period of this convention affords us the opportunity to be together and share laughter,
joy, sorrows perhaps, fond memories but healing for all surely. Let us also share our pastoral and work experiences for better
disposition and efficiency in our endeavours.
“I believe that we shall leave this convention ground enriched and more equipped to continue to serve God and humanity most profoundly. Let the nicknames calling keep pouring forth. Let us never forget to pray constantly for that our compass for victory and gain.
“I wish to thank sincerely our brother priests and the Religious who have come to felicitate and socialise with us. May God keep you strong, happy and fruitful as you work in His vineyard.
“Similarly, i sincerely appreciate our lay faithful who have never left us alone; you have always prayed for us and supported us through thick and thin in our vocation and you
continue to do so.
“May our Blessed Mother Mary in whose special month of October we have situated this reunion and St. Francis of Assisi on whose
memorial day we celebrate the Holy Mass of our 20th anniversary of graduation and ordination to the priesthood, constantly intercede to God for us”, he stated.
In an interview, Rev. Fr. Okelue, his co-host Pastoral council committee (PCC) and his classmates expressed displeasure over the country’s current economic and security challenges saying all is not well with Nigeria as people are hungry, but urges them to continue to put their hope in God, adding that they’re with the them like the shepherd.
Others explained that they’ve come to pray to God for been alive for past 20 years serving God and humanity, urging the country’s leadership to do the needful, while lamenting that their right to freedom and to leave have been taken away be insecurity.