Gilbert Ekezie

All is set for the ordination of another batch of priests by the Catholic Diocese of Ahiara, Mbaise, Imo State on Saturday, May 4.

The ordination, which would be held at the Maria Mater Ecclesiae Cathedral, Ahiara, would be performed by the Apostolic Administrator of Ahiara Diocese, His Lordship, Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji.

It could be recalled that Ahiara Diocese was in the eye of the storm, following the appointment of Bishop Peter Ebele Okpalaeke as Catholic bishop of the diocese after the demise of the Bishop Victor Chikwe, but he was vehemently criticised and rejected by Mbaise Catholic faithful.

But the imbroglio was finally rested when Bishop Okpalaeke succumbed to pressure from the people, by tendering his letter of resignation to the Pope in 2017.

Among those to be ordained is Rev. Christogonus Chinonso Okonkwo.

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According to a press release signed by the elder sister of the Rev Okonkwo, Mrs. Charity Nnaji on behalf of the family, many of the seminarians completed their studies as required by the church over five years ago, but could not be ordained because of the problem generated in the diocese.

“But thank God today that peace has returned. I sincerely pray that God will empower all the young priests who are being ordained so that the people will feel the impact of God and Christianity in their lives,” Mrs. Nnaji stated.

She explained that with the resignation of Okpalaeke and appointment of Most Rev Lucius Ugorji, the much-sought peace in the diocese returned, thereby, paving way for the young seminarians who had passed their various examinations as required by the Catholic institution, to be ordained into the priesthood.

Nnaji said the entire people of Mbaise were happy to witness the epoch-making occasion, pointing out that the ordination should be the third batch of priestly ordination since the coming of Most Rev. Ugorji.

“The Okonko Family and the entire Okpofe community are happy to witness their son, Chinonso and others being ordained into the Catholic priesthood. It can only be through God’s power.”

Okonkwo is expected to celebrate his first Holy Mass at the Christ the King Parish, Okpofe, Mbaise on Sunday, May 5.