By Rev. Fr. Anthony Adetayo

A bright Saturday morning fused with the first shower of the year  greeted the people of Ijebu-Ode Diocese on 21st January 2023 as the Bishop of the Diocese; Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina ordains 4 Priests into the Presbyterate at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Iperu. They are Rev. Fr. Deile Peter, Rev. Fr. Christian Ogbu, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okusanya and Rev. Fr. Anthony Thomas.

The ordination Mass which was livestreamed on the diocesan Facebook page, started around 10:00am with multitude of Priests and Religious from within and outside the Diocese. Present also were the family members of the Ordinands and large number of congregants.

The homilist was Very Rev. Fr. Michael Adebanjo who doubles as the Vicar for Priests in the Diocese. He encourages the newly ordained not to be distracted for what distracts them can destroy them. He reminds them to be up and doing in the task of the Priestly office. For specificity the homilist said “the people of God are not interested in you just being a Priest but are interested in knowing what kind of Priest you are. Please develop the capacity to make positive influence to the people you are sent to as authentic holiness of life”

As traditional with the rite of ordination, the newly ordained Priests were welcomed into the Catholic Priesthood with the sign of peace by the Bishop and all Priests present through a visibly warm hug and deep smile while there was loud acclamation of joy from the Laity.

The Bishop of the Diocese addresses the people after the thanksgiving of the Priests in few words. Facing the newly ordained, the Bishop said, “We are proud of your decision”. Quoting the Scripture he continues, “Remember the scripture says no one takes the honour upon himself except he’s called by God as Aaron was. You have trained very hard in Philosophy and Theology. You have dedicated yourself to the pastoral life of the Diocese that you even received your posting before your ordination. It’s our prayer that you continue to find joy in the Priestly ministry of the Diocese and beyond. It’s our prayer that the newly ordained should treasure the vocation.”

Explaining the transformation that took place, the Bishop said “You came into the church as Deacons but you’re leaving as Priests. It’s only God’s grace. Having being ordained Priests at your request and testimony of God’s people, please be guided by St. Agnes whose memorial we celebrate today as a virgin and Martyr. Your Priestly leadership should be exercised by exemplary life.” The Bishop went ahead to encourage all the Priests to pray for the people of God while the people of God should also pray for their Priests.

With this ordination, Bishop Francis Adesina has ordained a total of 7 Priests, 1 in 2020, 2 in 2021 and 4 in 2023. May God continue to bless the Diocese with more Priests to continue the work of evangelization.