The four new priests and the mother general (from 5th on the right): Rev Fr Donatus Okeke; Rev Fr Jonas Okafor, who led in the first solemn thanksgiving Mass; Rev Mother Mary Anastasia Dike, DDL; Rev Fr Hilary Anaelom, HFFB and Rev Fr Peter Nwagha with concelebrants and altar servers after the First Solemn Thanksgiving Mass. Rev Fr Nwagha is flanked on his right by the elder brother the mother general, Rev Fr Coach Obinna Dike, Fides Assistant Director I.
In gratitude to God for the blessed gifts of increased priestly and religious vocation, the entire Enugwu-Ukwu Catholic Community alongside friends and well wishers on Sunday, August 27, 2017 rolled out their drums for a grand reception in honour of their 2017 four new indigenous Catholic priests and the Mother General of Daughters of Divine Love (DDL) Congregation, Rev Mother Mary Anastasia Ebelechukwu Dike, DDL.
The well attended reception which was also in honour of Silver Jubilee religious profession of two indigenous female religious of Enugwu-Ukwu Catholic Community – Rev Sr Mary Josephine Anagor, DDL and Rev Sr. Dr Mary Claret Chinenye Nwankwo, DMMM, was held at St Anthony's Catholic Church, Enugwu-Ukwu in Njikoka L.G.A of Anambra State.
The four new priests – Rev Fr Hilary Anelom, HFFB, who was ordained on July 1, 2017 for the Holy Family Fathers and Brothers (HFFB); Rev Fr Peter Nwagha, who was ordained on July 6, 2017 for the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna; Rev Fr Donatus Okeke, who was ordained on July 22, 2017 for the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia by Bishop Lucius Ugorji and Rev Fr Jonas Okafor, who was ordained for the Emmanuelite Congregation by Francis Cardinal Arinze on August 26, 2017 were the 43rd, 44th, 45th and 46th indigenous Catholic priests of Enugwu-Ukwu respectively.
Rev Mother Ebelechukwu Dike, DDL was elected the Mother General of Daughters of Divine Love Congregation at the congregation's 8th General Chapter in 2016, after she successfully served the congregation as the Secretary General for six years. Rev Mother Ebelechukwu Dike, DDL, who is the first Mother General of a religious congregation from Enugwu-Ukwu is expected to serve the DDL Congregation for six years. She made her first religious profession of vow in the DDL Congregation in 1995 and the final vow in the same congregation in 2005.
Mother General's biological Family, Mr. John & Mrs. Marian Ebelechukwu Dike Family coming for thanksgiving. First on the right is the mother to Rev Mother Ebelechukwu Dike, DDL and Rev Fr Coach Obinna Dike, Mrs. Marian Dike.
Leading in their concelebrated first solemn thanksgiving Mass, Rev Fr Jonas Okafor, thanked God for giving him and his brother priests share in the sacred priesthood of God.
In his homily, a priest in-residence at Ss Peter & Paul’s Catholic Parish, Nise, Rev Fr Jude Chidi Ozumba thanked God for increased gift of priestly and religious vocation with which He blessed Enugwu-Ukwu.
Rev Fr Ozumba, who based his reflections on the readings of the Sunday, likened the call of the four new priests and Mother Dike, DDL to that of Peter, who Christ gave the keys to the kingdom of heaven. He reminded the new priests and the Rev Mother of the expectations that they serve God, the Church and humanity with their new identities.
Some members of Enugwu-Ukwu Central Ordination Committee pose with the four new priests and Rev Mother Ebelechukwu Dike, DDL. First from left is the chairman of Enugwu-Ukwu Central Ordination Committee, Rev Fr Damian Ogwatta.
'You have been given the authority and keys as leaders in the Church. Ensure that you make good use of the keys of authority given to you, as anything in the contrary mean scandal. Carry out your priestly and religious responsibilities with love, and be consistent in prayer', Fr Jude Ozumba urged the four new priests and Rev Mother Dike, DDL.
He advised Christians against judging others by appearance and against neo-paganism, but urged them to, instead strive for holiness and be closer to Jesus Christ always so as to swim against all tribulations in life.
The homilist, who is the 30th Enugwu-Ukwu indigenous priest, reminded the family members of the new priests and the Mother General as well as the entire laity of the expectation that they give the needed stable prayers and material supports to them for their fulfilled apostolate.
Solemn blessings by the new priests, presentation of Toyota Corolla Car to each of the four new priests and Rev Mother Ebelechukwu Dike by the Catholic Community as well as presentation of other gifts by various groups and families, choral presentations and cutting of the event cake were highlights of the event that had Brig. Gen. C.N.C. Nwafor, KSJI as the chairman of the occasion.