Two Cardinals, 9 Archbishops, 12 Bishops Attend Adewale Martin’s 40th Priestly Ordination

…. Monsignor Aniagwu Challenges Younger Priests To Imbibe Archbishop Martins Qualities

Catholic Priests in Nigeria have been implored to go beyond their core mandates of administering the Holy Eucharist to the faithful to champion courses that help to alleviate the impact of economic hardship on Nigerians, thereby giving them hope for the future.

The Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar, Ikeja Region, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Right Rev. Monsignor John Aniagwu gave the charge in a sermon during a High Mass at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos Island to celebrate the 40th Priestly Ordination of Archbishop Adewale Martins and his 25

years as a Bishop.

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia, Anambra State, His Eminence Peter Cardinal Okpalaeke, delivering Papal message

 Although his 25th episcopal anniversary had gone, Archbishop Adewale Martins of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, decided to shift the celebration forward to his fortieth priestly ordination, to enable him to enjoy the moment with his surviving classmates from the archdiocese, who were ordained priests the same day with him forty years ago by the Archbishop Emeritus of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie.

There were eight that were ordained that day, but two are no more.

In a sermon, the Vicar General, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Right Rev. Monsignor John Aniagwu, congratulated the celebrants for allowing themselves to be used by God to spread the Gospel and touch lives, especially within the South Western region of the country where they are from.

While describing Archbishop Adewale Martins as an exceptionally brilliant person, full of compassion and with sterling leadership qualities, Monsignor Aniagwu implored younger priests serving across Nigeria to emulate his lifestyle of identifying with the poor and needy and making lives meaningful for them.

The Monsignor observed that the situation in the country is quite tough now, with so many people not able to afford necessities, urging that priests should stand in the gap to show them love and compassion.

Aniagwu acknowledged that Archbishop Martins has done a lot for humanity, through his foundation and has continued to attend to the needs of the poor across ethnic and religious divides, with a Special Fund for the training of seminarians from poor homes and other initiatives, including Caritas Lagos, a platform that has been offering financial supports to disadvantaged persons in Nigeria and other countries such as Benin, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Madagascar and South Africa, to name but a few.

He said that if priests in developed nations can drive initiatives to support their people, those in developing countries where people are challenged by a lot of things should do more.

Delivering the goodwill message of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, the President of the association, Most Reverend Lucious Ugorji, said they were solidly behind the celebrants and thanked God for endowing in Archbishop Martins, great talents and wisdom for shepherding the flock in Lagos Archdiocese.

The Papal message and blessings upon the celebrants were conveyed by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia, Anambra State, His Eminence Peter Cardinal Okpalaeke, who prayed for the mercy of God to keep sustaining them.

Responding, Archbishop Martins said he felt honored that people came from far and wide to celebrate him and his classmates, as he chanted the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary after Angel Gabriel announced that she would be the Mother of the Saviour of the world, according to the Holy Bible.

Thereafter during a media chat, Martins begged the Federal government to act fast and come up with policies and interventions to ameliorate the level of hardship in the country, as well as tackle insecurity.

Not even protracted rainfall stopped the event as people turned out in numbers to celebrate Archbishop Martin and his four other classmates who were present.

The event was attended by two cardinals, nine archbishops, twelve bishops, many administrators and directors of the church at different levels, as well as large numbers of priests, reverent sisters, and the laity from parishes in and outside Lagos.

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