By Esther Akaa
The Catholic Bishop of Makurdi Diocese, Most Revd. Wilfred Anagbe has ordained two priests and 17 deacons with a call on them do the will of God as they begin the ministry.
Bishop Anagbe in his homily entitled “Ordained to serve” on Saturday at St Mary’s Parish, North Bank Makurdi, Anagbe admonished the newly ordained priests and deacons to dedicate themselves to the service of God and the people.
He said they were called to serve and not to be served.
According to him, as priests and deacons of God, they must minister the gospel of Jesus Christ and express it in their actions for the salvation of mankind.
He said: ” You must live a life of commitment and chastity as priests and deacons of the Catholic church.
“You also need a strong sense of faith to work in God’s vineyard and be conscious of the true meaning of priesthood.
“Be real witnesses to Christ and be men of prayers and imitate the life of Jesus who came not to be served but to serve. Follow Jesus and respond to His call.
“You must do the will of God and serve His people and be men of good reputation, carrying out the ministry of God with joy and be united with the people.”
Speaking on the feast of “Epiphany” which is celebrated 12 days after Christmas, Bishop Anagbe said the feast refers to the manifestation of Jesus to the world and was significant in the lives of christians.
According to him, Jesus is the light that guides all christians throughout their earthly journey.
He said Jesus therefore calls on them to arise and shine for the glory of God has come through the birth of Jesus at Christmas.
“The Epiphany is the manifestation of the light of Christ on all men and women. That is why, at the birth of Jesus, three wise men from the East who were guided by light, came to worship Him.
“At our baptism, we receive the light of Christ and the more we receive the light of Christ, the more we should seek to give to those in darkness,” he added.
The bishop also urged the newly ordained ministers of God to believe in what they read, teach what they believe and practice what they teach.
He called on them to work with their bishops and superiors, preaching the gospel and teaching the Catholic faith to their congregation in order to gain salvation.
In an interview with The Voice, one of the newly ordained priests, Rev Fr Raphael Tarbo who is of Via Christi ( VC) Society, expressed joy for a dream come true saying, ” I feel very glad because it is not by holiness but it is a gift given to me by God .
He has given to me so that I will be of service to people in humility , portraying Christ and leading them to the kingdom of God.”
He, therefore, called on the christian community to always abide by the word of the gospel and continue to pray for priests to enable them succeed.
On his part, one of the ordained deacons, Rev Fredrick Usman who was full of excitement said he was happy to be among the few chosen into the deaconate of the church.
He called on the christian community to continue to pray for them so that they will be ordained priests in the near future.
The Voice reports that those ordained Priests were Revd Fr Raphael Tarbo ( VC) and Revd Fr Simon Tarbo ( VC).
Those ordained deacons include; Revd Joshua Abiem (VC), Revd Peter Adikpe, Revd Joseph Akume( VC), Revd Stephen Aondona (VC), Revd Aaron Aondohemba, Revd Matthew Kwagher, Revd Theophilus Kwembe, Revd Simeon Mayange, Revd Simon Mfe and Revd Stephen Nyam.
Others were; Revd Reuben Nyimikor, Revd Clement Torjiga, Revd Paul Tyokende ( VC), Revd Charles Uiligh, Revd James Usman ( VC), Revd George Utim and Revd Abraham Waku.