By Faith Igbudu
Staff of a non-governmental organisation, Foundation for Justice, Development and Peace, FJDP, in Makurdi, Sunday held a thanksgiving mass in honour of their Director, Rev. Fr. Remigius Ihyula, who recently marked his 20th priestly anniversary.
The mass was celebrated at the Good Shepherd Catholic Chaplency, Benue State University, Makurdi, where Fr. Ihyula serves as chaplain.
The staff who said they were happy with their director, described him as a great leader with virtues of compassion, empathy, doggedness and knowledge.
During his sermon, Fr. Ihyula thanked the faithful of the Catholic Church for their sacrifice and commitment, which according to him, have seen the emergence of many priests.
He attributed the success of his journey in priesthood to the benevolence of the Catholic community.
The cleric was full of gratitude to God for His faithfulness, saying it is a privilege to celebrate 20 years after overcoming many challenges that claimed the lives of many others.
“In these 20 years, I have recorded scandals, people interpreting your actions from their lens, betrayals but God has been faithful,” he said.
Dr Ihyula urged Christians to develop a close relationship with God, saying only Him can guarantee a life full of testimonies and victories.
Speaking with The Voice in an interview, the celebrant noted that though he started as altar boy, he advanced in the direction been completely sold out to his call to serve God and humanity.
When asked how he is giving back to the people, Fr Ihyula said, his life as a priest is all about giving back to the society, “I cannot go recounting all the things I’ve done for society. If I do that, it will defeat the aim. A priest is supposed to be someone who gives selflessly. No matter the amount of charity you have done to the society don’t count it.”
“It beats my imagination me when fellow servants of God do a little charity and publicize it on social media platforms and even receive awards for it,” he said.
On the challenges involved in priesthood, the reverend gentle man said, as a priest you take three oaths of chastity, obedience and poverty, noting that these give a glimpse of what the priest faces. He said it explains the pains of being a priest as many people only see the beauty.
He said in addition to the challenges is the rigorous training to become a priest, adding that one without any calling to serve will not go through it.
Highlights of the occasion were the cutting of the anniversary cake and unveiling, as well as presentation of a large frame that captures his numerous activities as head of FJDP.