Bishop Godfrey Onah of Nsukka Catholic Diocese has charged newly ordained priests to serve God willingly without looking for monetary or material benefits.
Onah gave the charge on Saturday at St. Theresa’s Catholic Cathedral, Nsukka, during the ordination of 15 new priests.
He said the only way they would gain God’s favour, blessings and salvation was to submit themselves completely to God.
“It’s unfortunate that these days many priests and pastors think more of financial and material benefits instead of a dedicated service in God’s vineyard.
“I charge you to completely submit yourselves to the service of God if you want him to grant all your hearts’ desires.
” Serve God willingly because you know God knows the heart of everybody and no one can deceive Him.”
He advised them to pray always so as to defeat Satan and his agents.
“The fact that you have been ordained priests does not mean temptation will not come your way; but with constant prayer, you will defeat every temptation.”
The bishop commended their parents for donating their children to work in God’s vineyard and urged them to continue to support and pray for them since without God they can do nothing.
“I commend parents, siblings and friends of these priests for their prayers and sacrifices to ensure that today becomes a reality.
“I also commend teachers and priests who prepared them in junior and senior seminary schools as well as all the people who contributed in one way or the other to ensure that their ordination becomes a success,” he said.
In an interview with Rev Fr Thomas Onuh, one of the newly ordained priests, he expressed appreciation to God who made it possible for him to be ordained priest.
“I will forever remain grateful to my Lord Jesus Christ who, in spite of my unworthiness, called me to become his priest.
“Today is one of my happiest days in life when the dream of becoming a Catholic priest has become a reality,” he said.
No fewer than 250 priests, 400 seminarians, reverend sisters among others attended the ordination service.