I have often seen my dad in my dreams; my waking up dreams, I mean; and such dreams have great significance. This past Monday morning I saw Papa, had some dialogue with him. When I told him of my recent "vocation within a vocation" thoughts, he did not respond either way - support or disapproval.  I woke up.  I could fill the blanks.  I recall that by the time I finished from High School he had secured  a job for me, within the Department of Posts and Telecommunications where he worked then at the Yaba, Lagos office.  I "disappointed" him for not towing his line and deciding to go for the Catholic Priesthood.  In January 1972 I began pivotal teaching/prefecting at the Holy Ghost Juniorate, Ihiala. Soon after I felt a calling to a Contemplative Order and by June of same year I was admitted into the newly founded "Our Lady of Mount Calvary Monastery, Awhum, Enugu, under Very Rev. Fr Abraham Ojefua (of blessed memory). Ill health discontinued this cherished Contemplative vocation: then Postulant Director, Very Rev. Fr Mark Ulogu, O.C.S.O, told me to go home, get treated and come back if I wished to. However, I could not get back after due medical attention because my Parish Priest at the time, Very Rev. Fr Simon Okeke advised me to get into an active religious life first, and later go to a Monastery if I still feel called. He said: "I see your illness more as a psychological illness than physical, you did not go through the discipline of a minor seminary where you have times set out for spiritual reading, meditation etc.; jumping from a Catholic High School into a Contemplative Monastery is a big leap...."  This I obeyed and continued my formation when I joined the young Congregation of Sons of Mary, Mother of Mercy (S.M.M.M) in 1975.  After my 1st Religious Profession in October 1976, I began Philosophy in September 1977.  I was ordained on August 23, 1986 as a Diocesan Priest of Okigwe.  Today, by God's grace, the wish and desire to get back into the Monastic Life is burning in me. I continue to pray for more light from the Holy Spirit. 
It is very clear: at least to my finite mind, that the Omnipotent, Omniscient One, God, could not/did not save us without Mary’s vital role: so I got 'madly' in LOVE with this special WOMAN in our Salvation History. My Priesthood is a special call from God, sensed at the early age of 7. I grew up to love Mother Mary: SHE IS THE WORLD TO ME. She is the Mother of the PRIEST. We have only ONE PRIEST in the whole wide world – Jesus Christ – the Priest, the Altar, the Victim and the Sacrifice. Without any admixture, it was Mary’s blood in the Incarnate Word that was shed on the Cross for our salvation and redemption. For this reason, Holy Mother Church calls Mary “co-redemptrix” or co-redeemer. That explains briefly why, after God, I owe my priesthood and whatever good I have done, to Mother Mary – Mother of all Priests of Her Son – The PRIEST, Jesus Christ. Let us hang on to Mary; love, cherish and honour her. She will surely and certainly lead us to Jesus Christ, The Priest, Redeemer and Sanctifier.


Once Upon a Day

Once upon a day, I encountered a Veteran in my place of work. This 28 year old man was fascinating in sharing his faith and practice.  This friend of mine, B.U.  is a Veteran of the U.S. Army. He was born and raised a member of the 1st Century Gospel Church.  He shared historical facts with me. From him I learnt that Faith Tabernacle Congregations  were originally the same Church that later split in 2, evidently due to some personal issues from those at the helm of leadership. "Today these two Churches share the same faith culture, doctrine and practice" he said. As a little boy, growing up we use a small foot path near a Faith Tabernacle Congregation Church (FTC) in our village while going to school or Church.  The Church has evidently a foreign Architectural design with concrete walls.  People who attend this Church were known for one thing, THEY DO NOT TAKE MEDICINE TO GET WELL. They believe in FAITH HEALING; they believe God will heal them.  Today, from this Veteran friend of mine, B.U., I got further insight into these Churches, though divided in name, remain same in fundamental doctrines and practices. For instance, the modesty of their women: no make-ups or other external ornamentation and cosmetics common with modern day ladies/women; no pants (trousers); only skirt and blouses etc. Their female folk could work until they get married; once married, only the husband works and she stays home full time, taking care of the entire family. Seems a "take it or leave us alone" issue.  In my opinion, this is an ideal family. We are all aware that the FAMILY is the first in everything - society, Church, hospital and/or pharmacy, school, restaurant, government etc. Without the family, described in the Catholic Church as the DOMESTIC CHURCH, nothing else counts. For an instance:  if we have troubled/dysfunctional families, the entire edifice in/of society crumbles and goes to the birds. If we have stable and functional families, then we have a stable and functional society, Church, government etc. (This article I feel should be a WORK IN PROGRESS, as I continue to get facts and feed them, in here)