THE FIRST NIGERIAN PALLOTTINE PRIEST
On this day being 14th of August 2010, was the priestly ordination of Rev. John Ndidi Nwaocha SAC by His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Anthony J. Obinna, the catholic archbishop of Owerri Archdiocese. The holy mass began at 9:00am at Assumpta cathedral Owerri. The cathedral was filled with family members, Rev. Sisters, relatives, friends and well wishers, also friends from Federal Polytechnic Oko. The regional Superior Rev. Fr. Bruno Ateba SAC was also present together with some other Pallottine priests; from Cameroun, Rev. Fr. Joseph Jules Nkodo SAC, from Germany, Rev. Fr. Bernard Weiss SAC and Rev. Br. Bert Meyer SAC (secretary of missions of the Sacred Heart province). Also present was Rev. Fr. Peter Hillen SAC, the rector of Nigerian Pallottine community and Rev. Fr. Sostene Abolo SAC, the postulant master and the postulants from Mbaukwu. Rev. Fr. Martin Ezeokoli was also present. He came all the way from Austria for the ordination. He was the one who introduced Rev. John to the Society of Catholic Apostolate (the Pallottines) in 2002. The archbishop in his homily, made known the duty of a priest as a servant of God and also a servant of the people of God. He also urged the newly ordained to take up the work of evangelization with humility, love, patience and hardworking. Above all, the archbishop advised him to remain always in union with God, so that in time of difficulties, God will come to his aid.
The next day being 15th August 2010, Rev. Fr. John Ndidi Nwaocha SAC celebrated his first solemn mass and thanksgiving at his home parish; Christ the King Catholic Church Umuoba, Imo State. Fr. John was introduced to the Pallottines by Rev. Fr. Martin Ezeokoli in the year 2002. He did his postulancy at Merrival in South Africa, after which he had his philosophical studies at St. Joseph's theological institute, Cedera South Africa. After his philosophical studies, he had his novitiate at Holy Trinity novitiate at George Western Cape in South Africa, after which he returned to St. Joseph's theological institute for his theological studies. Towards the end of the mass that is before the final blessing the regional superior Rev. Fr. Bruno Ateba SAC, gave a vote of thanks to Fr. John's family, his formators in South Africa, the Sacred Heart Province of Germany and Austria, also to all the benefactors and benefactress that supported in the formation of the first Nigerian Pallottine Priest. In conclusion, Rev. Fr. John Ndidi Nwaocha SAC will stay in Mbaukwu as a formator.
Pater Bruno ATEBA, SAC