Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has stressed the need for the laity to honour and care for the priests who have offered themselves as living sacrifice for the service of God.
Diri gave the admonition while addressing christians at a priestly and diaconate ordination mass organized by the Catholic Diocese of Bomadi at St Patrick’s Parish, Ovom, Yenagoa.
The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, described genuine clergymen as an asset to the society whose services contribute to the spiritual and moral wellbeing of the people.
Diri said the challenges facing ministerial priests are quite enormous and therefore they should be supported in terms of prayers and material gifts.
He used the opportunity to once more thank Bayelsans and men of God for their prayers and support to the present administration that culminated in its electoral and numerous court victories.
Speaking in his personal capacity, the Deputy Governor congratulated the newly ordained priests and deacons on their successful ordination and enjoined them to be faithful in the service of God.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo restated his call on residents in the state not to treat the second wave of COVID-19 with levity but rather comply with the various preventive measures such as wearing of face masks, regular hand washing as well as maintenance of social distance.
In his address, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bomadi, Most Reverend Hyacinth Egbebo charged the newly ordained clerics to see their calling as a privilege that requires utmost dedication and sacrifice.
Bishop Egbebo, who stressed the need for the people to be law abiding and support the state government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, explained that the ordination mass was shifted from the Bomadi Cathedral to St Patrick’s Parish Yenagoa for want of space.
In his homily titled, “The Call to Holiness and Challenging Ministry in the Life of the Catholic Priest”, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Lokoja, Kogi State, Most Reverend (Dr) Martin Dada Olorunmola urged the clergy to make spiritual and moral rectitude their watchword.
Bishop Olorunmolu told the new priests and deacons that, by their ordination, they have been consecrated to live a life of holiness and integrity in a world of rising corruption, immorality.and socio-economic challenges.
Highpoint of the event was the laying on of hands on three newly ordained reverend fathers, Five deacons and the investiture of thirty catechists by Bishop Egbebo.