Mbamalu marks 10th priesthood anniversary with family, friends
The entire St Charles College community in Onitsha, Anambra State, was in celebration mood on Sunday, as the principal, Rev. Fr. Vitus Mbamalu, marked his 10th priesthood anniversary. The event, which brought together family members, friends and colleagues of the celebrant, as well as the Ojoto Catholic Community, started with a Holy Mass at the St Charles College Chaplaincy.
Officiating priests at the mass include, Rev. Fr. Alloy Orakwe of Christ the King parish, Onitsha; Rev. Fr. Alfred Okeapor, Lecturer Blessed Tansi Iwene Seminary, Onitsha; Rev. Fr. Pius Ukor of Trinitas Newspaper Onitsha; Rev. Fr. Tochukwu Ibe, the manager Mater Ambilis Sec. School, Umuoji and other clergy, who joined in the thanksgiving service that set the tone for the celebration.
In his homily, Rev. Fr. Alloy Orakwe urged Nigerians to live a good and exemplary life in any environment they find themselves. Reading from Matthew 3vs1 to 12, with the theme Prepare the way for the Lord, he charged Christians to avoid whatever would lead them to evil, saying sin is the cause of problems in our lives.
“Prepare your heart, there’s no time. Always be prayerful because no one knows the hour Christ would come. Christ does not need to see your face or your body, but he sees your heart,” he said.
He charged Christians to love one another, live in peace and pray for the unity of Nigeria, even as he prayed God to continue using Mbamalu to nurture the students put under his care.
Speaking on his experience in the past 10 years, Rev. Fr. Mbamalu said it has not been easy, recalling that everybody in the family now understand why he opted to be a priest.
“It is a very huge experience, I can not describe all, but it was a mixture of good and bad experience, but a balanced experience indeed,” he said.
On how he is coping as the principal of St Charles College, he said, “the challenges include the economic recession; to train students is not an easy task. It demands high moral probity among others.”
He urged every stakeholder, parents and students to make more input in the success of the college, just as he thanked every one, who graced the occasion.
He highlighted some of his achievements to include completion of Rev. Fathers house, building students hostel, building ultra modern classroom, construction of access roads within the school, and building modern laboratory.
While thanking all the teachers, priests and parents for their support, Mbamalu called for more cooperation from all to move the college to the next level.
In separate interviews, members of the family, friends and well-wishers thanked God for using Rev. Fr. Mbamalu to spread the gospel, and called for fervent prayers for him.
On her part, Mrs. Angelina Mbamalu, mother of Rev. Fr. Mbamalu, prayed God to grant him long life, good health and the wisdom to serve humanity, especially the children put in his care.
“It is God that ordains servants to work in his vineyard. Those ordained as Reverend fathers should strictly work to win souls and avoid any act that would tarnish the image of priests,” she said.
Meanwhile, Uchenna Mbamalu, who led other members of the family to the occasion, said God is using the rev. father as a priest spiritually and as a developer of human minds.
“It is because he is a principal of a large school, with a population of up to 2,500 students, whom he controls and ensures discipline among them. He became a hope for parents and hope for students,” he noted.
He described the priest as a disciplinarian of great standard and called for prayers for him by all parishioners, parents and students.
Also speaking, Barr. Dennis Mbamalu described the occasion as the day the Lord has made for the entire family, which calls for rejoicing.
“It calls for joy when one is called to work in Gods’ Vineyard. Our son and brother is called, and today is his 10th year in the vineyard. We are celebrating together that opportunity God gave to him to serve. God is using him to improve lives in the school, he is catching them young,” he said.
Meanwhile, the secretary of St. Charles Chaplaincy, Barr. Ezewudo Benneth, who led other members to felicitate with the celebrant, prayed God to protect him in the cause of doing his work of evangelism and as shepard to the students.
The highlight of the occasion was presentation of dances by some cultural groups, including the Igba Eze Dance group of St Charles College, St. Peters Catholic Church, Enugo Ojoto, Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria and others.