June 16, 2024
Reflections By Rev. Fr. David Okolie

AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL THE NEWLY ORDAINED PRIESTS

IMG_20231013_005159

– Rev. Fr. David Okolie

Dearest Fr.,

We sincerely thank God for bestowing this Great GIFT of the SACRED PRIESTHOOD on you! Indeed, it was not by your effort, because “nobody takes this honour upon himself” (cf. Heb 5:4). While we sincerely thank God for what he has done, we equally rejoice with you.

Now that God has invited you to also work in his vineyard, I humbly wish to offer you these few words of admonition:

1. Always lean on God and draw your strength from him through FREQUENT PRAYERS (both liturgical and private devotions). Please, let there be no time when you would abandon prayers. Just as a fish cannot survive without water, so also, as a priest, you cannot be FRUITFUL without prayers. Here, the powerful words of two great saints come to my mind; namely: St. John Mary Vianney and St. Teresa of Avila.

According to the former, “One of the first things the devil always does is to make people STOP PRAYING.” Then, according to the latter, “He who OMITS PRAYERS needs no devil to cast him into HELL, he casts himself into it.”

2. With SINCERITY of heart, always LOVE and OBEY God, the Church, your Bishop/Superior and their successors. Remember that at your ordination, you made a promise of OBEDIENCE before God, your Bishop and the people of God; please, do not throw that away in the course of your ministry. In case you do not know, priests who do not obey or who do not SINCERELY obey the Church and their lawful superiors are always uncomfortable; both spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, etc. I am sure that you would not want to suffer the above.

3. Love and cooperate with your fellow priests, the religious and the entire people of God. Please, let this LOVE be motivated by the love of Christ and you can be sure that it would be steadfast and rewarding; both here and hereafter. Always make your own these Pauline words: “The love of Christ COMPELS us” (cf. 2 Cor 5:14). Therefore, always avoid ANYBODY or ANYTHING that would turn away your attention from God and the people of God.

4. Please, struggle daily to uphold lifestyles that are in consonance with your priestly vocation and avoid the ones that contradict it. Remember that you are no longer any guy out there. You are now a PRIEST, whom other young men should look up to as a MODEL. Just take a look at these beautiful words of Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen thus: “Unless the world sees a difference in the places we frequent, in our activities, in the pleasures in which we indulge, in the language we use and in our dress, it will not respect our testimony…” (cf. _The Priest is not His Own_, p. 47). Please, do not be carried away by the craze for the LATEST FASHION; always remember that: ‘you are ADDRESSED the way you DRESS.’

5. Do not forget that, as human beings, we are all very WEAK and so, whenever you fall, do not waste any time to REPENT and then recourse to the Sacrament of CONFESSION. Please, do not just be a MINISTER of the above Sacrament and its twin Sacrament (the Holy Eucharist), but always be a BENEFICIARY of them too.

6. Finally, develop a filial attachment and devotion to our beloved mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Make your ROSARY your companion. Indeed, she has proven to be truly the Mother of Priests and the Help of Christians. Remember that: ‘… never was it known that anyone who fled to her protection, implored her aid or sought her intercession, was left unaided…’

I wish you all the best in your Priestly ministry!

Congratulations on your Priestly Ordination!

You are a priest FOREVER🥰

Cheers…🎻🍷

Remain blessed🙏🏼

contributor
Rev. Fr. David Okolie is a Priest of the Catholic Diocese of Okigwe, Imo State, Nigeria. He is a prolific writer, retreat preacher and social media evangelizer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *