Ordination 2020: An outburst of celebrated bliss

Precisely on the 11th of July 2020, in a time like never before in the history of mankind, the joy that flooded the SMA House of Formation Bodija could not be truncated by the effects of the dreaded Corona Virus (Covid-19) pandemic. It so happened that the Society of African Missions (SMA) was blessed with the ordinations of 4 deacons and 5 priests who are all students of the prestigious Saints Peter and Paul Major Seminary (Great Bodija) in Ibadan – Nigeria.

The deacons ordained were Rev. Denu Pascal, SMA (Nigeria), Rev. Chewe Nweshi, SMA (Zambia), Rev. Etse Mathias, SMA (Togo) and Rev. Ramde Emmanuel, SMA (Burkina-Faso). Those raised to the Order of Presbyter includes Rev. Fr. Tsereku Sesugh Sunday, SMA (Nigeria), Rev. Fr. Amos Quansah, SMA (Ghana), Rev. Fr. Sinwenon Bertrand, SMA (Benin), Rev. Fr. Partrice Mayamba, SMA (DR. Congo) and Rev. Fr. Thia Yao Francois, SMA (Ivory Coast).

The liturgical ceremony which was the essence of the celebration was anchored by the ordaining prelate Most Rev. (Dr.) Francis Adesina, Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Diocese who also doubles as the former Rector and Formator of all the ordained. Also, in attendance was His Grace, the Archbishop of Ibadan, Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel Leke Abegunrin whose presence gracefully added more taste to the Apostolic character of the liturgical ceremony. Next in hierarchy were priests who came in their number, and not leaving out male and female religious from various congregations, families, friends and supporters of the ordained and the SMA in general whose presence embellished the occasion. It germane to mention that the pulchritude of the liturgy was amplified by sonorous melodies from the combined choirs of the SMA seminarians, the OLA novices and the prestigious choir of St. Leo’s Parish, Challege – Ibadan.

The terminus of the Liturgy set the atmosphere for a social evening as the weather smiled resplendently in favour of the occasion. Great was the number of the crowd that one would wonder if the people by their avalanche of attendance were expressing their personal vendetta towards the pandemic situation as they doggedly overcame all odds to make it for the day’s celebration. Thank God the formation house made adequate preparation to cater for the excess number of guests who came to felicitate with them.

For the ordained from other parts of Africa, although in Nigeria, each of them felt a taste of his homeland as they took turns to dance and gyrate with their families and friends to the musical tunes of their home culture. It was an exceptional experience of ‘home away from home’. In fact, a guest could not curtail the joy in silence but had to exclaim thus, “the whole of Africa has come to this small but Great-Bodija! How I love this experience!” After much show of solidarity, fraternity and an avalanche of shared wines and sumptuous meals, the program which was estimated to have lasted between 10am and 5pm, came to a close with the closing prayer and benediction by Rev. Fr. Bertrand Sinwenon, SMA.

While it is germane to congratulate all those ordained, their provinces and the SMA family in general, it is also noteworthy to succinctly mention, appreciate and congratulate Very Rev. Fr. Benedict Tinka, SMA (the Superior of the Formation House) and his formation team on the blissful occasion. Much thanks also to the seminarians, all benefactors, the worshipping community, the SMA support group and youth for their effort in making the day a success.

God bless SMA House of Formation, Bodija!
God bless the SMA Family!!
God bless the Holy Mother Church!!!

Written by:
Joseph Enemari
SMA student