Bishop Michael Elue of Issele-uku Diocese has stated that man’s destiny is in the hand of God with His divine will always manifesting in our lives and wherever He wants to use us. His words: “In His wisdom, God has not only foreordained our life and being, but He has also predetermined before our birth what is to our calling upon this earth; and He has accordingly so influenced our origin and our growth in the womb, as to prepare us for what we are to become, and for what we are to accomplish on behalf of his kingdom.”
The bishop made this assertion in his homily at the Episcopal ordination Mass of Msgr. Donatus Ogun OSA, as the new Bishop of Uromi Diocese, held at the St. Anthony Catholic Cathedral, on Saturday, January 30, 2015. He added: “What we would only need to do is to cooperate with the will of God and of his Church, however, minimally, and then God would do his work as usual. As always, our utility will only be measured by our functionality.”
The Episcopal ordination was performed by the Metropolitan of Benin City Province, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, the former local ordinary of Uromi; and attended by a large number of dignitaries including about 35 members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), led by its President, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, the Archbishop of Jos.
Also present was John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, Emeritus Archbishop of Lagos while the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Augustine Kassujja was represented by Msgr. Javier D Fernandez Charges d’ Affares at the Nunciature. Also in attendance were heads of religious congregations in the country including the Prior General of the Order of St Augustine, Most Rev. Fr. Alejandro Anton Moral OSA, priests, religious and Knights of the Church, Catholic lay faithful and dignitaries from all walks of life.
Admonishing the Bishop-elect on the challenges of the episcopate, the homilist noted that the position is one of service and that Bishop Donatus Ogun, OSA would be great only “ because he has been called to be our servant. The quality of the service that he gives us is what we are going to measure his greatness by”. He stated further that the new bishop can only manifest his unconditional and sacrificial love for Christ by feeding God’s lambs , looking after his sheep and feeding his sheep.
Bishop Elue further stated: “We would be living a life of falsehood and of deceit if we fail in this matter. And in any case, one would even have a bigger problem to handle if one fails, which is that, the designs of God can never be frustrated by anybody or any institution and nobody is indispensable in the work of God.”
While outlining the lessons gained from the delay of the appointment of the diocese’s new local ordinary, Bishop Elue said: “I think the greatest of them all is all the sentiments that are summarized in the dictum that God’s time is the best”. While using the readings of the day to explain the roles of the shepherd in the life of the Church and people of God, Bishop Elue called on the priests, religious and lay faithful of the diocese to collaborate and cooperate with their new local ordinary, stressing the importance of giving for accommodation of views, ideas and new style of administration.
In his vote of thanks, Bishop Donatus Ogun OSA expressed his gratitude to all who made his appointment possible and the Episcopal ordination ceremony the huge success it was. He called for cooperation and collaboration from the priests, religious and faithful of the diocese as well as prayers for him and the diocese.
The new local ordinary expressed his commitment to the formation of young people and the importance of unity, reconciliation, justice, the Christian family, formation and the mandate of evangelization in the context of the challenges facing the African continent as outlined by the Holy Father. He also spoke on the country’s political situation calling for peace, cooperation and love among all Nigerians, particularly as the 2015 general elections approaches.