|"Wherever you see a successful business,
someone else made a courageous decision."
Rev. Fr. Pat
BUT WHO IS HE?
Born a twin, I was the fifth of seven children of my parents. I had my primary education at Otuocha and Nimo,
respectively, both in Anambra State in South-eastern Nigeria.
I embraced an early vocation to enter the priesthood and so undertook my secondary education at St. Dominic
Savio Seminary, Akpu, and St. John Bosco Seminary, Isu aniocha, for a period of six years. Ultimately, I matriculated at
the Seat of Wisdom Major Seminary, Owerri, and in October, 1991, I graduated, with honors, with a philosophy major.
Upon completing my studies, my diocesan bishop, Simon Okafor, requested that I teach in the Minor Seminary: a
job executed simultaneously while I served in the office of public relations. This experience was a dream realized
because, I believe that “He that shares knowledge learns twice”.
The end of the academic year saw my return to the Seat of Wisdom Major Seminary for another four years of
active studies in Theology, at the end of which I received BD (Bachelor of divinity) from same Urban University,
Rome. Upon graduation (and with a great determination and desire still, to respond to the priesthood), I was
considered worthy enough by the Board of Seminary Formators, and was ordained on the 17th of August, 1996.
My first major assignment, just months after my ordination was as the Vicar of the Diocesan Cathedral Church, a
position of responsibility and trust, that I held for two years, that involved working collaboratively with the diocesan
Bishop, the chief Shepherd of the Diocese of Awka. Being in the Metropolitan city of the Anambra State, hosting
most of the diocesan and State spiritual ceremonies, I was hand-tight with activities. I must acknowledge that the
field was quite a hard ground to cultivate for a young man who had scant experience in the priesthood. But with a
combination of God’s grace and the personal determination to succeed, my efforts were sustained.
Two years of committed service in the Cathedral Church, instead of paving an avenue for an assignment of less
commitment, ushered me right into the Bishop’s office, where I served as assistant secretary to the bishop and the
bursar of the Episcopal household. There and then I confirmed that “the reward of a good job is more jobs”. The
major diocesan celebrations (Chrism Mass, Ordinations, Professions, and Workshops), were organized and financed
from my office. This is a position I held for two years.
At the completion of two years, the Bishop (in collaboration with the board of consultors and diocesan education
board) requested that I travel to the United States, to obtain a licentiate in Theology and Religious Studies and to
study Educational Leadership and Accountability at the doctoral level, at St. John’s University, where emphasis on
academic excellence is combined with all-round human formation. A journey of a million miles begun in 2000 is
nearing its completion.