ONE YEAR AGO TO-DAY A BLESSING FOR BRISBANE

Exhausted no doubt , and jet -lagged,  six Seminarians upon their arrival in Brisbane from the Diocese of Umuahia, Nigeria on this day, 22nd July, 2012.

A year has passed. a year in which they have settled in and steadily come to know their entirely new surroundings. It can't have been easy for them. They came from a country with a strong cultural heritage and particularly so amongst their own Igbo ( pronounced Ibo as near as we are likely to get it)people. Moreover they come from a strongly intact Catholic culture, of a vigour probably unmatched here,even before the Second Vatican Council.In addition their former Seminary Seat of Wisdom Seminary, Owerri was very large , with well over 500 Seminarians.

So these men for the vineyard gave up a very great deal to come here - and that is without mentioning the fundamental wrench of leaving parents, family and friends and their beloved Country for Christ's sake and the good of the Archdiocese of Brisbane.

During the recent visit of Bishop Lucius Ugorji of Umuahia to his Seminarians in Brisbane, I had the opportunity not only to meet His Lordship - see my Post :http://vexilla-regis.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/brisbane-nigerian-integrity-rules.html, but also each of the above Seminarians . They are a fine group of young men and will make devout and holy exemplary Priests. Two of their brothers a number of years ahead of them, former Deacons Stanley Orji and Ladu Yanga were recently ordained to the Priesthood -see my Post :http://vexilla-regis.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/sons-of-africa-lucky-brisbane-two-new.html
So conspicuously successful has the contribution of Nigerian Priests and Seminarians been that the Diocese of Broken Bay in NSW - a Seminarian - free zone - is exploring the possibility of attracting Priests and Seminarians from elsewhere in Africa : see my Post http://vexilla-regis.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/broken-bay-twilight-shuffling.html

Well Done our friends from Nigeria ! Congratulations on the 1st Anniversary of your arrival in Brisbane! Australia is the better by far for your being here. The welcome you have received in the Parishes and in the contacts you have with ordinary Catholic people here must assure you that you are absolutely welcome in " the Land Down Under" . God Bless each one of you and reward you 100 Fold for your generosity. You are firmly in our prayers.

And Thank You for being here!

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