‘Happy are those who are chosen by God…’ Psalm65:4
This indeed was manifested in the life of Monsignor Anthony Akinola Olawumi, a dedicated, loyal, obedient and respectable priest of the Catholic diocese of Oyo who clocked 50 years in the Lord’s Vineyard on 20th December, 2020. The celebration was made in an elaborate manner on Friday, 25th June, 2021 at St. John the Baptist, Catholic Church, Isalu Iseyin.
Rev. Fr Augustine Famoriyo in his homily while thanking God for Monsignor’s life in the last 50 years as a priest recounted that the Sacrament of the Holy Order is a divine gift because Christ himself is the Priest and the Sacrificial lamb who in His righteousness has chosen to share this with the mankind and Monsignor was given the same gift 50 years ago.
The Priesthood differs significantly from all the vocations because of the duties and call attached with it and which he said Monsignor Anthony had really accepted with perseverance and humility amidst his huddles and travails during his early life. The fact that he has been made to clock 50 years in Priesthood and he is still as agile as that shows the signs of God and His grace amidst us.
Being a priest who had for long worked in the Seminary, Fr said, that had made a whole lot of lives to have been blessed through him, even outside the Seminary and he would never for once want to be praised. Fr pointed Monsignor as a good Role Model especially for the youths and for them to persevere and be patient enough in achieving their set goals.
The Monsignor in his response whole heartedly showed his gratitude to God amidst songs of praises because he had never thought that he would clock 35 in the vocation let alone counting 50 years. He appreciated the efforts of everyone who had graced the occasion, Bishop Michael Fagun who had been with him a day before and Bishop Badejo who has made the occasion a reality with the support of the committee led by Rev. Frs Joseph Adejumo and Joachim Alade, the diocesan priests, the Parishes where he had worked and the entire members of Ile-Bara compound.
Rev. Fr Ferdinand Olabode, the Chairman for the Priests in the diocese in his words of appreciation, acknowledged the presence of the Bishops who were present and those that were represented. Archbishop Abegunrin of Ibadan Archdiocese who was ably represented by Rev. Fr Anthony Ogunyale, the Chief Shepherd of Ijebu diocese, Most Rev Francis Adesina who was also represented by Fr Anthony Ojegba, Rev. Frs Allen Charlie and Benjamin Adeye of the Catholic Diocese of Republic of Benin, the Seminary Authority, Very Rev Fr Anthony Igbekele – the Rector of Seminary of SS Peter and Paul, Rev. Fr Kenneth Adesina – the Dean of Students, Monsignor Emmanuel Yakubu, Very Rev Fr Francis Oladiipo – the Vicar General of Oyo diocese, the Priests, Religious and the entire lay faithful.
To talk about the dog is to talk about the pot with which it was cooked, with this, the Bishop commended Monsignor’s family for their support so far because it really worth it being a Muslim dominated family and for them to have been supportive all awhile despite the religious differencee. He appreciated God and the sacrament of the holy order in Monsignor’s life and all he had done in making the best out of whoever passes through him. Monsignor he said, always reminds him of the other sides of the story, the concerned, correct and the wrong sides of a story.Although he is not an extrovert, he has really achieved alot even in silence, he added.
The Bishop could not hide his joy with the youths in attendance which he thereafter told them to learn the good things and make Monsignor’s life a model to behold!
– Felicia Babajide