It is a stamp on time; it is history made! Today’s event at Blessed Iwene Tansi Major Seminary, Onitsha is indeed historic: Today marks the official inauguration of the 2022/2023 Academic and Formation year. It is the first inaugural outing of the inaugural prelate Most. Rev. Dr. Peter Chukwu the Catholic Bishop of Abakiliki diocese here in Tansi Seminary. Certain activities however decorated this day:
First was the celebration of the Holy Mass; the votive Mass of the Holy Spirit within which the presiding/inaugural prelate declared the 2022/2023 academic year open. His reflective homily urges us to set our priorities right as in the case of the blind beggar, Bartimaeus in the gospel. Thus he insists that “we must know the right request to make” in the decisive moments of our lives. Thus, in the spirit of the inaugural Mass, he “proposes that we ask for the Holy Spirit” for “the Holy Spirit is the agent of formation.” He also urges us to watch against “the heresy of activism.” Thus, he said, while we are working hard, we “must have time to pray. If not, sooner or later your work will degenerate into social work.” Indeed, our minds were stirred and challenged.
In the next quarter of the occasion after the Rector’s address, our eyes and minds searched to hear the Head of departments Rev. Fr. Dr. Gregory Nwachukwu to roll out the list of seminarians who would be ‘crowned.’ Before he began however, he quoted St Augustine that “the study of theology is made to lead students to grow in faith.” In this way, he points that academic theological excellence must reflect and show in the growth of faith. Thus, it must transform and reform seminarians. It is on this ground that our hymns and chants of congratulations littered the atmosphere, honoring the many seminarians who significantly made academic feats.
The inaugural lectures by Rev. Fr. Dr. Sylvester Ugwu followed at once. Fr. Ugwu who is an authority in moral studies presented the paper: “Towards Sustainable Justice and Peace in Nigeria through Respect for the Human Person.” In it he established that justice is the necessary foundation for peace. If you want peace prepare for justice.
Finally, the inaugural prelate appreciated the Rector Rev. Fr. Dr. Fabian Obi and his team of formators for the impressive and godly work they are doing. He gave his testimonies of his experience(s) with the Alumni of Blessed Iwene Tansi Seminary, Onitsha whose work and dedication are too loud to be ignored. At the end, he gave us his blessings, and with music we led him unto the roads pouring our prayerful wishes on him.
HOMO VIVENS GLORIA DEI