For the Catholic faithful of Bauchi, 3 October, 2015 is another glorious day in the history of Bauchi Diocese as Reverends Yohanna Chongwomda Irmiya and Raphael Chukwuka Agbata were ordained as priests to further aide in spreading the gospel of Christ.
The two Priests were recently ordained by the Bishop of Yola Diocese, Most Reverend Stephen Dami Mamza at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Evangelist, Bauchi, amidst a mammoth crowd that turned out to witness the historic event.
Bishop Mamza in his homily at the ordination Mass of the two Priests charged the newly ordained priests to be faithful stewards in the discharge of their vocation and reminded them to dedicate themselves to the service of God both in good and difficult times.
According to him, “Sick call is an essential part of the priestly ministry. A priest is expected to be ready 24/7 to attend to the sick’’, insisting that the new clerics must not be found wanting in giving pastoral care.
Bishop Mamza admonished the young priests to be prayerful, forthright and be available to the people of God noting that obedience is at the heart of the vows a priest takes at ordination and called on Christians to support the new Reverend Fathers with prayers and their other needs.
The highpoint of the ordination ceremony was a reception organized in honour of the new priests at the secretariat complex which featured cutting of cake by the ordinands, musical rendition by Ndigbo Women, drama presentation by Holy Childhood Association members of the Cathedral and presentation of gifts by family members and Christians.
However, the ordination ceremony attracted priests, religious and members of the laity from Gombe, Bauchi, Plateau, Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Yola, Benue and the Federal Capital Territory – Abuja who came out en mass to witness the priestly ordination of the two new priests and identify with Bauchi diocese for this feast.
One of the newly ordained Priests, Reverend Father Yohanna Chowmwomda was born on the 1st October, 1979 to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Tsamani Sarauta and Na’omi in Sara-Kasa, Bogoro local government area of Bauchi state.
He began his educational pursuit at Marti Primary School in 1988 to 1989, Sara Primary School.Tudun Primary School, Bogoro from1992 to 1994.
His pastoral journey however commenced at Saint John Vianney Minor Seminary in Barkin Ladi local government area of Plateau state from October 2nd 1995 to July 1998 and completed his Secondary School educational pursuit at Government Secondary School in Bogoro from 1999 to 2001. He began his spiritual year in October 3rd 2005 at Centre, Bare, Numan, Adamawa state.
He enrolled into Saint Augustine Major Seminary in Jos Plateau state and graduated in 2014, and was happily ordained as a priest in the Bauchi Catholic Diocese, which comprises of Bauchi and Gombe states.
Irmiya enjoys playing football, jogging chatting and reading as hobbies and wears a permanent smile on his face.
While Reverend Father Raphael Chukwuka Dibia Agbata is the first child of Mr. and Mrs. John Okonkwo Agbata’s family and born on 24th March.
The then little Raphael, enrolled into D.O. Rabo Primary School in Gombe State in September, 1988 and obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1995.
He then proceeded to All Saints’ College and spent few years there and the desire for educational eminence backed up by proper moral formation then took him to Saint John Vianney Minor Seminary, Barkin Ladi in 1998 where he studied and acquired his Junior Secondary School Certificate and the West African Senior School Certificate in 2001 and 2004 respectively.
His initial years of formation took him to the Spiritual Year Centre in Bare, Adamawa State in 2005 and proceeded to Saint Augustine’s Major Seminary in Jos, for his philosophical studies. After three years of academic sojourn in philosophical tutelage, he bagged a Baccalaureate Degree from the prestigious Urbanian University, Rome.
Between October, 2010 and May 2014, he was sent back to Saint Augustine’s Major Seminary, Jos, to study for theology and while in the seminary, he served as Social Prefect, Taberna Prefect and Games Prefect and Security Prefect.
He was ordained a Deacon on the 5th of January, 2014. Raphael enjoys playing football, listening to good music, making fun and caring for the needy and a very jovial and approachable gentleman.