In what appears as Pankshin Diocese to the world, Christians have been charged to eschew the culture of death and seek genuine repentance at a ceremony in Plateau State, North Central Nigeria which attracted nationals from 6 African countries.
This charge was given by the Catholic Bishop of Pankshin Diocese, Bishop Michael Gobal Gokum during the priestly ordination of Reverend Augustine Rotshak Gonsum, of the Missionaries of Africa which held Saturday 9 July, 2022 at Holy Cross Cathedral.
“Abortion and the shedding of blood have become rampant today. TV stations now prioritize crazy programmes as a basis to be accepted. As such, you must be a man of prayer to ask God to change the situation” Bishop Gokum said.
Speaking further, he stated, “Be a good priest to your people and don’t forget to represent us well” he charged the newly ordained.
“Be loyal, spiritual, honest and always available for the people entrusted to your care bearing in mind that as a priest, you are a living sermon” he added.
On the characteristics of a good priest, the Bishop continued, “You must value self defense; be spiritual and hardworking. A good priest is always wanted and sought after. Set yourself as a servant leader and a positive influence to your peers.
“Be active where ever you are sent to even as you try to become a priest, a gentleman and a scholar – the distinctive marks of a priest in the 21st century as underlined by Archbishop Gabriel Gonsum Ganaka of blessed memory. May you find happiness and fulfilment all the days of your life. I pray you celebrate your golden jubilee and be a happy young priest” said he.
He used the occasion to congratulate the new priest just as he expressed appreciation to the parents, siblings, formators, missionaries of Africa and indeed the people of God for supporting the new priest to ascend the altar of God.
He charged the cleric to always “be pleasing to God do by making the Church proud.”
The Bishop seized the opportunity to ask all citizens to fulfill their civic rights saying, “Please get your PVCs. It will determine your future. Go out to vote.”
Bishop Gokum underscored the point that Pankshin is “Diocese on the rock and home to numerous missionaries.”
In his remarks, the Provincial Superior Ghana/Nigeria Province of the Missionaries of Africa, Very Reverend Father John Aserbire prayed for more vocations in the Church while thanking the parents of the new priest for donating him to the Church as well as Bishop Gokum for the warm welcome.
In attendance where priests from Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Ghana, religious from different parts of Africa, Knights and Ladies as well as members of the laity from across Nigeria.
The young priest started his formation programme at Ibadan in 2010, and studied Philosophy in Ghana (2012-2015) and Theology in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire (2018-2022).
He took his missionary Oath on December 10, 2021 and was ordained a Deacon for the society the next day.
Reverend Gonsum is a happy, joyful and responsible man dedicated to his service who likes sports and watching movies.
The humble and intelligent priest who is also a man of relationship enjoys reading and speaks many languages.
At the end, he was posted to the French speaking part of West African, Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso for his mission after ordination.