They join us from Nigeria and belong to the religious order called Society of Divine Vocations, also known as Vocationist Fathers.
The Vocationist Fathers are a religious congregation of priests and brothers founded by Blessed Justin Mary Russolillo sdv, (1891-1955), Italy. The order was founded on October 18, 1920; and has its mother-house at Pianura, which is the province of Naples in Italy.
All three Fathers are from the Igbo tribe, precisely, Imo State. While Fr Christogonus Okoro is from Owerri zone, Frs Christian Onukwugha and Collins Nwokeacha are from Orlu zone.
“As religious, we share our life, and our charism, which means fostering vocations and our spirituality. This is helping all people to attain divine union with the Blessed Trinity by means of universal sanctification of souls,” Fr Christian said.
Frs Christian Onukwugha and Collins Nwokeacha will celebrate their 7 year anniversary of ordination on 21 July, and Fr Christogonus Okoro will celebrate 6 years as a priest on 16 August.
Before being placed in a parish, this year will be spent getting to know Australia and in particular the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
For the remainder of this year, they will undergo a series of basic inductions. These inductions will involve them visiting parishes and living in one place together.
Currently, they are visiting parishes in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Chisholm, and Nelson Bay.
In September, they will move up to Forster and visit the Manning, Gloucester, and Great Lakes regions.
Following this, in October, they will live in Singleton and visit the Upper Hunter and vineyard region.
Every Wednesday from now until November, there is a weekly induction and ministry formation for new clergy. This will cover organisational structures of the Diocese, the function of pastoral ministries, introduction to Diocesan agencies, integrity in ministry, safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, parish life in the Australian context, liturgy and Clinical Pastoral Education.
Look out for them as they visit each parish, and make them feel welcome.