On Thursday December 13, 2018, the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the priestly ordination of His Eminence, Francis Cardinal Arinze. The Eucharist celebration which will be presided over by the Cardinal will be co-celebrated by about 50 Nigerian bishops and Cardinals and over 500 priests at the Basilica Square, Onitsha. The Mass starts by 10 am.
Cardinal Arinze was ordained in Rome on the 23rd November, 1958 by an Armenian Cardinal, Gregorio Cardinal Pietro Agagianian very early in the morning.
After his ordination, he engaged in Further Studies both in Rome and London, taught in the Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu and worked as the Education Secretary in the then Eastern Nigeria before he was appointed by the Holy Father, Pope Saint Paul VI as the coadjuctor Archbishop of Onitsha in 1965, seven years after his ordination.
Thus, at 32 he participated in the last session of Vatican Council II as the youngest bishop in the whole world.
In these 60 years, Cardinal Arinze’s life has been marked with deep prayer life, uncommon self discipline and restraint, total dedication to God and absolute and never-seen-before trust in divine providence.
He manifests this in his willingness to suffer even though innocent for the sake of peace, unity and progress without self-defence. His total dedication to God and to his work has attracted a lot of good will across the globe for him, no wonder faithful American and Anglophone Catholics seriously wanted him as the Pope.