The great saying that “well begun is half done” has always motivated the Seminary family each year when she ushers in a new academic and formation year. This is why the inauguration of the new academic and formation year holds a special place in the program of the Seminary. Here the Seminary family above all, hands over the new academic year into the hands of God while praying for the grace to oversee the activities of the new academic year without encountering many difficulties. The inauguration of the academic and formation year is always a two-day program in the Seminary where the Seminary on the first day welcomes the inauguration prelate first with a novelty football match and formal reception at night and then the inauguration of the academic year proper.
This year’s inauguration was a special one as the Seminary played host to the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, Most Rev. Paulinus Chukwuemeka Ezeokafor. It was also one of its kind as it was the first proper inauguration following the Covid19 pandemic period which put a stop to many things.
This year’s inauguration ceremony started on a high spirit as the officiating prelate and the Seminary family all watched on as the indomitable Lions of Bigard outsmarted St. Mary’s Football Club Uwani Enugu, in a friendly contested football encounter. It was a thing of joy watching the Bigard team come out victorious in an entertaining game that ended 2 goals to 1.
Next was the grand reception of the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, Most Rev. P. C. Ezeokafor. It was grand indeed as the Seminary with numerous displays said a hearty welcome to him. The bishop in his response expressed his heart felt gratitude and thanked the Seminary formators for how they had been managing the affairs of the Seminary in the midst of the pandemic.
The next day began with the inauguration Mass, during which the officiating prelate admonished all the Seminarians never to forget why they were in the Seminary. As such, he advised them all to take their Seminary formation seriously especially the academic, spiritual and pastoral aspect because they are the tools that will assist priests to defend the Church. He reminded all that every priest whether diocesan or religious should be open for mission and be ready to be sent to places where Christianity is still developing
In his welcome address at the occasion, the Rector expressed his Joy and that of the Seminary Seminary because of the presence of the officiating prelate. He appreciated the bishop for making out time to honor the invitation notwithstanding the precarious security situation in Nigeria. He then motivated the students using a short biography of the bishop. He also x-rayed the mélange of awards and prizes that were to be given to the students and at the same time brought to the notice of the bishop that the Seminary would also be sending forth Mr. Charles Ubaka and Mrs. Mary Ubaka during the occasion.
The bishop, Most Rev. P. C. Ezeokafor in his own speech stressed more on the two wings which a Seminarian should fly with during his formation. For him, without academic and spiritual formation, the priest will find it difficult to minister to the people of God. He then appreciated all the donors of the awards to be won and thanked the Seminary formators for the tremendous efforts they were making to see that things were in order.
An inaugural lecture was given by Rev. Fr. Dr. Kingsley Anagolu which centered on “The Dimension and Essence of Relationship in Education: Towards an Authentic Learning for Subjectification.” For him, relationship is an essential part of education since education itself is an encounter of the human with the universe. Thus, man continuously comes in close relationship with God, time, other people and in fact the entire universe. Thus, dialogue and encounter are important tools in education which can enable human beings discover themselves in the environment.
Next was the actual prize-giving ceremony. After congratulating those who were to receive awards and prizes and encouraging the Seminarians to strive harder for better results, the Head of Departments of both philosophy and theology presented the result of the 2020/2021 academic year. The following got respective positions and prizes:
Omaga Paschal 1st Position
Nnebedum Emmanuel 2nd Position
Chigozie Paschal 3rd Position
Nnadi Christian 1st Position
Ikeh Mark 2nd Position
Ejike Valentine 3rd Position
Emengini Cosmas 1st Position
Ugwu Kenneth 2nd Position
Efidi Kingsley 3rd Position
Best three (3) in Scriptures
Emengini Cosmas 1st Position
Ugwu Kenneth 2nd Position
Okoli Constantine 3rd Position
THE HIGHEST LEAP PRIZE
- Okereke Michael
THE BEST STUDENT IN ACADEMICS IN THEOLOGY DEPARTMENT
- Emengini Cosmas
Aso Kingsley 1st Position
Ajaegbu Amobi 2nd Position
Ugwu Francis 3rd Position
Aniekwe Vitalis 1st Position
Edom Kennedy 2nd Position
Cornelius Finan 3rd Position
Uzor JohnPaul 1st Position
Ezeoba Emmanuel 2nd Position
Emeh Paschal 3rd Position
Igwe Michael Highest Leap Award
Igwe Michael Best in Symbolic Logic
Ede Jude Best in Symbolic Logic
Uzor John Paul Overall best in academics
BEST BEHAVED STUDENTS
For the section of the best behaved students, the following were recognized as the best behaved seminarians in their respective classes.
Obetten Johnson Friday Philosophy 1
Oli Daniel Philosophy 2
Obiefuna Peter-Albert Philosophy 3
Felix Solomon Theology 1
Chukwusili Michael Theology 2
Emengini Cosmas Theology 3
OVERALL BEST BEHAVED SEMINARIAN
In general the bishop thanked all those present and appreciated the family of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ubaka for the way they did their work throughout their period of employment by the Seminary. He also thanked the Seminary for the initiative of appreciating them. The occasion came to an end with a closing prayer said by the bishop.