Fr. Nnamdi Moneme: Why I Will Remain an “Adolescent” Priest

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By Fr. Nnamdi Moneme, OMV, Catholic Exchange, July 1, 2020

Fr. Nnamdi Moneme OMV is a Roman Catholic Priest of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary currently on missionary assignment in the Philippines. He serves in the Congregations’ Retreat Ministry and in the House of Formation for novices and theologians in Antipolo, Philippines. He blogs at

Fr. Nnamdi Moneme, OMVIt was a weekend in the last Lenten season and the strict lockdown for Covid-19 had just begun. I could not get my mind off of a friend of our religious community who was lying at home dying from a second massive stroke in a few months. The doctors said there was nothing more they could do for her. No matter how hard and fervently I prayed for her, I could not get my mind off her. I kept on experiencing the nudge of the Spirit to visit and anoint her but I resisted because of the strict lockdown.

I eventually could not ignore the nudge any more. Having taken the necessary precautions, I drove to her home and anointed her around noon on a Sunday. She passed away before midnight that same day. Her sister who was at her bedside said to me later, “It was as if she was waiting for that anointing because her restless mood changed to a peaceful resignation until she passed away peacefully.”

Why did I go to visit the sick and dying woman in a moment of lockdown when there was a red alert for the Covid-19 virus? Well, I reflect on what happened on the day that I was ordained a Catholic priest. On that day, the Holy Spirit imprinted on my soul the indelible character of Christ, the High Priest, the one who took the greatest risk to become one like us to deliver us from the bondage of sin and death and bring us into the Father’s kingdom as His children. By the consecration by this same Spirit, I too could say the words of St. Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20) Jesus speaks of this same Spirit’s freedom in these words: “The Spirit blows where it wills… So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (Jn 3:8) This same Spirit moves us to forget our own safety and take risks for the eternal good of souls. …

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