You couldn’t ask for a better boss whose approach to administration is not the ‘love of power’ but the ‘power of love’
Standing before him that fateful day, some 13 years ago, I should have been jittery but I wasn’t because the aura of gentleness around him subdues the force of power he wields.
I was barely 2 years a priest and got a summon. Ordinarily such occasion should send shivers down the spine of a rookie priest. The archbishop just stood with a smiling face and showed me a text message someone sent to him.
The message was unsparing in lampooning this young ambitious catholic priest who has derailed from the Catholic tradition.
According to the writer, this young priest must be stopped. What’s the crime of this priest? He was preaching the gospel on television. A Catholic priest has no business being on television. It simply means he’s looking for money, fame and popularity. So the archbishop was expected to sanction this young priest
Long story short, after reading the accusations and handing the phone back the archbishop, my trepidation was quickly diffused by his smiles. I thought I was to be axed, but I relaxed rather.
Instead of the archbishop sanctioning me from preaching on Television and Radio, he encouraged me to go on and be sure I preach the right doctrines. He said I wasn’t doing anything wrong. What a sweet music to my ears.
The icing on the cake followed. He asked me how much airtime cost me, I told him and he went in and supported me with 300k. Three hundred thousand naira back then covered for a quarter(13 weeks).
My heart leapt with joy, I didn’t just get exoneration, I got financial remuneration from my boss. This was my biggest motivation to persevere in media evangelisation.
Today I celebrate this priestly prince of the church, a gentle and humble shepherd, a father figure who demystified power and authority. He is very intelligent and yet simple.
Happy birthday baba, my mentor and motivator. May God keep you strong and healthy for the many years you will still be with us. Happy birthday to His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan(J.C.O) from your beloved son, Rev Fr John Chinenye Oluoma( J.C.O)