On a day like this (My One-Year Anniversary as a Catholic Priest of the O.M.I), the only thing that can have meaning in my head is saying Thank You! Saying thank you first to God, who started this good work in me. Thank you to my parents, who agreed to give birth to me in a world where not every child is entitled to be born. Thank You to my family, who loved me and taught me how to love. It was in this family I learned the value of love and life. Thank you to this family who taught me how to fight for my right, appreciate what I have, and accept not having what I cannot have because I cannot have it. Thank you to every member of this family of eleven who has made me understand better the Igbo Adage: «Otu nne n’amu ma otu chi anaghi eke» – Each child, even though from the same mother, is unique. Thank You to these seven soldiers and four Amazons that made up my family, for by your love and respect, I have learned how to love and respect humanity and the cosmos. I love you all.
Thank you to my relatives, who have made me who I am in one way or another. I lack words to express my heartfelt gratitude. To all my primary and secondary school classmates, I Thank You earnestly. You were all instrumental in my formation.
Thank you very much to my formators, both in Minor Seminary and in Scholasticates. If not for your instructions and care, maybe I would not have endured to the end.
And to my friends and well-wishers, I say, Thank You. Thank You for accepting me as your friend. Thank You for allowing me to love you and for loving me. In hard moments, your love reassures me of a better tomorrow. Thank You for you give me every reason to forge ahead. Thank You for accepting my caprice and shortcomings. Thank You for being You.
And to my dear Oblate brothers, I say a bigger thank you. You have been my immediate family since I started my formation. And since then, I have always spent 95% of my time among you. We have come to overcome our differences. Our different points of view of the world did not prevent us from loving those to whom we were sent.
Finally, Thanks to You who are reading this post. All I have written here without you would have fallen on a stone. If you ask me what I have learned in this one year, I would say that I have learned to start afresh every day.
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Ali C. Nnaemeka, O.M.I (Oblate of Mary Immaculate)