A Talk with Father Maurice Emelu
St. Brother Andre’s Faith Development Council hosted a guest speaker, Father Maurice Emelu, Tuesday afternoon. Father Maurice Emelu is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu in Nigeria. He has accomplished many endeavours in his service to God. He is the founder and chair of Gratia Vobis ministries, Inc., a non-profit organization for the Media Evangelization and charity apostles with its headquarters in California, USA. Father Maurice is a published author of two books — Scaling the Heights and Word for a Wounded World — as well as developed a weekly television series for the Catholic Television Network entitled “ The Faith with Father Maurice.”
At first, all the students attending this event were all scattered around the cafetorium, expecting Father Maurice to talk on the stage. Instead, Father Maurice invited us to gather our chairs around him in front of the stage to form an intimate group with him.
After a brief introduction, Father Maurice played a video that documented his recent travels in different parts of Africa. He was accompanied by people of all ages, genders, and nationalities. They witnessed the bright colours of the African culture and the beautiful nature that surrounded Father Emelu and his colleagues. The students were immediately engaged with the African music in the background as well as giving the students a new perspective of the Catholic Church. The churches in Africa are beautifully designed, painted with warm colours, and can hold at least a thousand people which accounted for its large size.
Father Maurice compared the difference between Church of Africa and our church in Canada in terms of their offertory processions. He acted out how we position ourselves in Church by sticking his arms to his side with his back erect which resulted in a few giggles. Father Maurice told us that people who carry the gifts in the offertory procession go up in a sacred and uniformed dance. The reason is: “ The Gospel is good news. It brought an end to segregation. It brings joy and it brings freedom.”
Father Maurice had been a priest for 10 years and he chose this sacred profession because: “I fell in love with God.” As he was growing up, he saw how priests can talk with many people and how they positively impacts many lives. Father Emelu admired the opportunity to spread the good news of the Catholic Church and decided to respond to God’s call.
After his lecture and a few questions from the students, everyone joined hands with their heads bowed in prayer. He sang a beautiful hymn and then gave every person a blessing. The most important subject he touched on was the dilemma that all high school students are in: finding our career and working towards a bright future. Father Maurice gave us one simple piece of advice: be consistently positive because when you have faith in Jesus, everything will work out fine.