HUMAN INTEREST

19 Years in the Vineyard: The Priesthood to Me is a Gift- Fr Augustine Garba OSA_Francisca Ogar

Some one said do not go where there is a path, go instead where there is no path and create one! Fr Augustine Garba OSA, Parish Priest of St.John of the Cross Parish Maraba is one such person who fearlessly, forges ahead even when many see no way.

Where he not a Priest, I would recommend him for the country Nigeria, as his style of Leadership definitely would be a panacea to the many lingering issues we have.

Walking into his office on a good day, you would see a fine, soft spoken gentleman with a carriage that commands respect . His silence when listening to you could be mistaken for being bought over but make no mistake, in the few years I served as his secretary on the Parish council, I came to learn that he respects you enough to listen and trusts his sense of judgement enough to do what he knows is best though it might not please the majority.

The reforms he has dared to bring about in our small though very large parish of over 6000 adult parishioners with a will of our own and set in our ways are such that not many priests would attempt especially since their stay is but for a time.

Fr. Austin as his fellow priests would call him has left his footprints as an administrator and format or all over St John of the Cross and I am sure years after he leaves, Parishioners would remember the resolute Parish priest who changed the face of the harvest Thanksgiving ,lowered expenditure but tripled income effortlessly.

Where I to try to malign him in this piece, I would find nothing to write so I would rather thank God with him for the privilege of serving in the vineyard for 19 years.

In an early morning mass today to celebrate his anniversary, he demonstrated an outpouring of love for his Sheep with the simple words: ” The priesthood to me is a gift I cherish, I cherish you too my parishioners because you are part of that gift.

For this quiet yet firm Priest from Kaduna, the comfort and well being of his flock is of Paramount importance. This he demonstrated during the lockdown by maintain contact with Parishioners and ministering to their spiritual need as much as he can.

Happy Priestly anniversary Fr. Augustine Garba, grow grey in His service.

You shall be a Priest forever, like Melchizedek of old!

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