Ordinands share the stories behind their chalices: Daniel Chinedu Okafor

Daniel Chinedu Okafor

Age: 37

Hometown: Ideani, Anambra State, Nigeria

First priestly assignment: Blessed Trinity, New Orleans

Mass of Thanksgiving:

June 1 at 4 p.m. at Blessed Trinity, New Orleans.

 

Chalice a gift from Mary Queen of Peace KC

Several months ago, the Vocation Office of the Archdiocese of New Orleans sent an email to all New Orleans seminarians who were preparing for ordination to the priesthood,  but who might not have been able to obtain a chalice for their ordination.

I was one of the ones to receive an email from the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Assembly 2922 at Mary Queen of Peace Parish in Mandeville, offering to help provide me with a chalice.

I am truly indebted to Michael Enright, who is a member of Memorial Chalice Committee. The committee raises funds each year to provide a newly ordained priest with a chalice, paten and carrying case. 

Each chalice is presented in memory of deceased members of the assembly.

Mr. Enright told me that since starting the program, the assembly has presented 14 chalices to newly ordained priests.

For the Knights of Columbus to do this is truly awesome and inspiring. We use the chalice to offer the sacrifice of the Mass, and for them to do this for me and for previous deacons is a sign of their participation in the formation of priests.

It’s also a symbolic way of sharing in the eucharistic sacrifice of Christ.

I won’t receive the chalice from the Knights in time for my first Mass of Thanksgiving on June 1 at Blessed Trinity Church, but it is supposed to arrive in July or August. Since I won’t have that chalice, I will use another chalice from the archdiocesan archives.

No sacrifice can be so called without the shedding of blood, and this is true in all religions. That’s why for the salvation of the world, Christ shed his own blood to free us from our estrangement and reconcile us with the Father.

The chalice is the profound representation of this huge sacrifice Christ paid for us all and a constant reminder to me that I’m called to be his follower, even to the point of shedding my own blood for him, his people and his church!

I am excited to serve the people of Blessed Trinity Parish. I graduated from Notre Dame Seminary last year, and I have spent an extended internship in the parish.

I’ve learned so much by journeying with the people and dealing with real-life situations. It’s different from what we do in school, which deals more with the theological principles.

I have seen what people are going through, and I know them.

– Peter Finney Jr.

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