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New priest remembers spiritual father at ordination


The ordination of Nigeria-born Rev Peter Emmanuel as priest of the Kingstown diocese was likened to a “gift” to the diocese from Fr Angus Fraser VC, founder of  the Via Christi Society from which Fr Peter emerged.

It was not only Fr Fraser’s desire that Fr Peter become a priest before his death, but he wanted to ensure that because he (Fr Fraser) gave to Nigeria, that Nigeria should also contribute to St Vincent and the Grenadines.

A 2013 St Mary’s College Hall of Fame inductee, Fr Angus Fraser VC died in London on October 7, 2018. Born in St Vincent in 1931, he was ordained a Spiritan priest in Dublin, Ireland in 1957. The following year he was appointed to the Spiritan Mission in Nigeria. He was founder of the ‘Via Christi’, a pious association of lay men out of which was formed an association of priests.

Fr Peter’s ordination took place on the Feast Day of St Maximilian Kolbe, Saturday, August 14 at the Cathedral of the Assumption.

Giving his remarks after being ordained, Fr Peter shared he wanted his ordination date as October 7, the date of Fr Fraser’s death, “but some people will say that’s too far”.

Fr Peter is the third son born to his parents on January 15, 1985. Growing up together with his seven siblings, his life as a child revolved around the rosary, crusades, and daily Masses, activities his parents insisted they partake in as they were a devout Catholic family.

The daily routine of prayer, Bible study and devotion formed an integral part of his childhood and attracted him so much so that he decided to become an altar server. At age 8, he had already learned the discipline of fasting.

Fr Peter would often say it was the death of his mother on January 11, 1998, that made him realise fully the importance of becoming immersed and spiritually rooted in Christ.

He told those gathered, “When I met Fr Angus Fraser, everything about my life changed. The connection that exists between Angus and I was one purpose—the pursuit of holiness…. My parents planted the seed of what I am today, but Fr Angus nourished that seed before he died.”

Following Fr Fraser came with a lot of joy and sadness, he said. Fr Peter recalled that on the night before he left the Via Christi Society, he asked God what would become of him. “And I could hear Him say this clearly to me: ‘You will suffer, but my graces will be enough to purify you for what task I’m preparing ahead’.”

Fr Peter asserted that as the spirit of God dwells in him, he will continue the legacy of his spiritual father.

On August 6, 2020, Bishop County ordained Trinidad-born Fr Collin Jackson to the priesthood. One year later, he shared his pleasure to be ordaining another to the priesthood. “But I’m looking for a Vincy son,” he said.

The ordaining prelate underscored that it was not just a red-letter day for Nigeria, but one for the Kingstown diocese, and reminded the newly ordained that the missionary disciple brings with him God’s love.

Bishop County challenged Fr Peter to keep St Maximilian Kolbe as his guide and model. “Your whole life must become an act of love. When your life becomes an act of love, as a disciple you become an instrument of God’s life, grace, and peace. Allow to flow through you what has been poured through you, that is God’s love.”