Charles Onyeneke
Charles Onyeneke

Charles Onyeneke will be ordained a transitional deacon as part of his continuing journey to the priesthood by Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger at a Mass and Rite of Ordination at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, on Saturday, May 18, at 11 a.m.

The youngest of seven children, Onyeneke grew up in Imo State, Nigeria. Taught by his parents that the love of Christ in the Eucharist can “annihilate difficulties,” it was this love, he says, “that made me enroll as an altar server as of the age of 11 to be more close with Christ in the Eucharist.”

Driven by a zeal to serve God and minister to others, he began his path to the priesthood in 1998 at St. Peter Claver Seminary, Okpala, Nigeria, receiving degrees in philosophy from both Imo State University, Owerri, and the Pontifical Urban University, Rome. After working as a teacher and Dean of Student Affairs at Father Cloonan Memorial Secondary School, he returned to his own studies, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Imo State University, Owerri, and a Bachelor of Divinity in Theology from the Pontifical Urban University, Rome. He completed a Master of Arts in Theology at St. Leo University, Florida, and is currently working towards a Licentiate in Sacred Theology with a concentration in Moral Theology at Saint Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore.

“For me preparing to become a deacon is preparing to be a minister of the Word of God,” he explains. “I envisage myself as one who will humbly bring the Word of God to His people. The Word that gives life, restores hope to the hopeless, and bring healing to the sick.”