When asked how he feels about his 25th anniversary, Father Akalue said with a laugh, “I’m old.” Joking aside, Father Akalue is proud to have been born and raised in Nigeria where he began his providence to enter the priesthood, but he calls Palm Bay home now.
“I am grateful to God for His priesthood,” said the parochial administrator of Our Lady of Grace Parish. With a track record that includes a master’s degree in theology, publishing of his first book, and regularly appearing on Divine Mercy Radio to discuss New Catholic Apologetics, Father Akalue has shown his appreciation for his opportunities.
However, the road to profess God’s Word wasn’t the projected plan for Father Akalue. Early on he wanted to become a teacher and have a family. By 19, the call from the Lord came in the form of a clear whisper from an open window, asking “Can you go?” Father Akalue answered God’s question and never looked back. Quoting John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so whatever you ask the Father in my name He may give you.”
Now, Father Akalue is confident serving the Lord is his destiny. Stay “open to the spirit of God” is his advice for others looking to enter the priesthood, but who may hold some reservations. “God changed the plan,” he said, referring to his youthful desires. He knows very well of the possible trajectory his own life could have taken if it weren’t for God’s call to “one flock and one shepherd.” He wishes to continue relaying the positivity of the Church, much like his idol, St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
During his 25 years as a priest, his “love for Jesus” and “love of Scripture” has driven his desire to continue the teachings of the Catholic Church since his Ordination in 1994. Father Akalue doesn’t just instruct from the pulpit, but has created various outlets. His 2006 book, “The True Church of Christ – A Theological Discernment of God’s Will for His Church,” covers numerous aspects within the faith and especially, “God’s covenant with people.” Since 2007, he has been the coordinator for the African Catholic Community of the Diocese of Orlando. Still going strong for the past six years, his radio broadcast further allows followers of Christ to hear about salvation through the Lord’s teachings. He is also most proud of his younger brother who decided to follow in his footsteps and become a priest as well.
By Jean Gonzalez and Maurice Beaulieu of the Florida Catholic – March 2019
Chrism Mass – April 17, 2019
Bishop Noonan invites all the faithful to join the celebration of the Chrism Mass on April 17, 2019 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The Mass will be livestreamed via Facebook Live (https://www.facebook.com/orlandodiocese/) and http://live.orlandodiocese.org/. During the Mass, Bishop Noonan will consecrate the holy oils used in Sacraments and other celebrations during the year, priests will renew their priestly commitment and jubilarian priests celebrating 25 and 50 years anniversaries of Ordination will be honored.