Last Sunday, Sept. 8, was the Rev. Joseph Ikegbunam’s three-year anniversary of leaving Nigeria. At the beginning of his homily, he told us about his journey from Nigeria to Vermont.

When the archbishop asked him if he had ever been on a pilgrimage, Fr. Joseph thought he might be sent to Jerusalem for a week. Instead, he was told that he’d go to Vermont, USA, to work there. That scared him badly, especially after he read that Vermont has a predominantly white population, and he had never been out of Nigeria before.

However, he said, since he arrived here, he has encountered much kindness and love from the people he met.

In last week’s Gospel reading (Luke 14:25-33), Jesus lays down the conditions for being his disciple. Fr. Joseph said that, to become Jesus’s true disciple, we must place him above everything else in our life — family, friends, work, money. He said we can’t pick and choose which of Jesus’s rules are convenient for us to follow. If we want to be true disciples, we have to accept all of his conditions and take the first step today by following his example no matter what the circumstances of our life are.

Mass schedule Sept. 13–19: Friday 9 a.m.; Saturday 4 p.m.; Sunday 8 and 10:30 a.m.; Thursday 9 a.m.. More information: mostholy namevt.org, 802-888-3318 (parish office, Mon-Fri, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.), holysaints@comcast.net.

— Shannara Johnson

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