I am Nnaemeka Marcellinus Emeh (Marcel), the third child and the second son, out of the six children of Mr. Marcel Okoli Emeh and Late Mrs. Cordelia Ekwy Emeh; from Umuogem-Ufuma, Orumba North L.G.A, Anambra state; Nigeria. In June 2018, I was ordained a priest and in August 2018, I was assigned as a Parochail Vicar at Divine Savior Parish in Orangevale, CA.
I was born and brought up in a Catholic family. My vocation to the religious life and priesthood started at a tender age. I recall at 7, I joined mass servers group, which I loved so much. I enjoyed serving at Mass always. My father, who happened to be the Parish Catechist then, encouraged all of us in the family to attend Eucharistic celebration daily. We also pray together as a family before and after meals, morning and night. My family helped to nurture my vocation.
Shortly after my primary (grade) school, I got admitted into the minor seminary (high school). It was during this period that I began to develop a sense of community life. It was my first time, living outside my biological home. In the minor seminary, we were many kids from all over the country. We pray, study, have meals together. Also, we do sports and other activities together. I cherished this communal and fraternal living so much.
This led me into joining the Claretian Missionaries when I graduated from the minor seminary. I spent couple of years with the Claretian missionaries. I had my degree in philosophy and a bit of theological studies with the Claretians. However, after series of meetings and consultations with my spiritual director and provincial superior. We somewhat had mutual agreement of my withdrawal for a proper discernment of my vocation.
During this sabbatical period, I had an opportunity of moving to Rome in Italy. My life in Rome was an independent living. I was working very hard, made lots of money. I enjoyed lots of vacations; I was opportune to travel around the globe. However, at a point I started having the desire of going back to the religious life. I still remember one of my dreams, I was seeing myself in a white garment standing at the pulpit and preaching to the crowd. Even when I tried to dissuade and remove it from my mind, it kept coming strongly. I remember going to talk it over with an Italian Franciscan priest friend of mine, Padre Bruno, who supported me with prayers and recommended some spiritual and inspiring books to me.
I also shared this experience with a friend of mine, Henry, who is currently a professor and academic Dean at Jordan University Morogoro in Tanzania. He told me about Salvatorians. Henry has worked with so many Salvatorians both from the USA, Tanzania, and Poland. He strongly recommended the society to me. I searched through the internet and read about the society. I picked interest especially with the emphasis, on the ‘Universality’ of their Mission and Charism. After what I considered to be a long application process with some difficulties involved, God made it possible, and I was accepted to join the USA province since 2012. I am a Salvatorians and I am very happy to be one of them.