Father Nicholas Onyach visited St. Benedict the Black Catholic Church in Grambling on Sunday, Oct. 26. He made a stop in Grambling before heading to Kenya to open a school and begin a ministry.Onyach, affectionately called “Father Nick” by his parishioners, was the pastor of St. Benedict. The current pastor is Father Peter Pulivelil.
The former pastor delivered the gospel. It was taken from Matthew 22:34-40, which explains of the greatest and first commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind.”
Also, it speaks of the second commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” According to the bible, the whole law is based on these two commandments.
“Sometimes God will ask for your very best to see how much you love him,” he said. “God gave His son to prove His love for us.”
He said that because Abraham loved God so much, he was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, for God.
He told a story about a young couple in love. They were looking through CDs and the young man told his girlfriend that she could have any CD that she wanted. He was listening to his favorite one and silently wished that she would not desire it. However, as faith would have it, that was the CD she wanted.
Onyach said that, like this young man, we sometimes do not give God our very best, which can block our blessings. He ended by saying, “What are you holding back from God?”
Dorothy Hardy, a member of St. Benedict since 1966, said that it was very nice to see Father Nick.
“We miss him. He was a very good and caring priest when he was here,” she said.
“The best thing he did was to get the students to come back to church and to work in church. He was able to revive the Catholic Student Organization,” said Hardy, who serves as a eucharistic minister, lector, and money tabulator.
Grambling State University student, Victor Akamin Nkengaka, agreed with Hardy.
“I think it was incredible for him to return. It shows his concern for the parishioners in the church and the community of Grambling,” said Nkengaka, who serves as a lector at St. Benedict.
After mass, members of St. Benedict and sister church, Little Flower of Farmerville, fellowshipped with Onyach at Ryan’s Steakhouse in Ruston.
Onyach said that it was wonderful to be back home.
“It is good to enjoy the warmth and love of people who accommodated me, loved me, prayed for me, and supported me, here and in Africa,” he said.