About Fr. John Chukwuka Okerulu
Rev. Fr. John Chukwuka D. Okerulu, was born on the 9th of January around the mid 90’s and received infant baptism about a month later; He hails from Ogidi in Idemili-North Local Government Area of Anambra State, South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria. He was born and bred in Portharcourt metropolitan capital city of Rivers State. Fr Okerulu was born into the family of late Dr Innocent-Mary Nweke Okerulu. He is the second son and last child of six children(four girls and two boys).
He had his primary education in Aladumo Educational Center(now called Aladumo International School), Portharcourt. He had his Senior Secondary education in Uniport International Secondary School, Port harcourt, where he graduated in 2012, receiving certificates of both West African Senior School Certificate Examination(WASSCE) and National Examination Council(NECO).
‘The year 2012’ Fr Okerulu writes ‘was a turning point in my life.’ In this year he went often to the Novus Ordo Mass said albeit conservatively by the then parish priest, the late Monsignor Professor Festus Chukwudi Okafor (ordained 1963, died 2022). The devotion and love of this priest for Our Lady together with his constant sermon on devotion to Mary and the Holy Rosary caused him to join the 33days classes organized that year for making Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary according to the manner taught by St Louis de Montfort. He made his Total Consecration on the 15th of August, 2012. ‘Not so long after making this Total Consecration he writes ‘I felt a strong desire to give my whole self in the service of Our Divine Lord. This desire I owe to Our Beloved Queen whom I had consecrated my whole being to. She indeed knows how to use the weak things of this world to procure God’s Greater Glory.’ This commenced his vocation to the Priesthood!.
His desire for the Priesthood coincided providentially with his discovering the Traditional Latin Mass which was offered by the FSSP at Sacred Heart Minor Seminary, Rumuibekwe, Port harcourt. On discovering this treasure of treasures, he hid it as it were and out of a healthy curiosity he sought to know why this Mass was not celebrated in all parishes. In this search for the truth which was the theme of his daily rosaries, his desire to serve God as his minister increased and to this desire, was added the desire to say this Mass, the Traditional Latin Mass, which he had just discovered.
Due to his love for the Holy Rosary and on account of the knowledge he had that the Rosary was given to St Dominic, he sought to become a Dominican, thinking that the Dominican Order would at least have a special devotion to Our Lady’s Holy Rosary. In 2015 he was invited for an interview as an aspirant. On arriving there, what he noticed about the New Mass, which he never wanted to say, was that it was even offered in a more irreverent way than he had ever seen. Communion was given to the standing communicants and sometimes on the palm and not on the tongue. Women dressed as they liked to Church. These things led him to quit his quest to join this order so loved by him even after he was admitted. He instead opted to study Philosophy at the Catholic Institute of West Africa(C.I.W.A), Port harcourt.
While studying Philosophy at CIWA, he kept making research about the Catholic faith. At this point he came across articles on the website Traditionalmass.org written by Bishop Donald J. Sanborn and the late Fr Anthony J. Cekada on Sedevacantism. ‘Their exposition of the false, erroneous and heretical doctrines promulgated by the council and how that could not be if those who promulgated them were true popes made it sufficiently clear to me that the only true and logical position a Catholic should hold after the fact of the Second Vatican Council and with these same agents of the Second Vatican Council posing as Popes of the Roman Catholic Church is Sedevacantism (namely that the See of Rome is Vacant of a legal/de Jure possessor).’
In 2016, while still at CIWA because of his ardent zeal to spread the faith, his constant posts on Facebook concerning things pertaining to the faith made him to be contacted by a faithful of Fr. Nkamuke, who told him that Fr Nkamuke would be coming to celebrate Holy Week in Port harcourt. He partook in the Holy Week celebrations and received his first communion non una-cum(not in union with) the Novus Ordo Pope and Hierarchy on Maundy Thursday of 2016. During that week, he expressed his desire to be a Priest to Fr Nkamuke who said he could join the Seminary in 2016 of that year(at that time the Seminary was still unofficial as it had no name). Hence, he quit his studies of Philosophy at CIWA on June 29th, Feast of Sts Peter and Paul to pursue his vocation to the Priesthood at last.
On the 24th of September, 2016, He officially started his Seminary formation. This was the same year the Seminary officially started, for it received the name SEAT OF WISDOM SEMINARY (it now uses the Latin SEDES SAPIENTIAE SEMINARY) from its first Rector Fr Okechukwu Bede Nkamuke in 2016. In order to hasten his Seminary formation, Fr Okerulu was admitted into Most Holy Trinity Seminary, then in Brooksville, Florida, United States, in September of 2018; and eventually continued again as student of Sedes Sapientiae Seminary from June of 2021 while residing in Saint Getrude the Great Catholic Church, West Chester, Ohio, USA. After a thorough formation in Philosophy and Sacred Theology and in accordance with the provisions of Canon Law following the strict Rubrics of the liturgical ceremonies of Holy Mother Church, he ascended the Seven Steps unto the Altar of God beginning with the reception of Clerical Tonsure on July 24th, 2019, followed by four minor orders and two major orders. He received the last and seventh major order, the Priesthood on the 11th of May, 2022, in Saint Getrude the Great Catholic Church, West Chester, Ohio, USA, by His Excellency, the Most Rev. Rodrigo Da Silva.
Fr Okerulu has since returned to Nigeria and has joined the Clergy of the Society of Traditional Catholics (S.T.R.C). He now carries out the mission of being, another Christ(alter Christus) which he has so long yearned for, by bringing the True Mass, preaching and administering the Sacraments to the faithful scattered in over thirteen missions. Furthermore, He teaches at the Seminary and helps to give formation to the newly founded community of Benedictine monks and nuns.