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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

St. Michael's welcomes new pastor

Saturday, September 24, 2011

In June, St. Michael's Catholic Church welcomed a new pastor, Father Linus Ukamodu. Fr. Linus is also pastor of St. Mary of the Mount in Horseshoe Bend. Fr. Thomas Marks, who had been the pastor for four years, was relocated to Blytheville, Ark.

Fr. Linus was born in the eastern part of Nigeria, where he spent all of his growing up years and completed most of his education, including his first Master's Degree which was in Moral Theology. He was a parish priest in Nigeria for seven years, when his bishop asked him if he would mind serving in the United States. Being the obedient priest that he is, he answered "Of course not, wherever I'm needed." He was to be 'on loan' to the diocese of Little Rock, Ark for three years; however, he has been here 12 years on September 12.

Fr. Linus's first assignment in Arkansas was to serve as pastor for four years at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Hot Springs. His next assignment was at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Malvern where he served for eight years before coming to St. Michael's. Also, while in Arkansas, he has received a second Master's Degree in Counseling and Psychology and his Doctorate in Administration/Higher Education.

He misses his family (three brothers, two sisters and many nieces and nephews), friends and the 'drum beats of African Liturgy.' Fr. Linus said the weather isn't much different except that in Nigeria they do not get snow. When moving to the U.S., he also had to adjust to the different foods and to the language.

Fr. Linus celebrated his 21st year as a priest on July 28, 2011. When asked what is the one thing he wants people to know about him, his answer was "I love being a priest and serving God in the Catholic Church."

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