A Liberty University graduate and Nigeria native was ordained as a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond on Saturday.

The Rev. Tochi Iwuji, 39, moved to Lynchburg as a deacon in 2014, according to a news release from the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. At LU, he obtained a graduate degree in pastoral counseling in 2015.

He found a spiritual home at Lynchburg’s St. Thomas More Catholic Church, where he celebrated his first Mass of Thanksgiving on Sunday, according to the diocese.

“What sustained me was the love from the parishioners at St. Thomas More in Lynchburg. They showed me love that I told myself, ‘This is where I am meant to be,’” he said.

Before coming to the U.S., Iwuji studied with the Claretians, a missionary group in Nigeria, for two years, the diocese said in the release.

“I make an effort to make sure I’m not in the way, that I am not putting myself out there as Jesus, but that they (the people) could see some light and find what they’re looking for, who is Jesus,” Iwuji said.

Reach Rachel Mahoney at (434) 385-5554.

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Rachel Mahoney covers courts for The News & Advance. Reach her at 434-385-5554.

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Rachel Mahoney covers courts for The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5554.

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