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Year for Priests at 601 S. Jefferson Ave., Springfield, MO 65806 US - Rev. Patrick Ike Nwokoye Ordained June 7, 2002

Rev. Patrick Ike Nwokoye

Ordained June 7, 2002

Grateful for the blessings received

By Fr. Patrick I. Nwokoye

Who can fully define a “call”? What is it? It is quite humbling that a man is chosen from amongst the people, to serve God’s holy flock despite his limitations. Herein lies the mystery of this call to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ. When called, we respond with humility because it is God’s work and we are his instrument of grace.

When I think about my call to the priesthood—I am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. Joy because being a priest has, and continues to be, a great blessing. Grateful to my mother—her love and generosity for she was a catalyst that paved the way to the priesthood. She instilled in her children a great sense of the sacred and love for mankind. She never wavered in the quest to serve her community, thus unleashing in my heart the desire to serve and love the Church above all and to discover the innate beauty in the person of Jesus Christ. She enlightened me, along with Christ, my desire to be a man open to the transforming grace of Christ.

The priesthood is a great and awesome vocation indeed and I thank God for giving me this grand opportunity to serve his people.

Finally, I thank all those throughout the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau whose love and generosity of heart throughout these years continues to be a source of strength and an encouragement to me to strive for holiness.

I encourage all of you to continue praying for vocations to the sacred priesthood and religious life.

May God bless and grant us peace.         

Fr. Patrick I. Nwokoye is Director and Chaplain of Catholic Campus Ministry for the campus of Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. He is also Diocesan Director of Vocation Promotion.


Fr. Patrick Nwokoye, the youngest of eight children, five boys and three girls, is a native of Nigeria. At age 15, he followed his four brothers’ path to Italy to further his education. On the path to earning his doctorate in philosophy from Lateran Pontifical University in Rome, he has held various jobs, including working at McDonald’s, moderating a TV talk show for youth, and assisting the pastor of a parish in Italy. 

As a child, Fr. Patrick envisioned becoming a physician. But priesthood has been his dream since the his confirmation day, when, after receiving the sacrament, 13-year-old Patrick told his father he wanted to enter the seminary.

Fr. Patrick plays tennis, soccer and table tennis, and in quiet times, enjoys reading and writing. Should he ever invite you over for a meal, be prepared for a feast because he really enjoys cooking. An avid traveler, he has led several tours and pilgrimages during his time here in the diocese. 

Fr. Patrick’s favorite books include Animal Farm, the political classic by George Orwell that rivals Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea as the “Shortest Serious Novel It's OK to Write a Book Report About”; The Religious Sense by Luigi Guissani, The Acting Person by then-Card. Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), and Metaphysics by Aristotle.  Two of his favorite movies are “The Sound of Music” and “La Piovra” (literally, “The Octopus”, it refers to the Mafia).


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