Excellence Reporter: Father Charles, what is the meaning of life?
Fr. Charles Ogada: The tree lives by the unconditional giving of its very ESSENCE – which is its fruits. The life of the Sun has meaning only by the unconditional giving of its very essence. The River flows only to give itself unconditionally to all.
It seems therefore that nature lives by this unconditional giving of itself.
This I feel is the meaning of life.
Human life is meaningful only when it is lived unconditionally for others.
~Father Charles Ogada was born in Uturu in Abia State, Nigeria. When he was seventeen, he had a profound spiritual transformation which changed the course of his life. Consequently, he joined the Spiritan order of the Catholic Church so as to deepen that transformation and attained a B.A., M.A. and B.Phil degrees in core aspects of religion and philosophy.
After completing his seminarian training he served as a parish priest in Nigeria. He then travelled to Zambia to gain experience as a teacher at a leading values-based school in Ndola, where he taught mathematics and religious education.
Open to the Truth of all religions, Father Ogada also travelled extensively in the study of other paths drawing on Christian Mystics, Eastern Spirituality, Sufism, the Jewish Cabbala and the teachings of Ramana Marharshi. Thus, he rediscovered the gem of Christian mysticism.
Returning to Nigeria, Fr Charles became actively involved in community development projects and poverty alleviation programs. He started to hold mobile medical camps in rural villages which provided free treatment to thousands of people without any other access to medical care.
In 2010 with no resources but his own unquenchable energy he took an enormous leap of faith and founded the Spiritan Self Awareness Initiative (SSAI), a non-profit humanitarian organisation (registered with the National Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja, Nigeria, and with theState Gender Affairs and Human Development Department, Enugu, Nigeria) of which he is the current Executive Director.
At present, Father Charles is a Catholic priest who spends every waking hour of his life in service to the poor and needy in Nigeria as well as in service to spiritual seekers of all faiths from around the world. He is a committed campaigner for a loving, inclusive, multi-faith approach to spirituality.
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