Nnadi Onyedikachi Benjamin was born in Nigeria but is now serving in Békéscsaba, in the city’s Anthony of Padua church. Antal Szigeti, the priest of the church, said that the Roman Catholic church does not have enough priests. Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the situation is the opposite, so they regularly send their brothers abroad to help the church. Benjamin talked about his experiences in Hungary in a video interview.
He said that he did not decide to come to Hungary, but his bishop said that his services were needed in the country. He added that when he heard the name of the country, he did not know where it was, so first, he checked on the internet. Afterwards, he googled the history of the country, the language people speak here, and he wanted to find out what people eat and drink in Hungary. In that regard, he soon found that Hungarians eat goulash soup (HERE you can find the recipe) – telex.hu reported in their video interview.
He regularly distributes food for the poor in Békéscsaba but said that, in return, he also asks people to take part in the work. He regularly visits the elderly and the sick, and since he speaks good Hungarian,
even older people welcome him with great pleasure.
He has six siblings who live at home and are studying. He highlighted that his parents showed him the way to become a priest because they not only sent him to the church but they also accompanied him. There, he met a young priest who explained to him what being a clergyman means.
Mr Szigeti said that Hungary lacks a lot of priests while, in Nigeria, there are so many volunteers that seminaries cannot even train all of them. Therefore, they send some away. Mr Szigeti added that if somebody has a good nature, people accept them.
Benjamin tries to overcome the surprise of the people when they see him with jokes.
For example, he always says that somebody has to bring a lamp to take a photo of him.
He also said that, in Nigeria, the churches are not as beautiful as in Hungary, but people fill them. Meanwhile, the Hungarian ones are almost empty. Mr Szigeti said that Benjamin learned the language very well, so there are no problems regarding his integration. Benjamin said that if somebody comes with goodwill, they should be welcomed because
“we are all migrants.”
He also tries to bring his culture, dances, and music into the church. He added that he has not been in Nigeria for six years, and his mother always complains why he went so far away, but his answer is always that his job is a servitude. He would like to remain, but if his country’s church needs him, he will return, of course.