Fr. Denning Achidi wanted to be a part of the long and rich history of the Catholic Church, ever since he realized the depth of the faith at age 12. Born in Cameroon, Fr. Achidi was raised in his father’s Presbyterian church but after attending a Catholic Mass with his mother one Sunday, he told his mom that he wanted to become Catholic. His family relocated to Washington, D.C. where he earned an associate’s degree Montgomery College in Maryland. He sang in the Holy Spirit Choir and attended Cameroonian Masses at Resurrection.
Fr. Achidi, moved by the Oblate charism of service to the poor, went to Buffalo in 2012 to do his pre-novitiate studies at D’Youville while living at Oblate-run Holy Angels Parish. A year of discernment brought him to Christ the King Seminary in January 2015, where he once again decided to pursue the life of a diocesan priest. He was ordained for the Diocese of Buffalo.
“I hope to be a true servant, to serve people. Not be their boss, per se,” he explained. “I believe, which is a theological truth, that ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood. There is no minister of priesthood if there is no common priesthood in the first place. So, when we gather on Sunday at Mass, it is God’s chosen people who gather to offer a sacrifice.”