New Friar on Campus: fr. Augustine Agwulonu, OP
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What was your life like growing up? What drew you to the Dominican Order?
My name is Augustine Agwulonu. I was born in Nigeria. My state of origin is Imo, located in the southeastern part of the country. I am the sixth of eight children.
I attended primary school in a town that is about half a kilometer away from my village. A lively sense of excitement, devotion, simplicity and faith, among others, characterized my childhood. This memory of my early years still motivates me today. Growing up was also an experience of life with challenges of living in a rural setting without basic amenities. I learned early on to live simply and with great trust in God’s Providence. Looking back today, I fondly remember God’s all encompassing Presence which has been guiding the steps of my life!
My secondary education was at a minor seminary located about 200 kilometers from my home. From the start, I wanted to become a priest. I later joined the Dominicans, having learned about them from a family friend who is a Dominican.
What do you like best about the Dominican Order and how did you become a teacher of Scripture?
I am in love with the preaching mission of the Dominican Order! It corresponds to my interest in the Word of God. As early as high school, I remember attending Sunday Bible studies. As a Dominican, I studied for the Doctorate in Biblical Theology at the University of Vienna, Austria.
What brought you to the Angelicum? What are your academic passions?
I am at the Angelicum to live my Dominican life. I see myself as being at the service of the Word: the Word of Life, the Word of Truth, the Word that is Light, the Word of Wisdom, the Word of knowledge – the Word of God! My academic passion is to explore and share, through research and reflection, the wealth and the beauty of God’s Word in the Scriptures. I find great inspiration from the Parables of Jesus.
Finally, let me conclude this short self-introduction with St. Peter’s statement on the Mountain of the Transfiguration: Lord, it is good for us to be here…(Matt 17:4). I am truly glad to be at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas and in the Eternal City!