10 years of Pallottine Missionaries in Nigeria
A GREAT THANKS YOU
The first contact of the Pallottines to Nigeria came through Rev. Fr. Martin Ezeokoli (now Monseignor) a priest of the Diocese of Awka in Anambra. When he studied in Rome he met with Rev. Sister Clementia Burkhard SAC, who as the Secretary of Mission of the Pallottine Sisters supported a number of African student priestss at this time. When Rev. Fr. Martin Ezeokoli came back to Awka and worked in the chaplaincy at the Polytechnic Oko, he started Pallotti Groups among the students. “Pallotti for Action – Action for Christ” became a slogan and working program. The enthusiam and dynamic of the students in Oko was heard in Germany and Cameroon. Fr. Martin was invited to a Symposium on Pallotti to our University in Vallendar, Germany. The then Provincial Hannappel SAC decided to visit Nigera. Together with Fr. Peter Hillen SAC, who was the Rector of the Seminary in Merrivale, South Africa, he came in June 2001 to Oko and received a warm and joyfull welcome. The first Nigerian students were called to join the Formation in South Africa and Rev. Fr. John Ndidi Nwoacha SAC was the first Nigerian Pallottine to be ordained in 2010. Many Nigerian students followed him and today we have 11 Nigerian priests, three deacons and 31 students in Formation. Fr. Peter Hillen SAC came on the 27 January 2007 (as a tourist) to stay in Nigeria. Bishop Simon Okafor welcomed him and posted him as a vicar to the Holy Trinity Parish in Nanka. After 15 months Fr. Peter left Nanka for Mbaukwu were Rev. Fr. Dr. Peter Eche showed him a building (CWO hostel for Pre-Science students). Fr. Peter invested and finished the house which became the first home for the Postulancy in Nigeria. His Royal Highness Igwe P. Anukwu offered land to develop the community in Mbaukwu. In 2010, the Pallottine Community entered with the Postulancy into the new building at the permant side in Akabor.
To secure the future of the Pallottines in Nigeria a mini hostel (Pallotti Lodge – a small poultry, fish and pig farm) was built as well as a water factory for “Pallotti Table Water”.
The HOLY TRINITY RETREAT- AND GUEST-HOUSE was planned and after five years it was blessed by His Lordship Most Rev. Dr. P. C. Ezeokafor in October 2015. Prof. Maurice Iwu donated the DIVINE MERCI GROTTO. Meanwhile Barester Sir Asiebgu donated land in Uke to us that will serve the community to expand and to develop better. We are very greatful and honered by this generosity.
Fr. Peter, as secretary for mission was able to initiate social projects for the communities in serveral towns: e.g. material for nursery/primary schools; youth centres in Nanka, Mbaukwu and Nimo; Oilmills, two in Nanka and one in Mbaukwu; five water tanks in Nanka, Agulu and Aguluzigbo; 10 boreholes with overhead tanks in Mbaukwu and one in Agulu; 7 houses for poor people and families in Mbaukwu and Agulu; he built a chapel in Nanka that was blessed by His Lordship Bishop Ezeokafor. Many poor people profitted for health care, school fees, for business and food stuff. Ever year the youth was engaged in playing the TRADITIONEL PALLOTTI FOOTBALL CUP. Fr. Peter received many awards and three titles for his work among the people.
„The Love of Christ Urges us on“ to continue our work. ((ph, 02.01.17))
For further information visit the website of the Pallottines Nigeria.