History continues in Nigeria
Priestly ordination of Innocent Uchenna in Mbaukwu
It was a joyful event for the Pallottine community in Nigeria: Deacon and Spiritual Director Innocent Uchenna Nwaosuagwu SAC was ordained priest on January 28, 2023. The ordination took place in Mbaukwu, in Southern Nigeria, and was given by the Bishop of Abakaliki, Peter Nworie Chukwu.
The mission in Nigeria has a long history. Long before Fr Peter Hillen SAC came to Nigeria to establish a mission in 2007, the Pallottines already had had a close connection there. Namely, through Rev. Martin Chukwubunna Ezeokoli, who, during his studies in Rome, met Pallottine Sister Clementia Burkhard, who as Mission Secretary of the Pallottines supported many students. When Rev. Ezeokoli returned to his diocese in Awka, he began to form Pallottine groups with students and work with them at the Oko Technical High School.
“Pallotti for Action – Action for Christ”
The slogan “Pallotti for Action – Action for Christ” became a work program, and the joy and dynamism of the students in Oko was heard as far away as Germany and Cameroon. Rev. Martin Ezeokoli was invited to a symposium at our Pallottine College in Vallendar, whereupon the then Provincial, Fr Norbert Hannapel SAC decided to visit Nigeria together with Fr. Hillen SAC (at that time Rector at the Seminary, a training school for clergy in Merrivale, South Africa).
In June 2001, the two were joyfully and warmly welcomed in Oko. This was followed by the admission of the first Nigerian students in formation to South Africa, of whom Fr John Ndidi Nwaocha SAC became the first Nigerian Pallottine to be ordained priest in 2010. Many Nigerian students followed.
Initially, Nigeria had been part of the Cameroon Region. In 2017, on the initiative of the General Council, our Provincial Assembly decided to take responsibility for this entity and annex it to the Province. On September 1, 2019, the Delegature could be established and its seat is Mbaukwu in Anambra State District.
Translation: Steffi Wolf