CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF UMUAHIA GETS NEW AUXILIARY BISHOP.
Chinwe Ugele, Umuahia.
History was made on Thursday, 30th July, 2020 when Msgr. Michael Kalu Ukpong was ordained auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic diocese of Umuahia for the first time.
The Holy father, Pope Francis had approved the appointment of Msg. Michael Kalu Ukpong for that post on the 30th of May, 2020.
The Episcopal ordination of the auxiliary Bishop took place at the Mater Dei Cathedral in Umuahia in the presence of arch bishops, bishops, priests, the religious and the laity.
Pope Francis was represented by the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Arch Bishop Antonio Guido Fillipazzi who ordained the new auxiliary Bishop for Umuahia diocese.
In his homily, the papal Nuncio to Nigeria reminded the auxiliary Bishop to always lay himself down to service and to be a true Shepherd of the church.
He prayed God to fill him with the holy spirit, to enable him to be generous with love and work towards unifying all people.
In his message, the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia diocese, Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugoji, reminded the auxiliary Bishop that the new title he now bears is not of honour or for self aggrandisement, but of service to humanity.
He described him as his closest collaborator in the college of bishops and enjoined all to pray for the shepherds.
It was also an opportunity to mention the killings in southern kaduna as Bishop Ugoji condemned the atrocity in strong terms, urging the government to put a stop to the rascality in order to discourage people from resorting to self help.
Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu who was represented by his deputy, Sir. Ude Oko Chukwu while commending Bishop Ugoji for his relentless effort to achieving the spiritual and physical growth of the diocese, told auxiliary Bishop Ukpong that he must live up to expectations as much is expected from him.
He assured of government’s willingness to continue to synergise with the diocese for the spiritual, political and socio-economic advancements of the citizens.
The new auxiliary Bishop of Catholic diocese of Umuahia, His Lordship, Most Rev. Michael Kalu Ukpong, thanked Bishop Ugoji for nominating him to serve in his new capacity as he believed without the nomination, there would not have been an approval from the pope and pledged to support Bishop Ugoji in whatever way he could in the diocese.
Most Rev. Ukpong’s father, though not a Catholic, supported his son to achieve his dream of becoming a Catholic priest.
The ceremony which complied to all COVID 19 protocols was attended by several dignitaries.