Prioritize “faith commitment” Over Fundraising Drives: Nigerian Priest to Church Leaders

Fr. George Ehusani. Credit: Courtesy Photo

There is need to prioritize commitment to Christian faith over fundraising initiatives in the Catholic Church in Nigeria, a Catholic Priest in the West African nation has said. 

Fr. George Ehusani who was addressing delegates of the 3rd Abuja Catholic Archdiocesan General Assembly on September 23 expressed his concern over what he termed “a crazy drive to raise funds” at the expense of faith formation.

Fr. Ehusani who was speaking on “A Critique of Fundraising Modalities in the Nigerian Church Today” attributed the tendency to prioritize the soliciting of funds from adult faithful to the growing interest in expensive physical structures.

He said, "The reason for what has become a crazy drive to raise funds in our Church is the excessively speedy (and unchecked) growth and expansion in physical structures, and our inordinate taste for very huge and expensive structures as church buildings all over the place today."

In reaching out to the adult faithful for their contribution towards the expensive physical structures, the Nigerian Catholic Priest who founded the Psycho-Spiritual Institute (PSI) said, “We often do not ask after, or show sufficient interest, in the faith commitment of their children. From all indications, many of them are abandoning the faith.”


“Many of the children of our devout and faithful Catholics, whom we often depend upon to make major contributions towards these projects, have in many cases left the Catholic Church or have abandoned religious practice altogether,” he lamented during the September 23 event held at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral of Abuja Archdiocese.

Fr. Ehusani said that those abandoning religious practices back to the fold might be a challenge “if we keep chasing away the brightest, the most educated, and the most enlightened of our young people away from the Churches, with our embarrassingly crude and shoddy methods of fundraising.”

The Executive Director and Lead Faculty of the Lux Terra Leadership Foundation that deals with leadership training emphasized the need to pay attention to the faith commitment of the people of God amid funds drive for church projects.  

He regretted the fact that the interest in realizing physical structures in Nigeria is being undertaken at the expense of “Catholic faith and Catholic pastoral ministry, especially among the young population.”

The growing interest in expensive physical structures, Fr. Ehusani said, “places enormous burden on the worshippers, and a lot of pressure on the Priests and Parish councils, at a time of worsening economic fortunes of the Nigerian people.”

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The Abuja-based member of the Clergy of Nigeria’s Lokoja Diocese went on to reflect on weekday Holy Masses, Sunday evening benedictions, and participation in the Sacrament of Confession, and decried, “Many of the children have abandoned the religious practice altogether.”

There is no need for the expansion of church structures if the young people who are the “future Church” are abandoning religious practices due to the shift in priority from faith building to financial contributions, the award-winning Catholic expert in Nigeria said. 

He explained, “From what we see of our global youth culture, reflected in the social media in our country today, the dire indications are that many of these Church structures could be empty in just 20 or 30 years, if we do not take urgent steps with the grace of God, to turn the tide around.”

“Churches are usually built for future generations, not really for the present generation. That is why they are built to last for hundreds of years,” the Nigerian Priest behind the PSI that equips beneficiaries with the necessary tools to provide psychotherapy to victims of violence in Nigeria and in other African countries experiencing violent conflicts said.

As a way forward, Fr. Ehusani suggested, “I humbly request the Archbishop, the Auxiliary Bishop, the Parish Priests and all the delegates at this General Assembly, to work towards declaring a state of emergency regarding the fundraising protocols in our Churches.”


“I am convinced that no lasting good can come out of the now widespread abuse of the liturgy and the house of God, in the name of fundraising, for enough is enough!” he said, and added, “Fundraising in the Christian Church should be considered a missionary task and therefore a holy enterprise.”

Fr. Ehusani continued, “I believe that we could be more faithful to Christ and to Christian values in our fundraising enterprise and generate more income than we are able to do today with all the unorthodox methods we employ today.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.