Auxiliary Bishop of Umuahia Diocese Set to Shepherd the Nigerian Catholic Diocese

Bishop Michael Kalu Ukpong, appointed Bishop of Nigeria’s Umuahia Diocese on 1 November 2022. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Bishop Michael Kalu Ukpong, the Auxiliary Bishop of Umuahia Diocese in Nigeria since July 2020, is set to shepherd the Nigerian Catholic Diocese.

Pope Francis’ appointment of Bishop Kalu was made public on Tuesday, November 1 by the Holy See Press Office.

The Catholic Diocese of Umuahia has been vacant since March 2022 when the then Local Ordinary, Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, was transferred to Nigeria’s Owerri Archdiocese. Archbishop Ugorji had been at the helm of Umuahia Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in July 1990.

Born in December 1964 in Umuahia Diocese, Bishop Kalu was ordained a Priest for the same Episcopal See in August 1993. 

The alumnus of the Wisdom Major Seminary in Owerri and the St. Joseph Major Seminary in Ikot Ekpene studied Canon Law at the Klaus-Mörsdorf-Institut für Kanonistik of the Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität in Munich, Germany, and has a Doctorate in Theology from the Universität von Regensburg in Regensburg.


As a Priest, Bishop Kalu served in various capacities, including Parish Vicar of St. Finbarr's in Umuahia, Secretary of the Bishop of Umuahia, Parish Priest of St. John's and Editor of the Lumen Newspaper of the Diocese of Umuahia.

Once he is installed as Local Ordinary of Umuahia, Bishop Akalu who was assigned the Titular See of Igilgili will oversee the Nigerian Diocese that has a population of 251,053 Catholics, according to 2020 statistics

Erected in June 1958, the 2,460 square-kilometer Catholic Diocese of Umuahia is part of the Ecclesiastical Province of Owerri.

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.