“The Church is growing”: Bishop-elect in Nigeria on Meaning of Recently Created Diocese

Bishop Denis Chidi Isizoh, Bishop-elect of the recently created Diocese of Aguleri in Nigeria. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Catholic Church in Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, is growing, the Bishop-elect of the recently created Diocese of Aguleri has said. 

The erection of the Nigerian Catholic Diocese that has been curved from the Archdiocese of Onitsha and the appointment of Bishop Denis Chidi Isizoh as the first Local Ordinary was made public by the Holy See Press Office on February 12.

In an interview published on Thursday, March 2 by the National Directorate of Social Communications of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Bishop Chidi said, “The new Diocese means that the Church is growing, and we thank God for that. We are getting more Christians and so we are developing more areas, which means more work as well.”

As the Church expands with more membership, the Bishop whose installation has been scheduled to take place on March 17 is said to have underscored the “need to reach out to the people in far places and remote areas to announce the good news to them.”

The Nigerian Catholic Church leader who has served as Auxiliary Bishop of Nigeria’s Onitsha Archdiocese since his Episcopal Consecration in May 2015 recognized the experience he has had ministering in the Metropolitan See of Onitsha since his Episcopal Ordination. 


“I know the terrain very well and I have interacted with the people for at least seven years, so that is something good,” Bishop Chidi said, and added, “I want to thank the Lord for adequately exposing me to the place before now.”

He went on to express his awareness of the kind of challenges he is to encounter in the newly created Episcopal See that is to become the eighth Suffragan Diocese of Onitsha Archdiocese. 

He said, “Some areas in the Diocese still require primary evangelization because it is a riverine area, so we need a boat to move around the stations.”

The 67-year-old Catholic Bishop also said he was aware of the challenge of flooding in some of the territories covered by the newly created Diocese, saying, “We need to develop how to approach the work of evangelization in these flood-prone areas.”

In reference to the challenge of early marriages, Bishop Chidi said he would spearhead pastoral care for the girlchild, adding, “We are already thinking together with other people and agencies of government on how to help them.”

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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.