Newly Consecrated Bishop in Nigeria Urged to Preserve His “sheep from ravaging wolves”

Bishop Anselm Pendo Lawani of Nigeria's Ilorin Diocese. Credit: Lumen Christi TV

The newly Consecrated Catholic Bishop of Nigeria’s Ilorin Diocese has been urged to prioritize the sustainability of the Christian faith of the people of God under his pastoral care, in the example and command of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

In his homily during the Friday, February 2 Episcopal Ordination of Mons. Anselm Pendo Lawani, Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo of Nigeria’s Oyo Diocese called upon the new Bishop to “watch over the sheep and feed them.”

“As Bishop, preserve the sheep, deposit of faith and the apostolic tradition from ravaging wolves as you act for men and women in their relation to God,” Bishop Badejo said during the Episcopal Ordination event that was held at St. Joseph Cathedral of Ilorin Diocese.

The Nigerian Catholic Bishop added, “Know that the office of Bishop is not for honour but for function; it means you are chosen to serve rather than to rule, to be a pastor who serves, proclaiming the gospel when welcome or unwelcome.” 

“Today you are chosen to be the father of the Church in Ilorin Diocese, to be exactly like the Good Shepherd. To do that like the Lord Jesus, you must know your sheep, especially the young people and be known by them,” he said.


The Local Ordinary of Oyo Diocese who doubles as the President of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS), an entity of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), urged the new Bishop to “love the Clergy and Consecrated persons, guide them with discipline and shepherd the laity with compassion.”

“Count always on that Holy Spirit who, according to the rites of ordination today, gives life to the Church of Christ and supports our weakness with His strength,” he added.

Bishop Badejo further said, “Dear Bishop elect, I pray that God grant you the wisdom of Solomon in your ministry, to be fair and just to all and to govern with equity.”

“In fact, you are our bishop of synodality in Ibadan Province, with your God given gifts and formation, your simplicity, humility, accountability and for your capacity to listen and to comfort all God has equipped you for the task ahead,” the Catholic Church leader said. 

He continued, “Thank God for your disposition to inclusiveness, in the correct understanding of the spirit of Synodality, walking together, carrying everybody along and leaving no one behind. Such virtues are essential for our church and nation today to create communion, solidarity and collaboration.”

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Bishop Badejo encouraged Mons. Lawani to work for interfaith and ecumenical relations.

He said, “Ilorin is a veritable convergence point of religions, tribes and denominations which demand that you continue to work for harmonious relations and peaceful coexistence among peoples, religions, and confessions. Be sure that the Master who prayed that God’s people may be one, will bless your effort in His mercy.”

On 8 December 2023, Pope Francis appointed Mons. Lawani to shepherd the Diocese of Ilorin that has been vacant since January 2022 following the demise of Bishop Paul Adegboyega Olawoore, who had been at the helm of the Nigerian Diocese since June 2019.

The newly Ordained Nigerian Catholic Bishop who had been serving as the Diocesan Administrator of the same Diocese was born in September 1970 and ordained a Priest in August 2000.

In his February 2 homily, Bishop Badejo invited the new Bishop to “persist in being a man of prayer.”


“More than ever before, the mission of the Church today needs the power of sincere prayers,” he said, and added, “Pope Francis has just declared a Jubilee Year of Prayer. Lead your flock to pray to God and petition Him, not to command or threaten Him.”

Bishop Lawani, a native of Nigeria’s Benin City Archdiocese, is the fifth Local Ordinary of the 32,500 square kilometer Catholic Diocese with an estimated population of 25,950 Catholics, according to 2021 statistics.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.