Advertisement

Nigerian Catholic Bishop Known for Service to Mentally Challenged Persons Dies at 81

Late Bishop Albert Ayinde Fasina/ Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Bishop emeritus of Nigeria’s Ijebu-Ode Diocese known for his care for people suffering from mental illness in the West African country has died at the age of 81.

Bishop Albert Ayinde Fasina who was to turn 82 on July 8 died Tuesday, June 29, the Chancellor of the Nigerian Diocese announced.

In his June 29 statement, Fr. Albert Igbodipe says, “On behalf of the Bishop, Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina, on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul at about 6 p.m., Christ the King and the Good Shepherd called home His humble servant and our Emeritus Bishop, Most Rev. Albert Ayinde Fasina.”

He continues, “Kindly offer Mass for his happy repose. May the soul of Most Rev. Albert Ayinde Fasina rest in perfect peace. AMEN.”

Born on 8 July1939 into the Muslim family of late Pa Disu Fasina and Madam Moriatu Disu, late Bishop Fasina whose father was an Imam converted to Catholicism at the age of 20.

Advertisement

He was baptized in April 1959 by Fr. Terence Birmingham at St. Michael Catholic Church, Igbodu, and had his First Communion at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Molajoye, an outstation of Ibowon Parish of Ijebu-Ode Diocese.

He was ordained a Priest in March 1980 and appointed a Bishop in June 1988. For a period of 29 years, he was at the helm of Ijebu-Ode Diocese – since his episcopal ordination in September 1988 until his retirement in January 2019 at the age of 79.

Late Bishop Fasina is known in Nigeria and beyond for many acts of charity, key among them being his love and care for mentally challenged persons, including those neglected by their respective families.

“The poor and the destitute are very dear to his heart. Bishop Albert will, on his way to functions, pick mentally derailed people who are roaming the streets in his car, and put them in the home for the destitute which he goes about soliciting for money to run,” Fr. Anthony Adetayo eulogizes the late Nigerian Bishop in a Facebook post.

Many mentally challenged persons, Fr. Adetayo adds, were “reunited with their family members thanks to Bishop Fasina.”

More in Africa

“Corpses by the road side are not left out; he would pick them up and bury them. Catholics and Non-Catholics approach him and have the existence and sustenance of their almost crumbling relationship to his mediation,” the Nigerian Priest further recounts.

The late Bishop was also interested in the media and promoted social communications in his diocese, the Priest goes on to say, adding, “His major interest was in the Print media for the formation of the people. He believed in the power of the media in the Church’s evangelization mission.”

Fr. Adetayo also recalls the late Bishop’s ministry among the youth saying he “was very interested in young people and their faith formation; he deeply grieved at the lack of Church’s presence in schools, and saw this as the reason for world’s moral decadence.”

“Bishop Fasina was the man who was appointed bishop and wanted to decline on health grounds but was told that even if he dies after a day, it is for God's honor. He met the number of indigenous Priests at six, and left it at sixty-seven and a Deacon. Parishes also grew from a few numbers to thirty-eight,” Fr. Adetayo has recounted.

“May God give him the reward of a good and faithful steward,” Fr. Adetayo implores.

Advertisement

In a June 29 Facebook post, the leadership of the Catholic Broadcast Commission of Nigeria (CBCN) expresses sadness at the passing on of the late Bishop Fasina.

“May God whom Bishop Albert Ayinde Fasina has serviced all through His lifetime, raise him up at the last day and may He give him kind admittance into his Glorious Kingdom. May his soul rest in peace. Amen,” CBCN leadership implores in the Facebook post.