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Pope Francis Appoints Bishop for Nigeria’s Abakaliki Diocese

Msgr. Peter Nworie Chukwu appointed Bishop of Nigeria's Abakaliki/ Credit: Courtesy Photo

Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Peter Nworie Chukwu as the new Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Abakaliki in Nigeria.

Until his Tuesday, July 6 appointment that was published by the Holy See Press Office, the Bishop-elect has been serving as the Parish Priest of St. Patrick Nduruku-Amagu Parish of the same Episcopal See and Spiritual Director of the Novices of the Sisters of Jesus the Good Shepherd. 

Aged 55, Msgr. Chukwu has been at the helm of the Planning Committee for the Diocesan Golden Jubilee set to be marked in 2023.

The Nigerian Cleric is expected to succeed Bishop Michael Nnachi Okoro, the 80-year-old Prelate whose retirement the Holy Father accepted on July 6.    

Ordained for the Catholic Diocese of Abakaliki in July 1993, Msgr. Chukwu is an alumnus of the U.S-based Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. 

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He holds a doctorate in philosophy from Marquette University in Milwaukee in the U.S. 

The Bishop-elect has served in different positions including Parish vicar of Saint John the Evangelist, Okpaugwu in the Diocese of Abakaliki, Vice Rector of the Saint Augustine Minor Seminary, Adjunct Lecturer at Aquinas College, U.S. and President of the Association of Nigerian Priests of the Diocese of Abakaliki.

Nigerians have taken to social media to express joy and to congratulate the Bishop-elect following his episcopal appointment. 

“Congratulations Catholic Diocese of Abakaliki. To God be the glory,” officials of the Nigerian Diocese say in a Facebook post.

On his part,  Ichie Nworie Tochukwu says, “Congratulations to Very Rev. Fr. Peter Chukwu, the new Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese. May God give you the wisdom and strength to handle such a vintage position. Congratulations.”

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Once ordained, Bishop Chukwu will be the third Bishop of the Nigerian Episcopal See that was erected in March 1973 having been curved from Ogoja Diocese. 

Located within the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Onitsha, Abakaliki has a population of 599,820 Catholics.