Pray, Fast for Restoration of Peace in Nigeria, Bishop Directs in “extraordinary appeal”

Bishop Augustine Tochukwu Ukwuoma of Nigeria's Orlu Diocese. Credit: CBCN

The Bishop of Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Orlu has, in an “extraordinary appeal”, directed members of the Clergy, women and men Religious, and the Laity in his Episcopal See to pray and fast for the restoration of peace and respect of human life in the West African nation.

In a statement obtained by ACI Africa Wednesday, May 18, Bishop Augustine Tochukwu Ukwuoma invites the people of God under his Pastoral care to join in the “spiritual exercise” schedule to begin on Monday, May 23.

“In continuation of our collective sacrifice for the restoration of peace and respect for human life as sacred in our land especially in the area within the jurisdiction of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu, passionately make the following declarations in accordance with biblical precedence,” Bishop Ukwuoma says in his April 19 statement.

He directs, “All priests and religious serving in the diocese of Orlu, are to fast from food, alcohol, and any kind of beverages from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily beginning from Monday May 23rd, 2022, to Tuesday May 31st, 2022, the conclusion of May devotion 2022.”

“All priests incardinated into the Diocese of Orlu who are studying or on fidei donum outside the diocese are bound to be part of this spiritual exercise,” the Nigerian Catholic Bishop adds.


Bishop Ukwuoma further says, “Every priest, religious working in the Diocese of Orlu and all Orlu priests outside the dioceses should take advantage of the sacrament of reconciliation within this period.”

The Nigerian Catholic Bishop says, “Priests are to include the above intentions in our daily Holy Masses within this period.”

“The elderly Priests and Religious and those on medication should do what is necessary to take care of their health,” the Local Ordinary of Orlu says.

In his statement, Bishop Ukwuoma further says, “Members of the laity especially parish and diocesan councilors are encouraged to join the clergy and religious in this important spiritual exercise depending on individual circumstances.”

“I make this extraordinary appeal to all Priests and Religious to see this declaration as a desperate appeal to God to come to our aid and adhere to them despite any inconveniences,” the Nigerian Catholic Bishop says in his May 18 statement.

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Last month, Bishop Ukwuoma condemned the Easter Sunday attack against innocent civilians in Imo State of the Southeastern region of Nigeria, saying that darkness has overcome the country owing to protracted insurgency.

“For our dear Orlu land that is gradually becoming a symbolism for evil and darkness, for Imo State and for Nigeria in general, we pray for the return of peace and tranquility,” Bishop Ukwuoma said in his April 19 statement.

He implored, “May violence and crime give way to harmony and serenity! May the glory of Easter dispel all darkness in our lives and illuminate us always with the salvific power of the Risen Christ!”

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.