Address “fear of witches, evil spirits” by Faith in Jesus, Eucharist: Nigerian Archbishop

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama administers the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Aloysius Parish of the Archdiocese of Abuja. Credit: Abuja Archdiocese

A Catholic Archbishop in Nigeria has urged the people of God in the country to use their faith in the Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist to address their fears about the power of witchcraft and evil spirits.

In his Sunday, June 19 homily at St. Aloysius Parish of the Archdiocese of Abuja, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama cautioned Christians against the tendency to “rush to soothsayers or even to some so-called men of God” amid life’s challenges.

“By believing in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, our pathological fear of witches and evil spirits should diminish,” Archbishop Kaigama said in his June 19 homily on the occasion of Corpus Christi and the Archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress in his Metropolitan See.

He explained, “When confronted with sickness, childlessness or material deprivation, we should not rush to soothsayers or even to some so-called men of God who may not be any different from deceptive fetish agents.”

The Nigerian Archbishop urged Christians to foster their faith in the Holy Eucharist as a healing Sacrament that requires patience. He said, “Pray and wait patiently and expectantly; but do not time God or expect instant and dramatic results.”


The healing effected by the Holy Eucharist can be both physical and what the Archbishop called “inner healing”, including “the healing of memory” from negative past experiences.

He explained, “Other than physical healing, there is a very great need for inner healing. A sad chapter in our history as a nation which calls for the healing of memory is the unfortunate civil war which still fills many with very sad memories that are a challenge to social cohesion in the country.”

“Brothers and sisters, let us show in our actions that the Eucharist has made a difference in the way we see, do or say things. Let us become what we receive,” he added.

Archbishop Kaigama underscored the need for proper use of centers of adoration, and cautioned members of the Clergy against turning such centers into “personality” cults.

Adoration centers, he said, are not places to be used “to intimidate, manipulate and extort people or where a Priest attempts to create a personality cult by careless and insensitive utterances and drama.”

More in Africa

The Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese who started his Episcopal Ministry in Nigeria’s Jalingo Diocese in April 1995 reflected on the Sunday readings for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi and said that they remind the people of God that the Holy Eucharist is a sacrifice and also a meal of love that has the power to help worshippers deal with social ills.

“If the first and second readings today remind us that the Eucharist is a sacrifice, the Gospel reminds us that it is a meal of love, where we share the one bread and the one cup. If so, we cannot engage in ethnic/clannish fights or discrimination, corruption or immorality,” he said.

The Nigerian Archbishop added, “The body of Christ we take should fill us with love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”

He acknowledged with appreciation initiatives undertaken to help worshippers interact with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, including in his Metropolitan See.

“In our turbulent, noisy and violent world, Eucharistic adoration is very highly encouraged,” Archbishop Kaigama said, and added, “I commend those parishes, which have formed the habit of early morning Eucharistic adoration and Benediction on Thursdays or Sundays.”


He challenged members of the Clergy against allowing Holy Mass “to become an occasion for drama, exaggerated inculturation or utterances that are purely political or mundane.”

“People come to Jesus at Mass to get spiritually nourished by the word and the bread of life and refreshed for the long, rough and tough journey to heaven,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

He added, “We must not take communion as snacks with no spiritual preparation (confession). Some Catholics come very late and go straight to receive communion, and some leave the Mass after communion!”

“If a Priest comes late to Mass, he cannot just approach the altar and join the other Priests or leave the Mass anyhow,” Archbishop Kaigama said. 

He emphasized the need to keep the Lord’s Day holy by joining the community in public worship, saying, “If not for reasons of a very serious sickness or where attending Mass is practically impossible, a Catholic must attend Mass in person every Sunday, and not by watching it on television or listening to it on radio.”

(Story continues below)

Turning his attention to 2023 general elections in Africa’s most populous nation, the Nigerian Archbishop said, “Our major preoccupation during this season of politics should be to search and elect only credible and capable political leaders who can unite us beyond the narrow confines of tribe and religion.”

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.