“True compassion must be translated into concrete ways”: Catholic Archbishop in Nigeria

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Nigeria's Abuja Archdiocese. Credit: Abuja Archdiocese

The Archbishop of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese has emphasized the need for manifesting love for the needy in society in “concrete ways” in the example of the Good Samaritan.

In his Sunday, July 10 homily at St. Kevin Kabusa Catholic Parish of Abuja Archdiocese, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama said, “God is very near to us through those we come across and interact with each day.”

Referencing the Gospel reading of the fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Archbishop Kaigama said, “Jesus uses the Good Samaritan to represent those who seek Christ in the weak, the wounded, and the needy; those who are mindful of the weak, despised, and abandoned.”

“It is not enough to merely feel sorry for others. True compassion must be translated into concrete ways,” the Nigerian Archbishop said, adding, “It is to make a deliberate effort to show generosity to our neighbors who lie half dead on our streets, hospitals, IDP Camps, Prisons, and so on.”

He said in reference to those with various needs in society, “We must get some oil and pour on their wounds: physical wounds, psychological wounds, emotional wounds, etc. Be the ‘Good Nigerian’ that everyone is waiting to see.”


“The good news is that there are still good Samaritans in Nigeria; men and women across tribal, social and religious affiliations who daily risk their personal comfort and safety to give a helping hand for the good of others,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

He however regretted the fact that “in some of our cultures, our clan system excludes others who are not of our clan and we treat them with disdain even if we are of the same tribe, since we believe some are outcasts, while some are just thought very lowly of and should not be considered in the important scheme of things, forgetting that in Christ there is no longer Jew or Greek.”

“It is surprising that even in marriage some Christians are told not to marry within a certain clan because of their lowly status,” the Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese who started his Episcopal Ministry in Nigeria’s Jalingo Diocese in April 1995 said.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Archbishop Kaigama said, “Jesus teaches that class, religion, gender, or ethnicities do not determine who a neighbor is, and that the love of God and the love of neighbor (especially the poor and strangers) are the two most important criteria for entry into eternal life.”

Making reference to the July 4 killings in the U.S., Archbishop Kaigama said, “The moment it happened, the security bodies were at their best, cooperating and looking out for the culprit.” 

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“There was no dilly dallying or competition about which branch of security agency was to take the credit,” he said, and added in reference to security agencies in the U.S., “They worked spiritedly to fish out the culprit within hours.” 

“Nigeria cannot apprehend the so-called unknown gunmen; even where circumstantial evidence points to the culprit,” the Archbishop of Abuja lamented, adding, “Authorities come up with baffling theories that obfuscate the effort to reveal the real enemies.”

Looking forward to the general elections planned for 2023, the Nigerian Archbishop prayed for a new team of leaders who would foster “a sense of honesty” in the West African nation.

“I pray the crop of new politicians will promote a national consciousness, a sense of honesty that you do not need to award a contract for ten billion Naira when three billion can do the project and our leaders will reject poisonous money realized from inflated contracts or compromised budgets, because such money is robbed from the poor and is evil money,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

He added, “Our humble actions may not make the headlines, but they can go a long way in healing Nigeria’s social, economic and political wounds.”


“I enjoin all of us to be good neighbors in order to experience the healing effects of genuine love and realize God’s vision for our Church and country,” the Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese said July 10 at St. Kevin Kabusa Catholic Parish of his Metropolitan See.

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.