Nigerian Diocese issues ‘call to prayer’ during jubilee celebrations

 

Daily life for the faithful of Maiduguri Diocese continues to be impacted by Boko Haram.

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Map of Nigeria. Image courtesy of www.nybooks.com

 

The Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri today, 23rd November 2017, is celebrating its Golden Jubilee.

Ahead of the celebrations, Fr. John Bakeni, a priest of the Diocese, issued a call for prayer.

 “Please today pray for the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. A young Diocese but caught up in a crisis. Pray that this jubilee will be a moment of renewal, especially for the laity who are suffering.”

In a recent visit to Ireland, Fr. John highlighted the great number of parishioners from the diocese who are displaced and how the Church in the region has suffered.  

He also reported that the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency has left parishioners without any form of normal life with many having fled their homes to seek refuge in camps for the displaced.

The call to prayer comes just days after a suicide bombing at a mosque in Mubi, 200km to the south of Maiduguri. Aljazeera News reported that 'at least 50 people' and while no group had claimed responsibility, it noted that Boko Haram 'carries out regular attacks in the region'.

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The new St. Patrick's Cathedral, Maduguri under construction. The original building suffered extensive damage following a bombing in 2011.  Image courtesy of the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri Facebook page.

 

A post on the Maiduguri Diocese Facebook page yesterday made reference to the ongoing struggle while also giving thanks as the diocese marks a significant event.

‘The diocese marks 50 years. Amidst the tears and blood, we still give thanks.”

In its early years the faithful in the diocese were ministered to by the Augustinians from Ireland.

The OLA Sisters continue to support the diocese from Ireland.

According to Sr. Julie Doran, OLA the solidarity and support from Ireland continues to be a source of hope for the people of Maiduguri. The Wexford native who worked in northern Nigeria for many years, reported that ‘100 kilograms’ of goods from Apostolic Works in Ireland have recently been shipped to the region.

“The actions of Apostolic Workers in the Dioceses of Kilmore and Meath, among many others, greatly encourage the people of Maiduguri.”

It was also announced earlier this year that Kildare and Leighlin Diocese will host a family from the Diocese of Maiduguri during the World Meeting of Families which takes place in Ireland during August 2018.

Catholics make up 2% of the 7 million population of Maiduguri State. The current Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri is Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme. The OLA Sisters presence in northern Nigeria includes missions at Jos and in Tafawa Balewa.

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Pictured are (from left): Sr. Janet Nutakor, Fr. John Bakeni, Bishop Denis Nulty and Sr. Julie Doran. Image courtesy of Bishop Nulty's Twitter account.

 

- Links:

  • Click here to visit the Maiduguri Diocese website.
  • Click here to visit the Maduguri Diocese Facebook page.
  • Click here to visit the OLA Sisters - Nigeria Province website.