great challenge is for our Missionaries is to be well equipped to be
able to deliver the Good News effectively and efficiently,” said Fr.
Mathew Cherian Binoj, Delegate and Superior of our Nigerian
Community in Ulakwo, Owerri. He was referring to the work ahead for
our newly ordained Deacons, Michael Ebomuche, Chidi Onwuka,
Princewill Nwokocha, Christopher Nduefuna and Geffrey Nwafor. The
five newest Deacons were ordained in March 2010.
In this area of Nigeria, the presence
of Catholic priests and the opportunity to practice their faith has
been welcomed with open arms by the faithful. Fr. Mathew relates
than in many Nigerian cities Pentocostalism is a fast growing
religious affiliation which draws many from their Catholic roots.
The establishment of our formation house in Ulakwo has now also
become the place for over 400 Catholics to attend Mass, held in the
courtyard. There is no local church. Fr. Mathew who, along with Fr.
Jomon George are from our Indian mission, oversee the Formation
program and directing the Novices. Currently the community includes
13 Theology Students, 15 Philosophy Students and 7 Novices with 9
members in Final Vows.
In addition Fr. Mathew and Fr. Joe are joined by our first two
ordained Nigerian priests, Fr. Luke Chika Nwoko and Fr. Peter Ife
Morkah in the religious education of the children, administering the
Sacraments and spiritual guidance of families and youth. They
recently welcomed their first group of children as First
In an effort to aid those they serve, most especially the children,
solar lamps and tables provided by the Missionaries of the Sacred
Hearts have been given to families to aid children with their home
studies. Many of these families lack these basic resources for their
Fr. Mathew also shared his vision for the
future especially the possibility of establishing a Catholic School
for the area children. He is also eagerly pursing the formation of
lay Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts dedicated to promoting
devotion to the Sacred Hearts.
Fr. Mathew and children gather at the
statue of St. Gaetano Errico
sculpted by Fr. Leonard Carrieri, M.SS.CC.
at our Formation House in Ulakwo
Ordination to the Diaconate of
five Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts.