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Archbishop Oniayekan

Archbishop Oniayekan

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Published by A .J Mathew

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Published by: A .J Mathew on Feb 27, 2008
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07/09/2012

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SKETCH BIOGRAPHY AND CURRICULUM VITAE OFMOST REV.DR.JOHN OLORUNFEMI ONIAYEKANCATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF ABUJA-NIGERIABORN
January 29
th
,1944,in Kabba,Kogi State of Nigeria.
EARLY EDUCATION
1949-1956 primary school at Kabba,1957-1962 secondary school at Mt.St.Michael'S.
PRIESTLY FORMATION
Jan 1963-june 1965 study of philosophy at SS Peter and Paul seminary,Bodija-Ibadan.
EARLY PRIESTLY FORMATION
Ordained to the the catholic priesthood at kabba ,Kogi state on the 3
rd
August,1969.His first priestly assignment was in school and parish work.
HIGHER ECCLESIASTICAL STUDIES
September1971-feb 1973:Scripture studies at the pontifical biblicalInstitute(Biblicum)Rome.Feb 1973-Jan 1976:Doctorate Programme at the Pontifical Urban University,Rome inBiblical Theology.
ECCLESIASTICAL APPOINTMENTSJUNIOR SEMINARY IN LOKOJA:
January 1966:Rector of the St Clement’s Junior Seminary Lokoja Until August 1977.
MAJOR SEMINARY OF IBADAN:
September 1977:appointed to the major seminary of SS Peter and Paul,Bodija-Ibadanas a Vice Rector, and a Teacher of Sacred Scriptures and fundamental Theology andin February as a rector.
APPOINTMENT TO ILORIN:
 November 1982: appointed Auxillary Bishop of Ilorin,Ordained Bishop in St peter Basilica,Rome in January 6
th
1983 by his holiness,Pope John Paul II and in October 1984 appointed Residential Bishop of Ilorin.
MISSION TO ABUJA:
In July 1990 Appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Abuja.Became a Bishop of Abuja in November 1992.He was promoted Archbishop with theelevation of Abuja to Archdiocesan Status.
SPECIAL HOLY SEE VATICAN APPOINTMENTS:
1980-1985:member of the International Theological Commission.
 
1981-1991: Member of the Methodist/Roman Catholic International DialogueCommission.Many times member of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops in theVatican.March 1991-June 2006: Member standing Committee of the faith and ordecommission of the world council of churches.
NIGERIAN NATIONAL HONOURS
:December 18
th
,2001,conferred with the National honour of the Commander of theorder of the Niger(CON) by President Olusegun Obasanjo.
ITALIAN HONOUR:
May 2003:Grande Ufficiale (1 Classe):Ordine della Stella della SolidarietaItaliana,Confered by president carlo A. Ciampi.
OTHER POST HELD:
1.President Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria,From March 1999-March2006.2.President Association of Episcopal Conferences of Anglophone WestAfrican(AECAWA)-Since August 2001.3.President,Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa andMadagascar,(SECAM)-From October 2004-January 2007.4.Member of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council(NIREC)-Since September 1999.5.Co-president African Council of Religious Leaders,(ACRL)Since June 2003.6.Vice President of the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) From 1996-2003.7.June 2007 till Date :Elected President of the Christian Association of  Nigeria,(CAN) and Co-President of the Nigerian Inter-religious Council.
BISHOP IN ILORIN.
His ecclesiastical career took a majorurn when in 1982, while being Rector of the Major Seminary of SS. Peter and paul, Ibadan, he was appointed AuxillaryBishop of Ilorin Diocese and Titular Bishop of Tunusuda. Thus, Rt. Rev. Dr. JohnOlorunfemi Onaiyekan became the 34
th
and youngest Catholic Bishop in Nigeria. Hisordination which took place in Rome on the 6
th
of January 1983 was performed byHis Holiness Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica.On November 24
th
1984, the Vatican announced his appointment as the secondBishop of Ilorin, in succession of His Lordship Rt. Rev. Dr. William Mahony, S.M.A.While Bishop of Ilorin, Bishop Onaiyekan held various positions of responsibility inthe church and in the wider society in Nigeria and on the international scene.Within the Nigerian Bishop’s Conference, he was elected Chairman of theBiblical Commission from March 1985 till March 1990; and Chairman of theTheological Commission from March 1985 to date. From 1989 until 1991, he wasPresident of the Kwara State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAC).
 
He has been, since 1990, a member of the National Translations Committee of theBible Society of Nigeria.In public life, while in Ilorin, he was on the Kwara State Council for thePrerogative of Mercy (1986-1991) and the Kwara State Christian Pilgrims Board(1989 – 1991). He was also on some other Kwara State Government AdvisoryBoards, especially in the area of public education.His assignments for the Catholic Church on the International level include thefollowing.
1.
In 1989 he was appointed among the 17 – member Council of the GeneralSecretariat of the Synod of Bishops in Rome, charged with preparing the“African Synod”.
2.
At the 1990 Synod of Bishops in Rome, he was elected one of the threeAfricans on the 15 – member Council of the General Secretariat of the Synodof Bishops, for the ordinary universal Synods.3.In 1991, he was appointed one of three Catholic members on the 30 – member Standing Committee of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Councilof Churches.
MISSION TO THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY
On July 7
th
1990, His Holiness Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Onaiyekan,Co-adjutor Bishop of Abuja, to work and eventually succeed His Eminence DominicCardinal Ekandem, first Bishop of Abuja. At the same where he had been bishopsince 1983.In March 1992, a new Bishop was appointed for Ilorin. With the ordination andinstalltion of Rt. Rev. Ayo-Maria Atoyebi, O.P., as the new Bishop of Ilorin in May1992, Bishop Oniayekan was finally able to leave Ilorin and take up full residence atAbuja.On the 14
th
of November 1992, it was announced in Rome that His Holiness,Pope John Paul II had accepted the request of His Eminence Dominic CardinalEkandem to be relieved of the pastoral charge of the Diocese of Abuja, by reason of canonical retirement age completed. With that announcement, Bishop JohnOlorunfemi Onaiyekan became the Bishop of Abuja.On this occasion of his formal installation as the 2
nd
Bishop of Abuja, bishopJohn request all to join him and the Diocese of Abuja in praying to God for continueddivine protection and guidance. The responsibility of being Bishop of the FederalCapital of Nigeria is a heavy one indeed. But we rejoice that the Lord Jesus is in fullcontrol. 
THE HISTORY OF ABUJA CATHOLIC DIOCESEA. PREAMBLE:
 No other expression could better describe life in the young Catholic Diocese of Abuja than the unspoken theme in shylock’s dramatic postulate:
“GROWTH IN DIFFICULTY”
The past few years have seen the emergence and plausible metamorphosis of Abuja Diocese from obscurity to limelight in spite of some seeming insurmountable

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