Next weekend at all our Masses for the Lord’s Day (Sunday), we will welcome Father Bernardine Eikhuemelo, a priest of the Diocese of Uromi, Nigeria. While Fr. Bernardine ministers in our Diocese as the pastor of Saint Pius V, Holy Rosary and Crucifixion Parishes in Jacksonville, he is a priest of the Diocese of Uromi. It is located in the southern part of Nigeria and the diocese canonically erected just 12 years ago by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Catholics make up just a little over 14% of the population, which is predominantly Muslim. There are 26 parishes along with 115 “Mass stations,” that is, sites where priests travel in order to celebrate Mass and the other sacraments for the faithful. Catholic Christianity came to the area about 100 years ago. The young diocese has been able to start its own seminary at which 52 seminarians are studying at present.
The Diocese of Uromi is still considered by the Church as a “missionary diocese,” thus, its participation in the Missionary Cooperative Appeal. There will be a special second collection at all Masses that weekend. Please make checks payable to “Cathedral Parish” with a note that it is for “Mission Cooperative.” Your generosity is most appreciated.