NIGERIA: Pope Creates New Catholic Diocese in South-East Region

By Arnold Neliba

AGULERI, FEBRUARY 14, 2023 (CISA)Pope Francis has erected the Catholic Diocese of Aguleri in south-east Nigeria barely three months after creating the Catholic Diocese of Wukari, which was excised from the Catholic Diocese of Jalingo on December 14, 2022.

According to an announcement made on February 12, the new diocese was curved from the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha.

“The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Denis Chidi Isizoh, until now titular bishop of Legia and auxiliary of the archdiocese of Onitsha, as the first bishop of Aguleri,” reads the declaration in part.

With an area of 1388 square kilometres, the new diocese of Aguleri located in the state of Anambra covers four local government areas including; Anambra West, Anambra East, Oyi and Ayamelum with its cathedral at St Joseph Catholic Church in Aguleri.

Statistically, the new diocese has a population of 1,857,060 out of which 357,965 are Catholics distributed in 63 parishes with 113 diocesan priests and 7 religious priests.

Born on January 24, 1956, in Ogbunike, Bishop Isizoh was ordained deacon on December 23, 1984, and later ordained a priest for the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha on September 28, 1985.

Since February 6, 2015, Bishop Isizoh has been the auxiliary bishop of Onitsha.

The 67-year-old bishop will be installed on March 17 ahead of the episcopal installation and consecration of Rt Rev Mark Maigida Nzukweini on April 13, 2023, also as the first bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wukari.

The creation of the Catholic Diocese of Aguleri brings the total number of dioceses in Nigeria to 59.