Aba Catholic Diocese in Abia, yesterday, received Very Rev. Fr. Augustine Echema, Diocesan Bishop-elect at Christ the King Cathedral (CKC), after five years of operating without a bishop following the death of erstwhile Bishop, Valentine Ezeonyia in 2015.
Pope Francis had on Saturday, December 28, 2019 announced the appointment of Very Rev. Fr. Augustine Ndubueze Echema of the Owerri presbytery as the new bishop of Aba diocese.
Echema, ordained a priest by the Owerri Catholic Diocese was handed over to Aba Diocese in a service at St. James Catholic Church, Owerrinta ahead of his ordination on Thursday, February 13.
Until his appointment, Echema was a Professor of Liturgy in the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA), Port Harcourt.
During the mid-day service at CKC Aba to welcome the bishop-elect, Echema thanked members of the church and priests who came to welcome him saying he was overwhelmed by their acts of service and love.
The Aba Diocesan Administrator, Fr. Innocent Ajuonu, said he was happy that Aba Diocese had finally received its Chief Shepherd as it as was not easy administering the diocese for five years without a Bishop. Ajuonu said the clergy and laity, and good people of the diocese were willing to assist him succeed in his ministry.
Mr. Cherechi Nwogu, the Aba South Transition Chairman, described the appointment of the Bishop-elect to the local government which is the base of Echema’s new ministry, as a welcome development.
He expressed delight over Echema’s appointment as the Aba Catholic Diocesan Bishop and assured him of their support and service.
He was born on December 28, 1958 in Ohuhu Nsulu, in Isiala Ngwa North LGA.
He had his minor seminary formation at St. Peter Claver Minor Seminary in Okpala, Owerri, between 1972 to1977.
He completed his philosophical studies at the Bigard Memorial Seminary Ikot Ekpene (1978-1982) and theological studies at BIgard Seminary Enugu 1982-1986.