Former student of STRS and the bishop of Otupko (Nigeria) since 2003, Bishop Michael visited STRS on Tuesday Aug. 31st and met with his former professor, Dean Msgr. Kevin Irwin. Bishop Michael’s diocese has over ninety priests, both diocesan and from religious communities. But he observed that one of the challenges was that only four of them were older than the bishop – who is about to turn 50! The diocese has eighty five seminarians in Theology studies and ninety five in Philosophy. They attend a regional seminary with over five hundred students. The diocese is also served by five indigenous religious communities of women and one international community (the Daughters of Charity).
In the rainy season (May to September) Bishop Michael stays close to his home base because roads are often washed out. During the rest of the year he travels weekly to parishes and “stations” within the parishes from Thursday through Sunday. When he returns to headquarters he reviews what he has learned and prepares for the next pastoral visit.
Bishop Michael is in the US visiting one of his priests who is serving as a chaplain in Texas, then making a visit to the archdiocese of Baltimore, where he will meet with CUA Trustee Archbishop Edwin O’Brien and also with the staff of Catholic Relief Services. Lastly, he is making a missionary appeal for his diocese in the archdiocese of Chicago.
Bishop Michael was accompanied by John Barba, a doctoral candidate in STRS who hopes to defend his dissertation this semester.