Fr. Peter Uzochukwu from Nigeria is spending the next year in our diocese to assist our outreach to the African community in our midst. Includes video interviewIn this video he discusses his work, the character of African liturgy and the vocations boom in his native land.
Fr. Peter is available to help parishes, chaplaincies or communities in reaching out to your local African community, especially in our form of conducting the Catholic worship.
Fr Peter can be reached as follows –
Fr Peter Uzochukwu joins the team
Fr. Peter Uzochukwu is a priest of the diocese of of Nnewi in Nigeria. He recently completed his doctoral studies in the Catholic university of Louvain Belgium. Following an agreement between Bishop Moriarty and the Bishop of Nnewi, Bishop Hilary O. Okeke, Fr Peter will spend a year in the diocese of Kildare & Leighlin to help in assisting the immigrants in our midst. He has been offered a residence in Portlaoise Parish where he also undertakes some parochial duties.
Fr. Peter’s work entails helping the existing diocesan personnel in coordinating the immigrant communities in the diocese; specifically reaching out to Africans living and working among us. This work includes caring for both the the spiritual and temporal welfare of the immigrants.
This task, which concretely entails:
- Celebrating the Holy Mass in English language and in a fashion that appeals to African spirituality or forms of worship
- Occasional spiritual retreats, promoting devotions like Bible Study groups, Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement, Children’s After-school sessions, etc.
- Attending to the spiritual needs (e.g. baptism, reconciliation, counselling) of the various groups of Asylum-seekers that are currently living in the different hostels scattered around the diocese.
- Needless stressing that this also entails some social activities like dance and drama through which the various immigrant communities and the host Irish community can be mutually enriched and integrated.
- He is to work with parish teams for reception and integration.
We hope to develop a section on our website which will everyone updated on our services and outreach to the ‘new Irish’ community. Please check back for further updates.
We warmly welcome Fr Peter to our diocese. We look forward to a great collaboration.
Pastoral Care of Migrants
The need to receive and integrate the many immigrants that come around is often an important part of the life and ministry of many dioceses in developed nations.
Consequently, on 19 March 1970, with the Motu Proprio Apostolicae Caritatis, Pope Paul VI established the “Pontificia Commissio de Spirituali Migratorum atque Itinerantium Cura, ie., Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.”
The task of this commission, which every diocese is enjoined to imitate, is studying and providing pastoral care to “people on the move” such as: migrants, exiles, refugees, displaced people, fishermen and seafarers, air travellers, road transport workers, nomads, circus people, fairground workers, pilgrims and tourists, as well as those categories of people who, for various reasons, are involved in human mobility, such as students abroad, and operators and technicians engaged in large projects or scientific research at the international level who are obliged to move from one country to another.
In as much as they enjoy the rich socio-religious life of their host Irish nation, such immigrants who come from various cultural backgrounds often cherish any situation or provision whereby they can be ministered to in a manner that they are familiar with in their various backgrounds. Attending to such needs has become significant form of ministry in the life of our Kildare and Leighlin diocese.