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One thing I ask of the Lord. This I long to dwell in the house of the Lord,
all the days of my life.



Maiden Speech Presented by Most Rev. Dr. Michael Kalu Ukpong after his installation as the 3rd Bishop of Umuahia on February 2, 2023.




Your Grace, Most Rev. Antonio Filipazzi, Papal Nuncio to Nigeria Your Eminencies …..

Your Gracies, My Lord Bishops, Monsignori, Rev Fathers, Religious Men and Women. Your Excellencies, ….. and their entourage,


Scio cui Credidi, is my episcopal motto, meaning “I know whom I believe” namely: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, he is never Yes-and-No, He is the Yes to all God has promised (2Cor 1:19). I thank him for his faithfulness and love. I know the only meaningful thanks I can give to him is to remain in love with him and be faithful to him in return.

I thank His Holiness Pope Francis for finding me worthy to govern the Church in Umuahia Diocese. I pray God to sustain him in his Petrine Ministry. My heart is full of gratitude to his representative among us, His Grace, Most Rev. Antonio Filipazzi, the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, for working hard to see that the See of Umuahia did not remain vacant for long. If I am not mistaken, Umuahia has recorded the shortest period of transition in recent times in Nigeria, and the credit goes to the Nuncio.

Thank you, your Grace, Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, for your meritorious episcopacy in Umuahia for 32 years. I liken you and your predecessor, Most Rev. Anthony Gogo Nwedo of blessed memory, to David and Solomon. David established the kingdom of Israel by conquering the enemies of the Israelites all round them, Solomon built the temple David proposed and developed the kingdom and made it glorious. Bishop Nwedo, like David, established the Church in Umuahia Diocese by conquering all opposing forces around us. Like Solomon you built this Cathedral Nwedo dreamt of, you built up the diocese to the stage it is now. It has almost everything a diocese should have. I thank you for all that and promise you; your legacies will be maintained and respected.

I want to assure you that Umuahia Diocese is in good hands, not because it is in my hands, but because it is in the hands of God who has chosen to rule His Church through me (2Tim 1:12).

I thank your Eminences, your Graces and your Lordships for your solidarity and esteemed presence here today. Seeing you all around me is

a source of encouragement, that I have more than enough senior colleagues to consult when need be. Thank you for being there for me.

I am grateful to all the Priests and Religious gathered here. Thank you for finding time to be here. The Presbyterium of Umuahia, thank you for your brotherly support, which I do not take for granted. With your cooperation we will achieve a lot for God in our diocese. I don’t pretend to know everything or have the solution to every problem, so anybody, Clergy, Religious or Lay faithful who feels he or she has good idea on how to make things move is welcome to air his or her views. I need the contribution of everybody.

Our cherished ecumenical brothers and sisters I value your presence here; be assured that anyone or group who honestly work for the realisation of the prayer of Jesus for the unity of His Church is my friend and co- worker.

Our political leaders from Abia State and beyond: your presence here today is highly appreciated. God bless you for being here. Please note that the Church is your partner when you work for the good of the people entrusted to you. God who entrusted the care of the temporal wellbeing of His children to civil authorities has also entrusted the spiritual wellbeing of the same children of His to the Church. When the civil government fails in her duty, she makes the work of the Church more difficult. Because as we all know, a hungry man does not shout or sing alleluia. Also, if the Church fails in her duty, the civil government will have serious difficulty maintaining law and order. If any government consciously neglects or abandons her responsibilities, it becomes an onus on the Church to remind such government of her obligations. In such a situation the Church should not be seen as an enemy or as opposing the government. The Church and State should work in synergy, for we are working for the same Master – God, to whom we must give account of our stewardships when the time comes.

I thank the Royal Majesties and Highnesses in our mist, especially His Royal Majesty Uduma O. Kalu, Ekpudiogba V of Amaekpu Ohafia, worthy Knights and Ladies of the Church, other distinguished guests, I am grateful that you are here today to honour this ceremony with your august presence. God bless you for that.

Ndi Ohafia in your various segments Kaanoo for your presence here. Today is a day the Lord made for us to rejoice and be glad.

I thank members of Ukpong Kalu Family lead by Ambassador Sir Basil Ukpong and his Lady ,Lucy Ukpong. Nde Ndi Uche you are welcome.

A big thank you to the Committee that organised the events of today. I am grateful to the various functionaries: Choir, Altar Servers, Security people, the Press, Dance Groups, who are yet to perform, Atuegwu Age grade, Great Ahiaeke ’83 and any other group I may have forgotten to mention. I thank every individual in this hallowed congregation. I really appreciate everyone’s contributions to the success of this ceremony. Only God can reward each person and group properly.

As I today formally take over the leadership of the people of God in Umuahia Diocese. I have only one ambition and that is to grow/advance the Catholic Faith as far and wide as the grace of God enables me. For that is the reason for which Christ founded the Church, to go and make all nations his disciples. And so, anybody who is willing to work with me to achieve this goal is highly welcome. It does not matter where you come from, the Church is one, and her mission is one. No Catholic is a stranger in the Church anywhere in the world. Because the Church is Catholic, that is universal. Apart from that a diocesan bishop is the bishop of every human being in his diocese.

May I humbly announce that I have chosen Very Rev. Fr. Chukwudi Anya as my Vicar General. I retain Very Rev. Fr. Henry Maduka as the Chancellor. Other appointments will come later.

Thank you all. When we finish, may God lead each and every one of you safely back to your destinations. Thank you for coming.


+Michael Kalu Ukpong 

   Bishop of Umuahia 

   February 2, 2023

1 Comment(s)
  • Judemary Okafor
    2023-03-21 19:52:28
    Congratulations to His Lordship Michael Kalu Ukpong. May Our Good Lord, Jesus Christ ever be your strength and Our Mother, Mary of Perpetual Help always direct and intercede for you to Her Son. Amen.

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Date: 2022-09-08 - 2022-09-10

The Catholic Diocese of Umuahia wishes to invite everyone to join in celebrating "THE NATIVITY OF OUR BLESSED VIRGIN MARY"   From Thursday 8th to Saturday 10th of September 2022.   Venue: Mater Dei Cathedral at Marian shrine.   Time: 4:30pm on Thursday and Friday.   Saturday (Grand finale) - 9:00am

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logoThe Diocese of Umuahia was erected on June 23, 1958 with Most Rev. Anthony Gogo Nwaedo C.S.Sp. as its first Bishop and Most Rev Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji as the second Bishop. The diocese was carved out from the then Diocese of Owerri. Since its inception, two other dioceses: Okigwe (1981) and Aba (1990) have been excised from it. Its present area of about 2,460.40km2 spans six Local Government Areas: Umuahia North, Umuahia South, Ikwuano, Bende, Ohafia and Arochukwu.

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  • 088-220364, 222259, 08035080682.
  • Diocesan secretariat, 57 Azikwe Road, P.O Box 99, Umuahia. Abia State, Nigeria.