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“Nigerian Church great in spiritual richness despite material poverty” – American Prelate

By PJ Usanga

Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, United States of America, Most Rev. Thomas John Paprocki described the Nigerian Church as one that possesses great spiritual richness despite experiencing material poverty and want. He expressed joy over the growing number of Christians and Catholics in Nigeria and the commendable rise in clerical vocation.

“I am very impressed about the number of people in the church, the number of Catholics and the joy that emanate from them. For example, yesterday we had Mass at Veritas University and there were over a thousand students there, we also had mass with the seminarians at the National Missionary Seminary of St Paul. I have noticed a lot of missionary vocation in the coutry. In all, I have seen a good number of people, the depth of their faith and the joy they have in their heart. Despite the fact that they may experience material poverty, but they have a great spiritual richness.”

The Prelate disclosed this in an exclusive chat with CSN Media during his visit to the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) in the company of the Emeritus Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan on Thursday January 11, 2024.

Bishop Paprocki further disclosed that the visit which was his first time of coming to Nigeria, became necessary since he needed to reach out to Cardinal Onaiyekan whom he described as an old friend, and the need to know the hometown of one his newly ordained priest who hails from Nigeria. He also expressed delight that the visit availed him the opportunity to see the city of Abuja and learn more about the country and the church in Nigeria.

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