By Neta Nwosu
Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos has appointed Very Rev. Msgr. Paschal Nwaezeapu, Very Rev. Fr. Anthony Fadairo, Very Rev. Fr. Julius Olaitan and Very Fr. Francis Anyanwu as Episcopal Vicars for Lekki, Ikeja, Lagos and Badagry regions of the Archdiocese of Lagos. Archbishop Martins made this disclosure at the ordination of eleven new priests, penultimate Thursday at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos. The new Episcopal Vicars will take up responsibilities of Episcopal management from their predecessors, Rt. Rev. Msgr. John Aniagwu, Very Rev. Msgr. Bernard Okodua, Very Rev. Msgr. Francis Ogunmodede and Very Rev. Fr. Edward Hartnett with effect from October 2023.
Announcing the appointments, Archbishop Martins said, “We announce the following appointments as Episcopal Vicars in the Archdiocese of Lagos; Very Rev. Msgr. Pascal Nwaezeapu as the new Episcopal Vicar of Lekki Region, Very Rev. Fr. Anthony Fadairo for Ikeja Region, Very Rev. Fr. Julius Olaitan for Lagos Region and Very Rev. Fr. Francis Anyanwu for Badagry Region. They will assist us in serving to run smoothly the administration of our Archdiocese. And of course, this takes place in the month of October. Obviously, as we have had new ordinations, it means will be having new movements and new appointments, and new postings shall take place.”
A diocesan bishop may assign his oversight for particular apostolic activities to persons called Episcopal Vicars. Canon 476 articulates the conditions for appointment, and the vicar’s duties and authority. “As often as the good governance of the diocese requires it, the diocesan bishop can appoint one or more Episcopal Vicars . . . The competence of an Episcopal Vicar is limited to a determined part of the diocese, or to a specific type of activity, or to the faithful of a particular rite, or to certain groups of people.”
A vicar is a priest at least 30 years of age, well-versed in the discipline pertaining to his appointment, and known for sound doctrine, integrity, prudence and practical experience. An Episcopal Vicar has executive authority pertaining only to the type of appointed activity and the faculties granted a diocesan bishop by the Apostolic See. He must report to the diocesan bishop on more important matters and never act against the will and mind of the diocesan bishop.
The new Episcopal Vicars
Very Rev. Msgr. Paschal Nwaezeapu
Very Rev. Msgr. Paschal Nwaezeapu is the Parish Priest of Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, Lekki and Dean, Lekki Deanery. Ordained on August 20, 1994, he is known for his laudable initiative that has not only greatly enhanced Catholic evangelisation, but also impacted on the lives of the people. Now in its eleventh year, Unusual Praise gathers hundreds of people from different denominations of Christianity who all have one mission – to praise God.
Today, the overall response has been incredible; Unusual Praise has continued to grow from strength to strength. The 2022 edition was a much bigger event. Currently, the Chaplain, of the Order of Knights of St. Mulumba, Lagos Metropolitan Council, he has served the Church in various capacities.
Very Rev. Fr. Anthony Oluyomi Taiye Fadairo
Very Rev. Fr. Anthony Oluyomi Taiye Fadairo, Dean, Maryland Deanery was ordained for the Archdiocese of Lagos on October 27,1990 at St. Leo Catholic Church, Ikeja, by the then Archbishop Anthony Olubunmi Okogie. He had his seminary formation at Ss. Peter and Paul, Ekpoma, Edo State and Ss. Peter and Paul, Bodija, Oyo State. Fr. Fadairo earned Bachelor of Theology and Bachelor of Arts, Religious Studies in Pontifical Urban University, Rome and University of Ibadan, respectively. He is a post graduate of University of Glasgow with a Master’s degree in Theology and Master of Letters in New Testament Studies. In his 33 years of Priesthood, Fr. Fadairo has served the Church as Associate Parish Priest, Priestin-Charge and Parish Priest. The current Parish Priest of St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland was once the Parish Priest of Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, Lekki Phase 1, Holy Family Festac Town, St. Ferdinand Catholic Church, Ipaja and Immaculate Conception, Ibonwon.
The Chaplain, Maryland Deanery Laity Council has also served as Secretary to the Council of Priests as well as Spiritual Director of Knights of St. Mulumba, Lekki Sub-Council and Catholic Men Organisation, Lekki Deanery. Also the Chairman of St. John Mary Vianney Home for Priests since 2017 and Archdiocesan Chaplain, Lagos Archdiocesan Confraternity of Christian Mothers; he was until recently the National Chaplain, National Confraternity of Christian Mothers.
Fr. Anthony Fadairo who has been the Novena Coordinator, Archdiocesan Marian Shrine, Maryland as far back as 2013 is a member of Lagos Inter-Diocesan Tribunal, Archdiocese of Lagos Leading for Mission Group, Lagos Archdiocesan CURIA and Lagos Archdiocesan Board of Consultors. He has also held notable positions as Vice Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Epe Local Government, first Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government.
Very Rev. Fr. Julius Olaitan
Very Rev. Fr. Julius Olaitan, Dean, Lagos Island Deanery and Parish Priest, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, Victoria Island had his priestly ordination on August 8, 1998, by Anthony Cardinal Okogie, then Archbishop of Lagos, at St. Dominic Catholic Church, Yaba. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Theology from Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome and Philosophy from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Fr. Julius also holds an M.A in religion and culture, theology and philosophy in Dialogue (MARCTP) from Mater Dei Institute (MDI), a College of Dublin City University (DCU), Dublin, Ireland. Prior to entering seminary formation at Ss. Peter & Paul, Ekpoma, Edo State and Ss. Peter & Paul Major Seminary Ibadan, Oyo State; he had his primary and secondary education at Roman Catholic Mission (RCM) Primary School, Mojoda – Odoayan and Okemagba High School, Mojoda-Odoayan.
Fr. Olaitan has served as Associate Priest, St Michael Catholic Church, Alapere, Ketu, before being assigned as Parish Priest of St Michael Catholic Church, Alapere, Ketu, Administrator, Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos and later Parish Priest, Our Lady Mother of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, Ajah, Lagos. The Director, Lagos Resource Centre since 2020 has served the Church as Chaplain, Church of Assumption, Booterstown, Dublin; Project Director, St Albert the Great Major Seminary, Idowu Ofonron, Ogun State; Chaplain/Coordinator, Small Christian Communities, Archdiocese of Lagos, Director of Vocations, Archdiocese of Lagos and Chairman, Lagos Archdiocesan Jubilee of Mercy Committee. He is a member of Priests Welfare Committee, Archdiocese of Lagos, All Purpose Committee, Archdiocese of Lagos and Lagos State Pilgrims Welfare Board.
Fr. Olaitan is a priest many across the world follow for their morning devotional prayers. He is a dynamic voice on WhatsApp and You Tube shaping people’s thoughts spiritually at sunrise. Daily, Fr. Olaitan walks Catholics and non Catholics alike through the entire Mass readings in an engaging style, providing commentary on Catholic liturgy, reflections, life issues and prayer along the way. The short and fast-paced Audio casts and videos of the social media-savvy priest offer exceptional insights into the Catholic Church as well as give the listeners the strength and appropriate mind-set to push through the day. For some lay faithful, listening to Fr. Olaitan’s morning preaching is sharing personal moments with God that keeps them optimised and motivated with clear direction from God.
Very Rev. Fr. Francis Onyeka Anyanwu
Very Rev. Fr. Francis Onyeka Anyanwu is the Parish Priest of St. Patrick Catholic Church Ojo, Alaba, Lagos and Dean, Satellite Deanery, Archdiocese of Lagos. Following his ordination on June 27, 1997, 26 years ago at Bodija, Ibadan, he has worked as Parish Priest at St. Ferdinand Catholic Church, Boys Town, Ipaja; St. Denis Catholic Church, Bariga and Regina Pacis Catholic Church, Sangotedo, Epe, Lagos amid others.
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