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Onaga becomes Enugu Bishop

The Very Rev. Msgr. Calistus Valentine Chukwuma Onaga has emerged as the bishop-elect of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Enugu.

The 51-year old Msgr. Dr. Onaga succeeds the incumbent bishop of the diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr. Anthony Okonkwo Gbuji, who was transferred from Issele Uku diocese in 1997 to succeed late Bishop Michael Ugwuja Eneja after his retirement the same year. Msgr. Onaga's appointment to succeed bishop Gbuji came via a letter of February 9, 2009 from the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope's letter to Msgr. Onaga read in part: "On our part, since we were elected to the position of successor of Peter, we have applied our self to proclaim Christ, who conquered death and is truly risen, to all men of good will, studiously pondering over their spiritual journey. Now, accompanying with pastoral solicitude the faithful of the beloved land of Nigeria, and especially the flock of Enugu where, following the resignation of our venerable brother Anthony Okonkwo Gbuji, we wish to give a new pastor as diligent preacher of the Gospel.

beloved son, who fulfilled assiduously the position of Vicar General in that ecclesial community, seemed to us to be suitable for taking on that position. Therefore, having received the opinion of the congregation for the Evangelization of peoples, by virtue of the plenitude of our Apostolic power and authority, appoint you by virtue of this letter to be Bishop of Enugu, with all its assigned rights and concomitant obligations

Until his bishopric appointment by the Holy Father, Msgr. Onaga who hails from Agbudu, in the Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, was the Vicar General of Enugu diocese and the Cathedral Administrator. He was ordained a priest of the church on August 8, 1987; sent to Germany on further studies by Bishop Eneja in 1991, and returned to Nigeria in 2001, assuming duties in the Enugu diocese on his return as the Deputy Director of the Catholic Institute for Development, Justice, Peace and Caritas (CIDJAP) and later chairman of the diocese's commission on Politics in 2002.

With his position he becomes UP-MFB President. The bank was established in 1995 by the diocese, with the then bishop, Michael Eneja, as the president. Onaga will be the third president of UP-MFB and the 5th Bishop of Enugu.

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