The Holy Father, Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Fr. Michael Kalu Ukpong of the clergy of the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria, Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia, also assigning him Titular Bishop of the See of Igilgili. Prior to his appointment, Very Rev. Fr. Michael Ukpong was the Chancellor of the same Diocese and Parish Priest of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church.
Who is an Auxiliary Bishop?
An auxiliary is usually appointed by the Pope to assist the Diocesan Bishop in meeting the Pastoral and administrative needs of the Diocese. Auxiliary bishops can also be titular bishops of sees that no longer exist. “The particular duties of an auxiliary bishop are given by the diocesan bishop and can vary widely depending on the auxiliary bishop, the ordinary, and the needs of the diocese. In a larger archdiocese, they might be assigned to serve a portion of the archdiocese (sometimes called deaneries, regions, or vicariates) or to serve a particular population such as immigrants or those of a particular heritage or language. Canon law requires that the diocesan bishop appoint each auxiliary bishop as vicar general or episcopal vicar of the diocese” (cf. Wikipedia and /or New Advent).
Profile of Rt. Rev. Msgr. Michael Ukpong
Born on December 15, 1964 in Amaekpu Ohafia, in the Diocese of Umuahia, the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Michael Kalu Ukpon attended the Immaculate Conception Minor Seminary in Ahiaeke (1978-1984). On the completion of his philosophical studies at the Seat of Wisdom Major Seminary in Owerri (1985-1989), and theological studies at the St. Joseph Major Seminary in Ikot Ekpene (1989-1993), he went on further studies in Canon Law in the Klaus-Mörsdorf-Institut für Kanonistik at the Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität in Munich, Germany (2006-2007) and then theology at the von Regensburg University in Regensburg, obtaining a doctorate (2008-2014), before he was ordained a priest on August 7, 1993, for the Diocese of Umuahia.
Since ordination, he has held the following positions:
- 1993-1994: Parish Vicar of St. Finbarr’s Parish in Umuahia
- 1994-1996: Secretary of the Bishop of Umuahia
- 1996-1999: Parish priest of St. John’s Parish ad Item
- 1999-2001: Editor of the Lumen Newspaper, of the Diocese of Umuahia
- 2001-2003: Chaplain at Christ the King Chaplaincy in Umudike
- 2004-2014: Higher studies in Germany
- 2008-2011: Parish vicar of St. Joseph’s Parish in Reinhausen, Diocese of Regensburg, Germany
- 2011-2013: Parish vicar of the Assumption Parish in Ascholtshausen, Diocese of Regensburg, Germany
- 2013-2016: Parochial Vicar in the Parish UnitBerathausen-Pfraundorf, Diocese of Regensburg, Germany
- 2016-2018: Principal of the Coronata Secondary School in Asaga Ohafia
- Since 2018: Chancellor of the Diocese of Umuahia and parish priest of St. Theresa’s Parish in Umuahia.
We pray that God will give Rt. Rev. Msgr. Michael Ukpong the grace to carry out this divine mandate. Ad Multos Annos!
The incumbent Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia is Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, who has been Bishop of the Diocese of Umuahia since 1990.