By Fr. Peter-Claver Osinachi ANUCHA, OMI (Superior Nigeria Oblate Mission)
The superior of the Oblate mission in Nigeria has sent a message in which he updates the Oblate family on the condition of Fr. Marcellus OMI. At the same time, he offers his heartfelt gratitude for the support and prayers. He also appeals for more prayers for the Church and its mission in Nigeria.
The message reads as follows:
KIDNAPPED OBLATE IN NIGERIA MISSION: REPORT AND APPRECIATION
Fr. Marcellus NWAOHUOCHA, OMI, has been discharged from the hospital after receiving intensive healthcare.
Recall that Fr. Marcellus was kidnapped from his parish rectory in Bomo Plateau State, Nigeria, by unknown gunmen on Saturday, June 17th, 2023. The miscreants horrendously gunned down the parish watchman, Mr. Jacob Adandi (may he rest in peace), and mercilessly beat Fr. Marcellus before taking him to an unknown location. He was held in bondage in a bush, enduring heavy rain and starvation for three days. Fr. Marcellus was left half-dead until his liberation on Tuesday, June 20th, 2023.
My dear brothers, I must emphasize that our brother’s survival can only be attributed to divine intervention. While the assailants were brutally assaulting him, they openly declared their intention to kill him. The severe and multiple cuts on his head witness this horrifying ordeal.
With great joy and gratitude, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to all of you for your prayers and support. I am deeply thankful to Fr. General, Luis Ignacio ROIS ALONSO, OMI, for his fatherly care. He has constantly communicated and accompanied us during these challenging moments in our Nigerian mission.
I also sincerely thank Fr. KAPENA, the General Councillor for Africa-Madagascar, for his brotherly concern. My warm appreciation goes to Fr. Ferdinand OWONO-NDIH, our Provincial Superior, for his unwavering support. I also express immense gratitude to the Nigeria Council [Frs. Chukwu Christopher and Uzor Chrys], all the oblates, those working in Nigeria, particularly Frs. Anigbogu Francis, Nguele Anicet, Fr. Obi Gabriel, and Sch. Nyanga, for their various roles and generous support. My immense gratitude to the entire Oblate family and friends; your prayers, concern, and support deeply touched us.
Lastly, I invite you to continue praying for and supporting us in our mission in Nigeria. The attacks on Christians have been truly disheartening in recent times. Since 2009, 52,250 Christians have been killed in Nigeria due to their faith by Islamist extremists. As of April 18th, 2023, La Croix reported that a thousand Christians had been killed in Nigeria in the first 100 days of this year.
In this country, we, the Oblates, strive to live out our Oblate Charism in the face of insecurity and multifaceted challenges stemming from fundamentalism and socio-political and religious crises. Let us remain united in prayer, as Christ’s mission must continue, and our fraternal solidarity as pilgrims of hope in communion remains our guiding principle.