“Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward is great in heaven” (Matthew 5:12)

NOVEMBER 1, 1930 –


The Beginnings

In 1924 the railway in Nigeria
first reached Makurdi from the South, Father Vincent Davey used to come by
train and visit his Christians at the various stopping places until he reached
Makurdi at the end of the line. At all of these places there was a mud rest
house and many of them including Utonkon, Taraku and Moi-Igbo or Paka, (Ayar-Mbalom,
where two priests and worshippers were massacred by Fulani herdsmen during Mass
at St Ignatius quasi parish on April 24, 2018) eventually had a small
mud-and-grass church.  The first rest
house for the priest at Makurdi was built in 1926, where we have the current
St. Joseph‘s Trade Centre or Technical College, that was the end of the railway
before the first Benue bridge was built.

As the future importance of
Makurdi became clearer, a permanent site for a Church and a school was obtained
nearer to the town where we have the present Holy Ghost Parish and Holy Ghost
primary school. The permanent Church that was begun in 1926 was completed in
1929, and was the first biggest Catholic Church in Makurdi. The excitement of
such an edifice led to increase in Church membership and the Church could no
longer contain the number of worshippers. The rest house at the new site was
small, only one room, but it was made of cement block walls with iron roof and
a small house was built alongside for the catechist, Christopher Ilobi and his
family. The catechist’s second son was born here on January 5, 1930 and
baptized the next day, the feast of Epiphany and named Epiphanus

In the middle of 1930 it was
decided that Catholic Missionary priests should live on the permanent site in
Makurdi. These came from Germany: two priests and two brothers.  On November 1, 1930 when these missionaries
were introduced by Bishop Heerey to the people of Makurdi it was a big
celebration of the Holy Mass and reception. The Missionaries quickly began work
on the new Church because the Church was too small to contain the population at
Mass. The Church which was built with mud blocks collapsed. The construction of
this present Church was started on October 31, 1931 and completed in 1935.

Since that first public
celebration of the Holy Mass and presentation of the missionaries by the Bishop
on November 1, 1930, the Church of Holy Ghost has never looked back. Today Holy
Ghost Church can boast of giving birth to all the parishes and pastoral units
and institutions of the Church that exist in Makurdi metropolis, and by
extension the diocese of Makurdi. On November 1, 2020, Holy Ghost Church will
be 90 years and ten shy of a centenary. In the light of this milestone, we have
chosen to reflect on the labours and sacrifices of those missionaries and all
who followed in their footsteps to ensure that their labours were not in vain.
And this way, through a general assembly or synod renew our commitment to
serving God through humanity under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The Reason for this General Assembly

Any institution that has existed
for ninety years deserves a renewal especially where there are visible signs of
this existence. A renewal that connects the past with the present and the
present that projects a future, hence the theme of our assembly: “Rejoice and
be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Matt.5:12) What was the
motivation that inspired the early missionaries both foreign and indigenous to
sacrifice so much for what we have today and what is our motivation in ensuring
continuity and sustainability of the patrimony that we inherited? Look at the
architecture of the edifice they built both of the Church and the school, the
quality of their commitment and their adventurous spirit in discovering that
the mud we have can be turned into burnt bricks more durable than cement
blocks, have we done better? They built a first Aid centre that is today
Federal Medical Centre and by their practical faith, ensured that poor children
had scholarships and young people who could not go to school had practical and
technical skills that made them self-employed. 
The Church has continued to use these practical methods for evangelization:
Church is encountering God spiritually through prayer, enlightenment and
healing; this holistic approach encompasses the establishment of schools for
education and hospitals for physical healing so that the dignity of man is

We shall have the following
sub-themes for the assembly:

The authentic celebration and participation in
the Sacraments

Witnessing to Jesus in a post covid-19 Church

Joy and gladness in sustaining our Church

Relevance of this assembly

The theme of our General Assembly
is taken from the closing verse of the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus Christ and
it sums up the inspiration all believers ought to feel when they decide to
follow Jesus above any other consideration. 
The Sermon on the Mount or the beatitudes provokes love for God and
neigbour and stimulates interior joy and gladness in renouncing materials
things for the ultimate embrace of the Kingdom of God. This is exemplified in
the sacrifice of the early missionaries who left their country and came to this
Dark Continent, this country that even in the 21st century has no
stable electricity to plant the seed of God’s Kingdom. These courageous men and
women left the comfort of their countries, families, good roads, good food and
water and took abode in this dark Makurdi, full of mosquitoes, snakes, bad
water and ignorant idol worshippers to bring them the joy and gladness of God’s
Kingdom. Their sacrifice brought knowledge and liberation from the forces of
darkness and liberation from ignorance. They built schools and hospitals and
provided technical education and today we can act like civilized people.  We thank them for Holy Ghost Primary School
and St. Joseph’s Technical, formerly known as Boat Yard, and for all the
parishes that grew up from Holy Ghost and have established schools and
hospitals and provided many employment opportunities to our citizens.

The coronavirus pandemic has
exposed the weaknesses within our system and our approach to evangelization.
The early closure of public worship in our churches revealed how many of our
church members have no deep and profound knowledge of the Church and God; it
revealed how the Church was not ready for evangelizing through the social media
and modern means of communication; it revealed how many poor families cannot survive
for long without a clear and deliberate intervention on the part of the Church,
spiritually and materially; it revealed how the Church staff and pastoral
agents were ill-prepared for long time survival in the event of any tragedy of
great magnitude and it revealed how the Church needs a robust security and
financial architecture in the event where parishioners are no longer able to
offer financial assistance.  Besides the
coronavirus, the desecration of the Church of St. Peter’s Low Level, Makurdi is
another example of the vulnerability of our parishes and worship houses in this
century. Therefore get ready for persecution, for calumny and for being in want
will increase our joy and gladness because instead of being sudden development,
we would have armed ourselves and built our defenses in anticipation!

Success of the Assembly

Prayer: There is nothing we can
achieve without prayer; therefore for our assembly to achieve the desired
successful we will commit it to prayer. This is a spiritual gathering of God’s
own family, so there will be a composed prayer and parish anthem preferably
“Come Holy Ghost Creator come” that will be used before, during and after the

Active participation: All members
of the parish and particularly members of the different groups and associations
that make up the parish must enthusiastically participate in the sessions so
that the fruits of the assembly will be the product of our common deliberation
and solidarity.

Lineamenta and Instrumentum
: The preparatory stages of the assembly require a structured
outline that will layout or serve as a roadmap for the topics that will be
discussed and these topics and the questions these topics generate will become
the working document or Instrumentum Laboris.

The sub-themes are meant to cover
our Spiritual life, the practical ways of witnessing to our faith, social
justice and solidarity with the poor and commitment to physical development and
infrastructure; and the financial architecture, generating funds for a viable and
independent parish. These sub-themes will be three chapters of the lineamenta
and instrumentum laboris.

These are extra-ordinary times
but we are also extra-ordinary people and we are determined to do
extra-ordinary things through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Amen.


Father Moses Aondover IORAPUU

Parish Priest



Most. Rev. Dr. Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe Cmf


Rev. Fr. Dr. Moses IORAPUU


Fr. Jacob Atsehekaa VC


Fr. Moses Iorshamber VC





Holy Ghost Parish Makurdi


ACC NO: 0025482953


Tuesday - Friday

8:30am - 12:30pm &

4:30pm - 6:00pm


Priests are available all the time


Every last Saturday of the month


5:00am (English)

6:00am (English)

7:00am (Idoma,Igala/Igede)

9:00am (Tiv)

11:00am (English)

6:00pm (English/Ibo)

Benediction/Rosary: 5:00pm


St. Joseph Technical School around water board 

8:00am (English)


4:30pm (Saturdays)


6:15am: Morning

(Monday - Friday)

12 noon: (Monday - Friday)

7.00am: Saturdays

6:00pm: Monday - Friday


Diocese web site: www.cdmakurdi.org 

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