Most Rev. Michael Kalu Ukpong has been installed as the new catholic bishop of the Umuahia Diocese in Abia state.
His installation followed the elevation of the former, His Lordship, Most Reverned Licus Ugorji to the Metropolitan Archbishop of Owerri, Imo state to also replace Archbishop Anthony Obinna whose retirement was accepted upon reaching the mandatory age limit of 75 years.
Ukpong is now the third bishop of umuahia was consecrated and installed on 2nd February 2023 in an event held at Mater Dei Cathedral, umuahia led by the Pope Francis representative, His Grace Anthonio Guido Filipazzi, papal Nuncio to Nigeria.
Bishop Kalu Ukpong hailed from Amaekpu community in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia state, and had his episcopal ordination (Auxillary Bishop), on 30th July, 2020.
On 24th June 2022, he was appointed as the Diocesan administrator, and later, on November 1st, 2022, he was appointed as the Diocesan Bishop by Pope Francis, to replace His Grace Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji who is currently on transfer to owerri catholic diocese.
However, speaking on the expectations of catholic faithfuls from him as he installed as the new Bishop of Umuahia Catholic Diocese at a well-attended ceremony heldst Mater Dei cathedral in Umuahia, the Abia state capital, Ukpong stated that he has come as servant of the gospel together with the catholic faithfuls in umuahia and wider diocese in different capacities to work together on what is needed for the development in the diocese.
He assured Abia catholic community that he would be guided by the spirit of God even as he is aware of many contributions and strides of his predecessors.
The foremost Nigerian priest reiterated the assurance that all his actions and activities would be guided according to the doctrine and norms of the universal church, catholic faiths.
Ukpong applauded the Pope Francis and his predecessors for the unity in catholic community in Abia state and further assured the sustainence of the existing unity in the churches in the state as he assumed his new priestly position.
Earlier in his message, the spiritual head of the Roman catholic church worldwide, Pope Francis tasked the new bishop, Most Rev. Michael Kalu Ukpong to emulate his precedessors as the third Bishop of the Diocese, admonishing him not to cut corners or take sides in the cause of his service and allow brotherly love to continue among his priests.
Source: Thepressradio.com|Nigeria|Emeruwa Chinedu