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Kidnapped Nigerian priest freed after torture, hospitalized with “deep wounds on his head”

Fr. Marcellus Nwaohuocha, a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) who was kidnapped on June 17 from Nigeria’s Jos Archdiocese has been freed.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa Tuesday, June 20, the Superior of OMI in Nigeria announces the release from Fr. Marcellus from captivity after having been tortured, and that he “has deep wounds on his head.”

Fr. Peter Klaver expresses gratitude to God for the release “of our confrere Fr. Marcellus”, who he says “was released on the night of June 19-20,” and that “he is currently in hospital for treatment.”

Fr. Marcellus was kidnapped when unidentified gunmen stormed St. Paul Bomo Catholic Parish of Jos Archdiocese where he serves as Parish Priest.

The kidnappers shot the Parish security guard who died on the way to the hospital.

In his June 20 statement, Fr. Klaver appeals for prayers for the soul of the late security guard and for complete healing of his hospitalized confrere, saying, “Let us pray for the full recovery of his health and for the repose of the soul of the deceased, who leaves a family (wife and children).”

The kidnapping and release of Fr. Marcellus is the latest in a series of abductions that have targeted members of the Clergy, Seminarians, and other Christians in Africa’s most populous nation, sometimes resulting in murders.

On June 11,  Fr. Jeremiah Yakubu, a Priest of Kafanchan Diocese, was kidnapped and later released.

Earlier, on June 7, Fr. Charles Onomhoale Igechi, a member of the Clergy of Benin City Catholic Archdiocese who was set to mark his first Priestly anniversary on August 13 was shot dead while returning from pastoral duties.

On June 2, Fr. Stanislaus Mbamara, a Catholic Priest ministering in Nigeria’s Nnewi Diocese was kidnapped and later set free.

Officials of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was sworn in on May 29, to prioritize the security concerns and the economic struggles of the people of God in the West African nation.

“Nigeria is facing a number of challenges that require strong and decisive leadership. From security concerns to economic struggles, it is clear that there is much work to be done in order to ensure that Nigeria can reach its full potential,” Rev. Daniel Okoh said on May 29.

On May 27, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Nigeria’s Sokoto Diocese called upon the new President of Nigeria to identify what is behind the “scars, wounds, and injuries” of Nigerians even as he prioritizes their healing.

Source :
ACI Africa

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Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
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Daily Reflections

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Daily Readings

Friday of the Third week of Easter

Acts of the Apostles 9,1-20.

Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest
and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should... find any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.
On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
He said, "Who are you, sir?" The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do."
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one.
Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.
For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.
There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." He answered, "Here I am, Lord."
The Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is there praying,
and (in a vision) he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay (his) hands on him, that he may regain his sight."
But Ananias replied, "Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man, what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem.
And here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison all who call upon your name."
But the Lord said to him, "Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites,
and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name."
So Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, "Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the holy Spirit."
Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized,
and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength. He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus,
and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

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