OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - Brisbane archdiocese borrows two African priests

Saturday, 18 March 2006

Brisbane (Fides Service) - The Archdiocese of Brisbane in Australia asked the diocese of Umuahia in Nigeria to lend it a couple of priests for a while. The inter-continental twinning agreement is taking shape: Nigerian Bishop Lucius Ugorji and two of his priests are expected soon in Brisbane to discuss final details. The Archdiocese of Brisbane in Queensland south east Australia has urgent need of more priests to meet growing pastoral need. This is why archbishop John Bathersby asked the Nigerian diocese if it could spare two priests for a period of six years. Umuahia diocese is rich in vocations and has 115 priests to care for 120,000 Catholics, whereas Brisbane has 610,000 Catholics and only 110 priests. Before assuming ministerial responsibility the two African priests will spend a time learning about the Australian mentality, culture and way of life. Umuahia diocese already has twinning arrangements with dioceses in Europe and the United States. (P.A.) (Agenzia Fides 18/3/2006 righe 20 parole 202)