Fish in a Barrel is proud to announce that we have officially adopted the Diocese of Otukpo, Nigeria, headed by our good friend and former down-the-hall neighbor H.E., The Most Rev’d. Michael E. Apochi.

dr_michael_apochiotukpo.jpgI knew H.E. when he was a priest studying for the S.T.D. at CUA. He lived next door to me at the Josephite Seminary where I was boarding for a time during law school. He is a most excellent priest and a great intellect, and he possesses a humble happiness that lights up a room. He was chosen as bishop just months shy of completing his S.T.D., and this distressed him somewhat, as he had worked for years on the S.T.D. and would now be awarded the honorary D.D. by virtue of his ordination. It seemed, in his words, “anticlimactic!:

FIB will follow the news coming out of Otukpo, and we earnestly solicit the prayers of our readers for the good bishop and his flock.

Now, the News: While we in the U.S. worry about stupid old women pretending to be priests and dumb kids books being turned into atheistic propaganda, the Bishop of Otukpo is concerned about highwaymen terrorizing his flock. Fortunately, he knows how to deal with them- Unleash Our Lady of All Nations:

apochi.jpgThe Catholic Diocese of Otukpo, Benue State, Nigeria is situated between the border of the Middle Belt of Nigeria and the northern boarder of the Enugu State, Nigeria. A federal road that links the Enugu State and the northern part of Nigeria runs through the Catholic Diocese of Otukpo via Orokam, Otukpa, Ugbokolo Eke, Otukpo to Makurdi. On this road, armed robbers’ attacks on travelers were rampant and out of control. Bandits rob travelers of their property and often killed them. The menace of the robbers on the road between Orokam, Otukpa, Ugbokolo, and Eke is the concern of all users of this road, particularly the people of the Catholic Diocese of Otukpo. Despite the presence of the regular police and anti-robbery mobile police on this part of the road, the operation of the robbers posed a great threat to life and property.

In search for a solution to the problem
of the robbers on this road, on the 23rd of December 2004, I the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Otukpo with the parish priest of the parish at Ugbokolo decided to consecrate the Holy Name Parish, Ugbokolo and the federal road passing through Orokam, Otukpa, Ugbokolo, and Eke to The Lady of All Nations, requesting that Our Lady intercede for travelers on the road against the attacks of armed robbers. We are pleased to testify that since the consecration, the operation of armed robbers on the road has decreased immensely. Since January of this year, up to the time of my departure from Nigeria to Amsterdam, no threat of armed robbers has been reported on this road. This is a case to give glory to God for, and to ask people to place their request before Our Lady of All Nations to assist us present our request to her son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.