Catholic Evangelization Training Center - Training in the NEW Evangelization Evangelization Training
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Catholic Evangelization Training Center - Training in the NEW Evangelization


map of Nigeria

Nigeria, West Africa

Nigeria has a population of some 115.3 million people occupying an area of 356,667 square miles. Lagos is its capital. The life expectancy of men is approximately 47 years while that of women is approximately 49.

The religions of Nigeria are: Muslim, 45%; Protestant, 25%; Roman Catholic, 12%; African Christian, 11%; Traditional Beliefs, 6%; and Other, 1%.

There are a number of ethnic groups: Hausa, 21%; Yoruba, 21%; Igbo, 18%; Fulani, 11%; Ibibio, 7%; Kanuri, 4%; Edo, 3%; Tiv, 2%; Ijaw, 2%; Bura, 2%; Nupe, 1%; Other, 8%.

How It All Began For Us In Africa.

It all began with a wonderful and humble bishop by the name of Bishop Gbuji who simply invited Sr. Jan Nattermann and me to come to the diocese of Issele-Uku in September of 1991 and give the priests there a training in our parish evangelization process, ACTS II: Conversion, Proclamation, Community.

Leadership Training.

What follows are pictures of the priests preparing for the role plays that they will do within the ACTS II Training to demonstrate that they have made the skills of evangelization their own.

Two priests in colorful shirts sharing together inside the hall Two priests sharing outside

After Sr. Jan and I had given the ACTS II Leadership Training, the priests put on a traditional evening of celebration for us on the eve of our departure for Rome. Two lovely traditional white African dresses were made for us for the occasion. Here are some of the pictures.

The Sisters and Fr. Fidelis
Sr. Jan, Fr. Fidelis and Sr. Angeline -- both of us in white dresses
Fr. Jim Bermingham, the Bishop, Sr. Jan and Sr. Angeline
Fr. Jim Bermingham, the Bishop, Sr. Jan and Sr. Angeline
A group picture of the priests with Sr. Jan and Sr. Angeline
A group picture of the priests with Sr. Jan and Sr. Angeline



Bishop Gbuji not only has a vision of evangelization for all of Nigeria but an all encompassing vision for all of Africa. One aspect of his vision for Nigeria was that by the end of 1994, the ACTS II Process would be functioning in each of the 35 dioceses in Nigeria. What we know to date is that the Acts II Process is in every diocese except one and is functioning in parishes, too numerous to count, throughout Nigeria. Ernie Chauvet, Bishop Gbuji, Sr. Angeline and Sr. Jan
Ernie Chauvet, Bishop Gbuji, Sr. Angeline and Sr. Jan



In March of 1992, Fr. Kevin Ori and Fr. Chukwubikem Okpechi, O.P. took the 15 Day Leadership Training of ACTS II into Asmara, Eritrea which had gained their independence from Ethiopia on the 26th of May, 1991.

Fr. Chuks Okpechi, O.P.
Fr. Chuks Okpechi, O.P.
Fr. Kevin Ori
Fr. Kevin Ori

"Our arrival in Asmara was to them a blessing from God and a fruit of their freedom and independence. Many of the candidates work during the day and so our training was scheduled for the evenings and the workers, no doubt, came to classes from their offices and places of work. Priests and religious who participated in the programme numbered 36. There were 81 lay people. We followed the ACTS II Programme of Conversion, Proclamation and Community."



A wonderful book that was put out by Bishop Gbuji and many of the priests who went through the ACTS II Leadership Training in 1991 is: New Evangelization in Nigeria -- A Pastoral Contribution to the Synod for Africa, published by Kmensuo Educational Publishers, Onitsha, Nigeria.

In chapter two, The Meaning, Origin and Contents of Evangelization by Bishop Gbuji, he states:

"Finally, most schools of Evangelization adopt the ACTS II Process as an effective and systematic method of New Evangelization. In fact all the schools in Nigeria use this method. The basis for ACTS II is the experience given in the Book of Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2."

In chapter fourteen, Schools of Evangelization in Nigeria, by Fr. Fidelis Igwenwanne, Co-Ordinator, Emmaus School of Evangelization, Issele-Uku, he states:

" . . . the necessary characteristics of all schools of evangelization are: Conversion, Proclamation, and Community. This conclusion is drawn from a careful study and appraisal of the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi (Evangelization in the Modern World) #18-24.
"This conclusion has been powerfully confirmed and systematized by Sr. Angeline Bukowiecki in the most valuable series of ACTS II Manuals now popularly used by Schools of Evangelization in Africa and Asia."

In the conclusion of the book, written by Bishop Gbuji, he states:

"The New Evangelization experiment in the Nigerian context has evolved and perfected a new method of evangelization based on the experience of the early apostles described in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. Like these apostles, all modern evangelizers are led to Conversion, Proclamation and Community experiences.

" . . . When we succeed in transforming the lives of the so great numbers in our ecclesial communities and firing them to share their faith with others there is expected a population explosion of committed Christian Communities in the New Era. It is within these faith communities that a meaningful evangelizing dialogue with other religions will emerge; Christ's teaching on justice and peace shall be promoted.

"In order to form and educate the laity for authentic witnessing and proclamation the clergy and the future priests must be prepared for this task. The ACTS II Process described in the pages of this book offers some suggestions on how they can be adequately prepared.

"We want to share with our sister churches in and outside of Africa our experience and experiment so far in New Evangelization to which the Holy Father Pope John Paul II has called the entire Christian world.

"We ask Mary, Star of Evangelization, to intercede with her Son to obtain for the Church in Africa and the entire world a great springtime for Christianity."

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