Parish Priest: Revd Fr Moses Iorapuu
Associate Priest Revd Fr Emmanuel Tamen, VC
About Holy Ghost Parish, Makurdi
Holy Ghost Parish Makurdi, the First Parish and Cathedral of the then Makurdi Diocese was established in the year 1929 by the German Holy Ghost Priests. Its initial church building was built that same year of its establishment alongside the Holy Ghost Nursery and Primary School which is still functional and a rest house and also a house for the catechist, Christopher llobi, the first catechist of the parish.
The first group of missionaries to settle in Holy Ghost Parish arrived Makurdi on 30th October, 1930 by train. The team was made up of four missionaries namely; two priests, Fathers Winterle Cssp and Kristen Cssp and two brothers; Mauricea and Remigius. The priests moved into the rest house while the brothers occupied the catechist house.
On 2nd November, 1930 Mr. Peter Paul Nwoye Ikeaba was the first man to receive the sacrament of baptism in the parish at the hands of the German Holy Ghost Priest Fr. Kirsten Cssp.
The initial church was built to serve the purpose of an out station. It was therefore too small to be used as a parish. The missionaries then built a new larger church which was spacious enough to seat all those who came in large numbers especially on Sunday to hear about the new faith.
The church was built for multi-purpose use; it had rooms on both sides of verandah used as classrooms, and other rooms were occupied and used by the brothers. The church was however, not built with permanent materials because permanent building materials were not easily available.
A tragedy struck the church; it was completely destroyed by a whirlwind. Its destruction caused tears and anxiety among the Catholic community in Makurdi, for not only did the faithful watch their place of worship razed to the ground, but also witnessed helplessly the death of two school boys and several others were wounded in the same tragedy.
After the destruction of the church, the missionaries decided to build a new church with permanent materials. Many experiments were conducted to manufacture permanent materials and the discovery was made by Brother Maurice. While meditating along River Benue he discovered that the earth there could be used for brick making. This effort resulted in the birth of Makurdi Baked Brick Industry in 1931.
With the help of some men, Brother Maurice bought dry wood from North bank which was a big forest and the wood was used as firewood. He molded the blocks and baked them into good quality bricks. The blocks he molded and backed were used for many projects in the mission including Father's house, a school and other missionary buildings.
In 1931 the new church edifice was built by the German Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers which is being used till this day it was completed in 1935, Fr. Donal Murray also joined the missionary group and stated a printing press in Taraku, which later became spiritan press that published “Northern Star” now “Catholic Star”.
All developments were however, thwarted by the outbreak of war in Europe on September 3, 1939. The Catholic Church in Makurdi was greatly affected by this war as all the priests and brothers were German nationals and the administration in Nigeria at this time was British, hence all Germans were regarded as potential enemies, therefore the priests and brothers had to leave.
The vacuum created, took years to fill; however, things took a new turn in 1945, the English section of the Holy Ghost Fathers was asked to take responsibility for this area forcibly vacated by the German priests and brothers.
An English Monsignor James Hagan Cssp was named as Prefect Apostolic and he came to Otukpo. Fathers J.O' Neil, D. Cart Wright and D. Murray were among the first priests sent from England to join him. Fr. G.F Woods joined them in 1951.
Msgr. James Hagan's appointment brought the Catholic Church in Makurdi back to its main stream of development especially in the field of education. In 1959 he was made Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Otukpo. In 1960 he transferred the Cathedral seat from Otukpo to Holy Ghost Parish Makurdi, making the church the First Cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi and becoming the First Bishop of the Diocese. The Cathedral was however, relocated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Makurdi in 1980.
Several priests have worked in the parish both as cathedral administrators including the first indigenous Tiv priest Revd Fr. James Akor and also as Parish Priests. Listed below are their names from the creation of the parish to date; Revd Fr. Kristen Cssp 1930-1934, Revd Fr. Winterle Cssp 1930-1934, Revd Fr. Blass Cssp 1934-1937, Revd Fr. Becker Cssp 1937,Revd Fr. Haurger Cssp 1937-1940, Revd Fr. Carraw Cssp, Revd Fr. D.J Murray Cssp 1940-1949, Revd Fr. Jones Cssp, Revd Fr. Duxbury Cssp, 1956-1958, Revd Fr. O' Donell Cssp 1966-1968, Revd Fr. Friery Cssp 1965-1968, Revd Fr. John Beirne Cssp 1966-1968, Revd Fr. John Barin Cssp, Revd Fr. J.V Taylor Cssp, 1963-1977, Revd Fr. Bob Shee woods Cssp 1978, Revd Fr. D.B. Finerty Cssp 1973-1974,Revd Fr. Patrick Tunner Cssp, Revd Fr. Bockerdick Cssp, Revd Fr. P. Brady Cssp, Revd Fr. James Akor 1971, Revd Fr. Stephen Beba 1978-1985, Revd Fr. Benjamin Adzor 1980-1982, Revd Fr. Moses Adasu 1980-1986,Revd Fr. Athanasius Atule Usuh 1986-1988, Revd Fr. Richard Tule 1988-1992, Revd Fr. Ambrose Amue 1992-1994,Revd Fr. Emmanuel Udu 1994-1998, Revd Fr. Michael Ajekwe 1998-1999, Revd Fr. Lawrence Uvah 1999-2000, Revd Fr. Richard Tule , 2000-2011, Revd Fr. Adolphus Ikuluke 2011-2017, Revd Fr. Dr. Moses Aondover Iorapuu 20th October, 2017 - till date.
There are many societies/pious organizations in the parish that provide spiritual nourishment among the registered adult parishioners and another 350 children unregistered.
Past Parish Priests of Holy Ghost Parish Makurdi from 1937-2018
Revd Fr. Haurger Cssp 1937-1940, Most Revd Donald Murray CSSp 1940-1949,Revd Fr. Moses Adasu 1980-1986,Revd Fr. Stephen Beba 1978-1985,Revd Fr. Benjamin Adzor 1980-1982, Revd Fr. Athanasius Atule Usuh 1986-1988,Revd Fr. Richard Tule 1988-1992, Revd Fr. Ambrose Amue,1992-1994, Revd Fr. Emmanuel Udu 1994-1998, Revd Fr. Michael Ajekwe 1998-1999, Revd Fr. Lawrence Uvah 1999-2000, Revd Fr. Richard Tule 2000-2011, Revd Fr. Adolphus Ikuluke 2011-2017, Revd Fr. Dr. Moses Aondover Iorapuu 20th October, 2017- till date.