For some time now, the Order has been praying over and studying the possibility of having a Conventual presence in Nigeria. This potential Nigerian mission has often been the subject of discussion at AFCOF assemblies, meetings of the General Secretariat for Mission Animation (in dialogue with various Provinces) and at meetings of the General Definitory.

To study the matter further, a team comprised of the Assistant General for the AFCOF Federation and the Secretary General for Mission Animation was tasked to visit Nigeria and interact with some local ordinaries in order to get a clearer view of the way forward. Due to some difficulties, only the Assistant General for the AFCOF Federation, Friar Anthony Bezo KUTIERO, was able to make the journey.
On April 19, 2021, Friar Anthony arrived in Nigeria. He visited various places like the Dominican University in Ibadan, where most of the religious in Nigeria’s southern region undertake their philosophy and theology studies. On April 21, Friar Anthony met with the Most Reverend Peter Kayode ODETOYINBO, Bishop of Abeokuta, Nigeria. During the meeting, he gave the bishop a letter from the Minister General, Friar Carlos TROVARELLI, in which Friar Carlos communicated his intention to learn more about the Church in Nigeria and to explore the possibility of establishing a Conventual presence there. The bishop expressed joy and an ardent desire to have the friars in his diocese. He thanked the friars for considering his “little diocese” and promised to respond in writing. The bishop then gave Friar Anthony a video about the Diocese of Abeokuta and a copy of his pastoral letter from 2018, entitled, “Go into All the World and Preach the Good News.” He encouraged Friar Anthony to study the material in order to be fully updated on the diocese.
One should mention that this visit was planned together with the Capuchin friars in Nigeria. They facilitated the appointment with the bishop, and all of Friar Anthony’s transportation and accommodations in Ibadan. The Capuchin friars say that they hope to have their brothers (Conventuals) join them in Nigeria. May the Lord bring it to fruition.

Friar Anthony Bezo KUTIERO, Assistant General for the AFCOF Federation