Bishop Gabriel ‘Leke Abegunrin of Osogbo diocese has been appointed to succeed the Most Rev Felix Alaba Adeosin Job as the 2nd Archbishop of Ibadan, Nigeria.
The new Archbishop was born in 1949 in Iwere-Ile, Nigeria. After completing his secondary studies he entered the Ss Peter & Paul Major seminary in Ibadan and was ordained a priest for Oyo diocese in 1979. He was sent to study Canon Law at the Urbaniana Pontifical University in Rome from where he graduated in 1988. Returning to Nigeria he was appointed in charge of St Ferdinand’s parish, Ogbomosho and then, in 1992, as Cathedral Administrator in Oshogbo.
In 1995 the diocese of Osogbo was carved out of Oyo diocese and Fr Gabriel Abegunrin was appointed as its first Bishop. He has led the fledgling diocese with great pastoral care until his translation to Ibadan by Pope Francis on 29 October 2013.
As priest he served as the Catholic representative on the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) from 1992-1995. He was also the Chaplain of the Political Awareness Committee (1993-1995).
As bishop he has served on several national Church groups, including Chairman of CAN and Chairman of the Lay Apostolate Organizations of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference. The Federal Government appointed Bishop Abegunrin as Chairman of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee on the Ife-Modakeke Crisis (2000).
In 1995 he succeeded Bishop Adelakun as bishop of Osogbo which he has led with great pastoral care until his appointment to Ibadan by Pope Francis.
The Archdiocese of Ibadan has 5 suffragan sees: Oyo, Ilorin, Ondo, Ekiti and Osogbo. The Archdiocese has an area of 7,000 sq kms with a population of 5.4 million of which 443,000 are Catholic. They are served by 172 priests and 965 religious.
The new Archbishop has several published works, including
- Collaborative Ministry: A challenge for Religious in the 3rd Millennium;
- The Role of Laity in Social Transformation;
The members of the Society of African Missions extend their best wishes to the new Archbishop as he assumes a greater pastoral responsibility and leadership. We also extend our gratitude and best wishes to Archbishop Job as he begins a well-earned retirement. May almighty God bless both of them in the future.
Archbishop Abegunrin can be confident of the continuing cooperation of our priests presently ministering in the Archdiocese.