The Holy Father, Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Msgr. Denis Chidi Isizoh as the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, the Vatican has announced. He is to assist the incumbent, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, the Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Onitsha.
The new Bishop-elect is presently a staff of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue with responsibility for relations with Muslims and Adherents of African Traditional Religion in Sub-Saharan Africa, and for dialogue with people of Tribal/Indigenous Religions in Asia and the Americas.
Born on January 24, 1956, at Ogbunike, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria, Msgr. Isizoh had his primary education at St Vincent Catholic School Ogbunike. He has his priestly formation training at All Hallows’ Seminary, Onitsha (1971-1975); Bigard Memorial Seminary, Philosophy campus (now St Joseph’s Major Seminary), Ikot Ekpene (1976-1980), and Bigard Memorial Seminary Theology Campus, Enugu (1981-1985), and was ordained a priest of the Catholic Church on September 28, 1985, by Archbishop Stephen Ezeanya.
Between 1985 and 1989, he was Formator in All Hallows’ Seminary, Onitsha, parish Vicar at Ss John & Paul, Awada, assistant Chaplain to St Scholastica Benedictine Monastry in Umuoji, Immaculate Heart Novitiate in Nkpor and several secondary schools in Onitsha.
He obtained Licentiate in Sacred Scriptures in 1993 at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome and Doctorate in Biblical Theology in 1996 at Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.
He has published several books and articles especially on interreligious relations and has represented the Pontifical Council in many important interreligious conferences and meetings. He speaks Igbo, English, Italian, French, Latin and German. He was appointed “Chaplain of His holiness, 20th April 2002.