Daily Verse

“The LORD [is] my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”

Psalms 28:7

HISTORY

In the year 1986 some Catholic faithful from various areas of Lagos State who had relocated to a new State Government Low Cost Housing Estate identified themselves from other Catholic Churches and in particular Regina Mundi, Mushin. They saw the urgent need to come together and in that Catholic Spirit, eight of them on 2nd August, 1986 gathered at Block 214 Flat 1, at the residence of Pa Christopher Asenuga and Mama Martha Asenuga, both of them of blessed memory. They began a Basic Christian Community and are listed as follows:

  • Mama M.A. Asenuga,
  • Mrs. R.F. Arowosoge,
  • Miss H. Omolara Ogunshina,
  • Mrs. R.F. Arowosoge,
  • Miss Georgieta O. Ogunshina,
  • Miss Precilla O. Oyetubo and
  • Miss Ajoke Agbafe
  • These eight faithfuls agreed to be holding prayer meeting by 7p.m. on 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month with determination to attract more Catholics as soon as they move into the estate. They continued until they were able to erect a small shed, on which was Mama Asenuga’s farmland, at a place ear-marked by the State Government for recreational activities, part of which now stands as the Church Old Site! These people went further to erect a signpost which stands in front of the shed, to inform any Catholic that passes through the place, that Catholic Basic Christian Community Prayer Meeting holds every 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month with instruction to contact Block 214 Flat1 for more information!!!

    I came to the estate from SS Mulumba and David Lawanson on 30th October, 1987 to name my new born baby on the 31st October, 1987 with all my Holy Spirit Community Charismatic Prayer Group members to grace the occasion. One of them identified the spot were Catholic gathers twice monthly in the estate and informed me! On sitting the place I went to the address and met Pa. Christopher Asenuga who promised that his wife and others would visit our home. On that same day in the evening I was visited and invited for Prayer Meeting whenever I recuperated after child birth. During their visitation I realized that there were some Catholics in my own zone too. They were Mr. & Mrs. C.T. Lawal, Mr. & Mrs. G.A. Iweka and Mr. & Mrs. A. Dike. They were wonderful neighbours indeed, as they became my family members!!! The Lawal’s family led me to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Isolo for Sunday Masses attendance.

    On Thursday 12th November, 1987 by 7p.m. I attended the 2nd Thursday Basic Christian Community Prayer Meeting with my children and we were warmly welcomed. That was how we all joined together to continue to fish out our brothers and sisters from other zones in the estate. I became very committed to the group’s activities. The first group identified was the Youths including my children whom I usually call upon to link up with Catholics all over the zones in the estate and they were so helpful.

    THE ELDERS COUNCIL 7 CHURCH BUILDING COMMITTEE AT THE OLD SITE

    Basic Christian Community:
    The BCC members usually hold their weekly prayer meetings every Thursday by 7p.m and they eventually set up an administrative body to lead accordingly and also organize to build a “Befitting Catholic Church” in the estate! The inaugural meeting of this Committee of Elders took place at the late Sir Paul Anaweokhai’s residence at Block 448 Flat 6, on 2nd March, 1988 after which several meetings continue to hold there.

    Contact with Regina Mundi

    The efforts of this Committee of Elders eventually brought to the Basic Christian Community in the estate, a VISITING REVEREND SISTER. The then Parish Priest of Regina Mundi , Rev. Father P. Hoteyin who also visited on Friday 27th March 1988 kept his words and sent us a Visiting Ghananian Priest , Rev. Father Yanki who celebrated the First Mass ever in the estate during Easter tide in 1988 when we had a week evangelical rally with a view to encouraging large gathering! My brethren from Holy Spirit Community Prayer Group from Lawanson were coming throughout the week, to encourage us, they were trekking from Isolo to the estate and taking up different topics for each day. The brothers and sister were late Mrs. Benco, Brother Nkwocha, Brother Stephen Akinwole, Brother Humphrey Omisegba and Brother Oladele, all from SS Mulumba and David Catholic Church, Lawanson. At the end of the programme the first Mass was celebrated under a rented canopy placed in front of Mama Asenuga’s house.

    ESTABLISHING A PLACE OF WORSHIP

    The Committee, through their efforts together with other faithful in the BCC., developed Mama Asenuga’s farming place, the present old site as a place of worship. In an effort to acquire the place from the State Government, a small hall was built as an interim measures, the old Church building was expanded at eight different times while the Fountain of Mercy Charismatic Renewal Group recently updated the present structure of the old site. The then Parish Priest of Regina Mundi, now Monsignor P. Hoteyin on his visitation advised us to formalize our occupation of the land. In the process of formalizing the occupation of the land, an Application Form was obtained which was paid for by late Sir J.O. Dada, filled and submitted by Late Mama M.A. Asenuga, late Sir S.B. Akinsowon KSJI & Mrs. J.F. Adewusi. His grace that had received, approved and signed our application form for processing, eventually assisted in the acquisition of the present new Church site. To this great feat, we glorify God as we salute our Cardinal {Dr} Anthony Olubunmi Okogie for his timely intervention in the matter.

    There is need to lay on record the efforts of the Zonal Welfare Officers, chosen to assist me pass information in our quest for membership during the early days of this Church. Their activities eased the problem of knocking at doors to locate Catholics in that they served as a link between their Zonal members and the Church. In fact, they assisted in fishing out Catholics in the estate thereby achieving large membership in a very short while.

    Also, we must not forget the dynamic role played by the Youths during the early period of this Church. As the first society, they started as BCC Youths! My late son, Pharmacist Francis-Mary Taiwo Olugbenga Adewusi being the Youths Protem President, he would always bring our Dining Table from flat 4 down stairs to the Church and always bring it back home from time to time to be used as ALTAR TABLE whenever there is Mass in the Church!!! Late Pa Akinsowon handled them as members of the Choir. I used them as Lectors to take Readings and also chant the Responsorial Psalm during Mass. The Youths were also used for clearing and cleaning both the old and new sites, get palm fronts for use during Palm Sundays and also to pass information both within and outside the estate. During Youth Competition in the Archdiocese of Lagos in those days, they were able to win laurels on more than two occasions, before most of them started to gain admission into Higher Institute of Learning. As the Church progressed, they metamorphosed into Catholic Youth Organization, as we still have some of them as Knights of the Church and are now professionals in their own right! I am very proud to say that many of them have now taken responsible positions in different works of life, as responsibly married men and women of repute both at home and abroad. This Church is blessed with responsible and good leaders of tomorrow.

    We must place on record the here that Mr. Paul Guobadia then from Abuja who was encouraged by our activities, donated money to provide the 1st Altar Table, saved us from carrying dining table!!!
    During Rev. Amolegbe’s tenure, Rev. Sister Martins, EHJ was eventually placed in charge to oversee the affairs of Oke-Afa Out-Station, for administrative functions and Communion Service. For this reason, Mrs. Titcombe our representative to Regina Mundi tried to resuscitate Basic Christian Community Prayer Meeting at Block 56 Flat 1, the residence of Engineer & Mrs. Ihimekpen which lasted briefly because members were more interested in church activities, as societies had started to spring up!

    We continued to worship at the old site with a view to building a Health Center after eventual relocation to the present site. To this end, acquisition of the old site was formalized in October 1996 with a down payment of N40,000 {Forty thousand naira only}towards securing the land. Eventually the Church paid the balance fee of over N800,000 {Eighty thousand naira}.

    NAMING THE CHURCH

    The Church got its name in 1990 during one of its regular meetings of the Committee of Elders held at Block 448 Flat 6. The fourteen (14) members present on the day the name was chosen wrote and folded names of various Saints and placed them in a small bag. Prayers were offered to God to take control and choose a name for the Church. Thereafter little Miss Constance Olere Egbenya {Sir Anaweokhai’s grand daughter}, about two and a half years old was called, she dipped her hand into the bag and brought out one of the folded papers! When this paper was opened, it has on it “SAINTS PETER AND PAUL!” The Church was therefore named after the two great Saints.

    Present at this meeting were:

  • Late Sir Paul Anaweokhai, KSJI Chairman
  • Late Mrs. M.A. Asenuga, Member
  • Late Sir S.B. Akinsowon KSJI, Member
  • Late Sir J.O. Dada – KSJI, Member
  • Late Mrs S.B. Sotonwa, Member
  • Late Mr. A.A Aina, Member
  • Late Mr. M.A. Adesoye, Member
  • Mr. G.O. Iweka, Member
  • Mr. A. Dike, Member
  • Mr. F. Oyekunle, Member
  • Mr. Alphonsus Egbuka, Member
  • Mr. A. Ayansi, Member
  • Mrs. J.F. Adewusi, Secretary (In Attendance)

  • Archbishop’s Visit: After the first visit of the Archbishop in 1991, the membership grew substantially which encouraged us to have the first harvest in October 1992 under the Chairmanship of now Sir Paul N. Guobadia KSJI with late Mrs. V.F. Shyngle.
    Our Early Clergies of Diocesan Priests:
  • 1. Rev. Father P. Hoteyin – former Parish Priest
  • 2. Rev. Father Obi
  • 3. Mosignor Chris Boyo
  • 4. Rev. Father Edmund Akpalla
  • 5. Rev. Father P. Oke
  • 6. Rev. Father P. Ajala
  • 7. Rev. Father G. Amolegbe – who handed us over to the Oblates of St. Joseph through St. Mary’s Isolo becoming a Parish in 1996 *All Priests were from Regina Mundi Parish Mushin between 1986 – 1996.
  • Oblates of St. Joseph: St. Mary’s Catholic Church Isolo, became a parish under the Oblates of St. Joseph in 1996 and then we became the first outstation. We were part and parcel of St. Mary’s growth from their old batcher to the new Church then, as most of us usually have our Sunday Masses at Isolo and also in societies. St. Mary’s parishioners were always in support of whatever ventures we desired to take in achieving our goal. We hereby express our sincere appreciation to the Parish Priests both past and present, societies and all the parishioners, for the financial and moral support we received from them. It is necessary to place on record here that some of us were in the then Church Council at Isolo.

    The Church spiritual /liturgical life now blossoms immensely under the leadership of the following clergies:
  • 1. Rev. Father Mario Cuieto, then OSJ – Parish Priest /Superior Delegate – The Parish Priest that took over from Rev. Father Amolegbe and also championed existence of the old Church on the new site with his dynamic Church Building Committee members put in place.
  • 2. Rev. Father Dory Tubesa, OSJ – Parish Priest/Superior Delegate
  • 3. Rev. Father Jan Pelcszarski, OSJ – Asst. Parish Priest-in-charge
  • 4. Late Father John Machiaro, OSJ - Oke-Afa in 1996
  • 5. Rev. Father Clifford Carrera, OSJ – The first Priest to reside in the Fathers House
  • 6. Rev. Father Sunil Kallaralkal, OSJ – The first Priest-in-charge the Moses that led us to becoming a Parish in July 2007.
  • 7. Rev. Father Danilo Nobis, OSJ – Our first Assistant Parish Priest
  • 8. Rev Father Michael Odubela, OSJ - Saints Peter & Paul Oke-Afa witnessed the Priestly Ordination of these two new clergies by on July 2006 by His Lordship Most Reverend Dr. Albert Fashina Bishop of Ijebu Ode Diocese.
  • 9. Rev. Father Cyril Nwamu, OSJ of blessed memory.
  • 10. Rev. Conilleus Olaniran, OSJ Assistant Deacon
  • 11. Brother Benedict Ucha, OSJ Assistant Seminarian
  • CONCLUSION

    Since 1996, our developmental fortune increased, to the standard we are at the formal INSTALLATION OF THE OLD CHURCH AS A PARISH on Sunday 22ndJuly 2007 which was demolished …………………………..and gave way for this Ultra Modern ‘Befitting Catholic Church’ of our dream being dedicated today 13th February, 2021 under the leadership of our indefatigable Parish Priest Rev. Father Leo Onyekachi Ukwuani, OSJ and his ever ready Pastoral Team, having achieved such a beautiful loudable feat within a very short period of time!!! Within this new site, one can admire a lot of developments from the gate – an imposing three floor Event Centres with all conveniences; the old toilet gave way to an Ultra modern Adoration Chapel donated by one of our eminent old parishioner……………………… {name please}. Another beautiful toilet was built for male, female and children alike, all to the glory of God.

    ELDERS FORUM: We thank the Almighty God for our dream to come true, the working of the Holy Spirit in this Parish. We seize this unique opportunity to thank those foundation members dead or alive whose names are too numerous to mentioned here, we know you have contributed both time and talents, to ensure that a ‘Befitting Catholic Church’ is built in this estate. May the Good Lord reward you a million folds. Amen
    With joyous praises to God and salute to all the efforts of the Oblates of St. Joseph, the parishioners {both old and new}, friends and well –wishers, we all rejoice together this 13th Day of February 2021 that the Lord has made for us to witness this Church DEDICATION.

    SS Peter & Paul Catholic Parish
    Oke Afa, Ejigbo, Lagos

    P.O. Box 366, OTSPO, Oshodi,
    Lagos, Nigeria.
    Telephone:+234-8035750950
    E-mail: info@sspeterandpaulcatholicokeafa.com