Capuchin Franciscan Friary, Okokhuo, P. O. Box 10751, Benin-City, Edo State.
St. Mary of the Angels,
Okokhuo, Benin City
The opening of the friary at Benin City is, in some sense, a "second missionary journey," recalling the early mission of our Capuchin friars to this part of Nigeria in the 17th century. It is equally a return of Franciscans to a particular portion of land where a Franciscan third order regular had a monastery which flourished in the first half of the 20th century, but closed with the Nigerian civil war 1967-1970.
Fr. Felix Chinagu, a priest of the Benin Archdiocese,- one of the surviving members of the defunct monastery - always had a longing to see the Franciscans return and live in Benin City, especially in Okokhuo village where he and his brothers of the third order regular had once lived. His prayers were answered when he discovered that the Capuchins had come back to Nigeria. He visited them at Onitsha and Enugu several times, imploring them to come and establish their presence in Okokhuo.
At the long run, with his letter of January 23, 2001 to the then Archbishop of Benin, most rev. Dr. Patrick Ekpu, the regular superior Br. Guilio Galassi, requested for permission to establish a friary in Okokhuo. This request was given a positive response by the Archbishop in his letter of January 26, 2001. He entrusted, in perpetuum, a large portion of the mission land at Okokhuo to the friars.
In 2003 the friars went to Benin City. At first they lived in a house provided by a benefactress until the proper friary was ready in 2006. On May 9, 2006, the new friary was blessed. On November 25, 2006, there was the official opening and canonical erection of the Capuchin novitiate house in Okokhuo Benin City.
2019 Novices and their Novice Director.