Hilary Dechelem is Bauchi’s new bishop

Msgr. Hilary Nanman Dachelem
The bishop-elect, Msgr. Hilary Nanman Dachelem

The Holy Father, Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Hilary Nanman Dachelem, bishop of Bauchi Diocese.

The General Secretary of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu, in a statement on Wednesday, said, Dechelem is currently the parish priest of Church of Immaculate Conception Upperhill, Makurdi.

The bishop-elect was born on June 3, 1966 in the former Benue-Plateau State and is a native of Moeda–Kwalla from Kwampan Plateau and attended L.E.A Primary School, Kabala, St Catherine’s Makurdi and Central Primary School, Awe, Nasarawa State, respectively.

He attended the St Peters College Toto, St John Bosco, Doma and Government Secondary School Obi all in Nasarawa State and was admitted by the Claretian Missionaries in 1986 at Nekede Owerri for Petulancy. He had his first religious profession in 1988 at Utonkon, Benue and final religious profession in 1993 at Maryland, Nekede, Owerri and received a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Claretian Institute of Philosophy in 1990, an affiliate of the Pontifical Urban University, Rome.

The clergyman holds a Master’s Degree in theology from Spiritan International School of Theology, Attakwu, Enugu, an affiliate of Duquesne University Pittsburg Pennsylvania, U.S. from where he graduated in  1995.

He also has a Master’s Degree in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University Omaha, Nebraska, U.S, and a Certificate Course in Spiritual Direction from Creighton University in 2014 and studied Masters in Business Administration and Project Management Technology at Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo.

Dechelem is currently enrolled at the University of Abuja where he is running a doctorate progamme in Policy Analysis and Public Administration.

The cleric has worked as bursar and part time lecturer at the Claratian Institute of Philosophy, Nekede and was elected in the Provincial Council as Consulter of Economy 1999 and Consulter of Spirituality, 2005. He was a member of the General Economic Council (GEC) of the Claretian Congregation in Rome 2003 to 2006.

He was the Parish Priest, Maria Goretti, Parish Ikenegbu, Owerri Archdiocese from 2005 to 2010 and also Parish Priest, St John Mary Vianney Parish Kwande, Shendam Diocese and Vicar for Religious 2010.

Since 2015 he has taught at and is a core team member of the Institute for Formators, Du, Jos.

Dechelem was ordained priest in 1995 at Kwa Parish, Jos Archdiocese. A date will be announced for his Episcopal ordination.

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