Posted on: 2013-11-16
Source: Communications Dept., Oyo Diocese

On the 29th October, 2013, Pope Francis has appointed, Right Reverend (Dr) Gabriel Ojeleke Abegunrin, among others, as the new Metropolitan Archbishop of Ibadan Archdiocese. Other clergy appointed by the Pope are: Bishop Leonard Blair, appointed Archbishop of Hartford; Fr. Aureo Bonilla, appointed vicar apostolic of Galápagos, in Ecuador. Father Kurt Burnette, rector of Sts. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Pittsburgh, appointed Bishop of the Ruthenian Eparchy of Passaic. Following the retirement of Archbishop Felix Alaba Job, on July 6, 2013, in accordance with Canon 401 §1 of the Code of Canon Law which states that, “diocesan bishops must submit their resignation to the Pope on reaching the age of 75”. Having accepted the resignation letter of the emeritus Archbishop Felix Alaba Job, the Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis, now appoint Catholic Bishop of Osogbo, Right Reverend (Dr) Gabriel Ojeleke Abegunrin, as the new Archbishop of Ibadan.
Bishop Gabriel ‘Leke Abegunrin, a doctorate degree holder of the Canon Law, was born in 1949 in Iwere-Ile, Oyo State. He attended Our Lady and St. Kizito’s Catholic Minor Seminary, Ede in Osun State, from 1967 to 1971 before he proceeded to the SS Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan. Ordained a priest for Oyo diocese in 1979 and was sent thereafter by his Bishop then, Most Revd. Julius Babatunde Adelakun to study Canon Law at the Urbaniana Pontifical University in Rome from where he graduated in 1988. On his return to Nigeria he was appointed the pastor of St Ferdinand's parish, Ogbomosho and then, in 1992, as Cathedral Administrator in Osogbo.
In 1995 following the carving out of diocese of Osogbo from old Oyo diocese, Revd.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, Archbishop Gabriel ‘Leke has 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).
Jonas Salk once said, “the reward for hard work is more work”. As the archbishop of the Metropolitan Province of Ibadan, Bishop Abegurin coupled with day to day administration of the Archdiocese will also oversee the affairs of five other dioceses of Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo, Osogbo and Ilorin, all in Ibadan Province. Well, we join St Paul to pray that the grace of God will be sufficient for you.
The entire clergy and the laity of the diocese of Oyo extend their best wishes to the new Archbishop as he takes up a greater pastoral responsibility and leadership. Our unalloyed gratitude and best wishes also go to Archbishop Job as he begins a well-earned retirement. May Christ the Chief Shepherd be with you all. We assure the Archbishop our unrelenting prayer.