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Biographical Sketch Of Bishop Chidi Denis Isizoh
Author: Trinitas
Published on: Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Born – 24 January, 1956.

Primary Education:  St. Raphael’s Awkuzu (1962-1963, St. Vincent’s Ogbunike (1964-1967/1970, with the interruption of the Nigerian civil war).

Secondary Education:          All Hallow’s Seminary, Onitsha (1971/1976).

Higher/University  Education:         Bigard Memorial Seminary Ikot Ekpene (B.Phil, 1980); Bigard Memory Seminary Enugu (B.D., 1985); Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome (L.S.S., 1993); and Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (Ph.D., 1996); Diploma in languages: Italian (1989); German  (1990); and French (1992). Other languages already acquired: Igbo, English and Latin.

Priestly Ordination:  28 September 1985 by Archbishop Stephen N. Ezeanya, at St. Vincent’s Catholic Church, Ogbunike. He was ordained with Rev. Fr. Dominic Ibezimife Okafor, R.I.P.

Pastoral Experience After Ordination:       Teacher/Formator at All Hallows’ Seminary, Onitsha (1985 – 1989); Parish Vicar at Ss John & Paul, Awada (1985 -1986); Assistant Chaplain to Immaculate Heart Novitiate Nkpor, St. Scholastica Benedictine Abbey, Umuoji (1985-1989); Boys’ High School, Onitsha; Girls’ High School, 4th Mile, Onitsha; St. Monica’s Teacher-Training/Secondary School, Ogbunike (1985-1988); and Federal Government Girl’s Secondary School, Onitsha (1985-1989).

Sent to Rome by Archbishop Stephen Ezeanya:    1 July, 1989 and since then Assistant to His Eminence, Francis Cardinal Arinze.

Vatican Office Assignment: Since 1 September, 1995 – Staff of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious, Vatican City, with particular attention to dialogue with the Religions in sub-Saharan Africa and with Traditional Religious worldwide; and since 2007 – Vice President of Nostra Aetate Foundation – Study Grants.

Working-Travel Experiences:          Visited the following countries (Excluding Nigeria and Italy – his home and residence respectively), sometimes several times, for conferences, workshops, seminars, etc.: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Congo Democratic Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong/China, India, Ireland, Israel, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Mozambique, Philippines, Portugal, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Syria, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, and United States of America.

Writings:        Selected List of Published BOOKS:

  1. The Dawn from on High: A brief History of the Catholic Church in Ogbunike (1995);
  2. The Resurrected Jesus Preached in Athens, The Areopagus Speech (1997);
  3. The Attitude of the Catholic Church towards African Traditional Religion and culture, ed. (1998);
  4. Christianity in Dialogue with African Traditional Religion & Culture, ed. (2001);
  5. Milestones in Interreligious Dialogue: A Reading of Selected Catholic Church Documents on Relations with People of Other Religions, ed. (2002);

Selected List of Published ARTICLES:

  1.        “Reflecting on Tribal Values”, Pro Dialogo 99 (1998), 295-301. Also published in Indian Journal of Spirituality XI (1998), 123-132, and in Mission: A Service of Love edited by F. Fernandez & Jose Varickasseril, Shillong, 1998, 193-198.
  2.        “A Reading OF THE Areopagus Speech (Acts 17,22-_ from the African Traditional Religion Perspective”, African Christian Studies (1998), 1-42.
  3.        “Dialogue with African Traditional Religion in sub-Saharan Africa: The Changing Attitude of the Catholic Church” in Christianity in Dialogue with African Traditional Religions and Culture, Seminar Papers, Vol. 1, (2001), 1-42.
  4.        “The Challenge of Deepening Evangelization in A.M.E.C.E.A. Region: the Place of Interreligious Dialogue”, Pro Dialogo 111 (2002), 332-334.
  5.        “Mai piu violenza in nome di Dio!.,” Africa 2 (2002), 16-19.
  6.        “Religions in sub-Saharan Africa: Working and Walking Together. A Christian Reflection.” Pro Dialogo114 (2003), 354-366.
  7.        “Managing Conflicts in the African context: The Role of Religious leaders”, in Dialogue on Civilizations, Religions and Cultures in West Africa (Proceedings of the International Congress organized by UNESCO, 2003), 29-34.
  8.        “`Who made the Drum knows what is inside it.` Interpreting Sacred Messages in African Traditional Religion”, summary published in Current Dialogue 42 (2003), 20-21.
  9.        “Les defis du dialogue interreligieux en Afrique: Une reflexion,” Pro Dialogo 122 (2006), 181-192.
  10.        “Globalisation of Cultures: Gains and Losses from an African perspective,” in Globaslisierung, Kulturen, Religionen, Intercultural Theology and Study of Religions vol. 1 (edited by C. Ozankom, F. Reiterer, C. Udeani & K. Zapotoczky, Amsterdam, 2006), 145-151.
  11.        “The Church in Africa: Instrument of Dialogue and Reconciliation,” L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly Editon in English, 2 September, 2009, 8-9.
  12.        “Wo Gotzendiesnst zum Segen Wird: Die AFrikanische Tradionelle Religion ermoglichat auf einzigartige Weise interreligioses Beten,” Missio Korrespondenz 2 (2010), 9-10.

Selected Titles of CONFERENCE PAPERS:

  1.        “Building the Future Together – A Dialouge with Indigenous/Tribal Religions” in Ranchi, India (1997)
  2.        “La Religinsita Africanan nella Musica,”: Conference on “Le vere origini e l’evoluzione della Musica Gospel” in Rome, Italy (1999)
  3.        “Motivazioni della Chiesa cattolica per il dialogo con la Religione Tradizionale Africana,” Dipartimento di Studi Storico-Religiosi of the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy (2002).
  4.       “Dialogue with followers of African Traditional Religion: Points for Reflection,” Consultation with Members and Consultors of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2003).
  5.       “Dialogue with Followers of African Traditional Religion: Progress and Challenges,” University of South Africa (UNISA), Johannesburg, South Africa (2003).
  6.       “Pathways to Peace in Africa: A Reflection from African Traditional Religious Perspective,” Conference of Parliament of World’s Religions, Barcelona, Spain (2004).
  7.        “Globalization of Cultures: Gains and Losses from African perspective,” University of Salzburg, Austria (2004).
  8.        “O Significado do Dialogo Interreligioso: A Perspectiva da Igreja Catholica,” X Semana Teologica Internacional de Beira, Mozambique (2005).
  9.       Les defis du dialogue interreligieux en Afrique: une reflexion, VIIIeme Colloque du Centre d’Etudes des Religions Traditionnelles Africaines, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (2005)
  10.        “The Meaning of Interreligious Dialogue: The Catholic Church Teaching.” Conference for Priests and Religious of the Catholic diocese of Wa, Ghana (2005).
  11.        “Identity of a Catholic Youth in a multireligious society in Africa,” Workshop on Youth Formation in Interreligious Dialogue for Young People in Africa, Lagos Nigeria (2007).
  12.        “Principles of Interreligious Dialogue: The Teaching of the Catholic Church,” Paper for the Workshop on Interreligious Dialogue Organized by Nigerian Conference of Women Religious, Kaduna, Nigerian (2008).
  13.        “Religioni tradizionali: tra dialogo e attenzione pastorale,” Lecture at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy (2009).
  14.        “Praying in interreligious context: Possiblities. African experience,” Address at the Second Ecumenical Kirchentag, Munich, Germany (2010).

WEBSITES Created and Maintained:

Ogbunike, my beloved home town – www.ogbunike-nigeria.net

African Traditional Religion – www.afrikaworld.net/afrel

1994 Synod of Bishops for Africa – www.afrikaworld.net/synod

Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi – www.afrikaworld.net/tansi.

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