The Missionary Society of Saint Paul of Nigeria

Founded by
Cardinal Dominic Ekandem

Established by the
Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria







        Brief History of the Society  

The establishment of the Missionary Society of St Paul of Nigeria was the response of the Nigerian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CBCN) to the Decrees of the Second Vatican Council, affirming that the whole Church is essentially missionary. The vocation to be missionary comes to the individual and the community from Baptism. To be a Christian is to be a missionary. A Church, which is not missionary, is not a Church of Christ. “The grace of renewal (as the Council declared and sees a new missionary), cannot grow in communities unless each of them expands the range of its charity to the ends of the earth and has the same concern for those who are far away as it has for its own members.”(Ad Gentes, 37). All peoples have an equal right to possess the Gospel of Christ and know themselves as children of the Father.


At the 1976 Bishops’ Conference in Kaduna, in September 1976, His Eminence, Dominic Cardinal Ekandem, first mooted the idea of a National Seminary. In 1969 Pope Paul VI in his kampala Address said: ‘The Church in Africa must, in its turn, become a missionary Church.” Again, in support of the idea, Cardinal Ekandem in his letter in May 1976 to the Bishops’ Conference pressed that: “It is timely: the Church in Nigeria by reason of her bright future in vocations, has a responsibility towards the whole of bring the Good News to all places in the Continent and even further afield. The Seminary opened at Iperu-Remo, Ogun State on Mission Sunday, October 23, 1977. Monsignor Godwin P. Akpan was appointed the first Rector (1977-1988) and Acting Superior General (1989-1995) of the Seminary and Society, respectively.


It was decided that the headquarters of the Society be at Abuja, the new Federal Capital Territory. But since there had as yet been no allocation of land in the Federal Capital Territory, His Lordship, Rt Revd Dr A. S. Sanusi, Bishop Emeritus of Ijebu-Odo, very generously donated the premises of the former St Mark’s Teacher Training College at Iperu-Remo, which eventually is its first home and mother house. As a consequence, he was appointed as the Ordinary of the Seminary and Society. (Both the Seminary and the Society are placed under the patronage of the great missionary apostle, St Paul). In May 1979, the National Missionary Seminary of St Paul was formally opened by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria at Iperu, in a two-day (May 26-27) event which brought together over two thousand clergy, religious and laity from every diocese in the country, as well as visitors from abroad. Early in 1983, a suitable place was assigned for the new campus at Gwagwalada, Abuja, and construction began. On October 13, 1984, the Bishops opened the main campus of the seminary. From October 1977 to October 1984, all seminarians were accommodated at the Iperu campus. The Spiritual Year(s) is now taken at Iperu, Philosophy and Theology are taken at Abuja.  


In February 1978, the Conference unanimously erected the Missionary Society of  St Paul into a Pius Union. This action of the Nigerian Bishops received the approval of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in October 1978 (Prot. 4652/78). In order to be erected into a “Society of Apostolic Life of Diocesan Right” the same Congregation granted “Nihil Obstat” on 17th March 1994 (Prof. 5374/93), in accordance with the prescriptions of canon 579. Consequently, the Ordinary of the Society, the Archbishop of Abuja, Most Revd Dr John Onaiyekan, approved the Society’s Constitutions and Directives in Abuja on Easter Sunday, April 16th 1999, erected the Society as “Society of Apostolic Life of Diocesan Right on July 1, 1995; and the First General Chapter took place in September 1995. The Second General Chapter already took place in September 2001.

The Missionary Society of St Paul of Nigeria is a Clerical Society of Apostolic Life of Diocesan Right. The secular priest members of the Institute are incorporated into it by the oath of membership and are dedicated to the missionary apostolate. By the oath of membership, members undertake the observance of evangelical counsels of perfect chastity, evangelical poverty and obedience in imitation of Christ. The members who live as a community of priests in the Church carry out, in a special way, the missionary mandate and commitment of the Catholic Church.

Society Headquarters, Kutunku P.O. Box 23, Gwagwalada-Abuja, Nigeria
Ph:09-8821 .402; Fax:09-2340.662.



Promotion Department
Missionary Society of St Paul
P.M.B. 2011, Iperu-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria
Ph: 037.620.115, 037.620.699  


Office of Mission Development
Missionary Society of St Paul
3607 Meriburr Lane
P 0 Box 300415, Houston, Texas 77230-0145
Ph 713 747-1722; Fax:713-741-0245

Government of the Society

Hymn playing is Prepare Ye the Way


Created and Maintained by Michael O. Faneye, MSP

Website was updated
Sunday, August 04, 2002