In This Biography
Father Ede Biography, Ministry, Age, Establishments, Networth, Wife, Career
BIRTH NAME: Emmanuel M. P. EdehDATE OF BIRTH: 20 May 1947
OCCUPATION: Priest, Author, Educationist, Philanthropist
NET WORTH: $90M -$100M
MARITAL STATUS: Not Married
Father Edeh is a popular Nigerian Catholic priest of the Holy Ghost congregation. He is the founder of the Pilgrimage Centre of Eucharistic Adoration also known as the Pilgrimage Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Elele, Rivers State, Nigeria.
EARLY LIFE AND BACKGROUND
Fr. Edeh was born as ‘Ogbodo Edeh’ in Akpugo, Enugu State Nigeria, to a family of an African traditionalist Mr. Joseph and Elizabeth Edeh Ani Onovo. The name Emmanuel was added to him at the age of nine, when he was baptized a Christian in April 1956 at the Holy Angels’ Catholic Mission, Ndiagu Obuno, Akpugo by Rev. Fr. Brennan. He attended Holy Angels Catholic School in Akpugo, Enugu State, where he got his primary school education before gaining admission into the Holy Ghost Juniorate, Ihiala in 1963 and finished his secondary education in 1967, a period that was coincidentally the beginning of the Nigerian-Biafran war. In 1968 Father Edeh enrolled at the Holy Ghost Scholasticate, Awo-Omamma where he successfully completed his philosophy studies in 1970. In 1972 he was admitted into the Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu where he completed his theology studies and was ordained into the priesthood on the 19th of April 1976. The year 1978 saw Father Edeh travel to the United States of America to further his studies. He studied at DePaul University in Chicago Illinois where he obtained Bachelors’s, Masters, and Doctorate of Arts degrees in Philosophy specializing in Metaphysics.
Father Edeh had his first personal experience of practical charity work in 1968 when during the early days of the Biafran war, he had to work at three Caritas feeding centers in and around Awo-Omamma.(Caritas is a Catholic non-governmental organization that played a major role in providing Food, medicine, and clothing to Biafra children during the Biafra war). This experience as he recounted provoked in him a desire to serve humanity through practical and effective charity. Thus, after the war, he pursued and gained admission into the theology department of Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu, Nigeria for his theological studies in 1972.
As a young seminarian in Bigard, Emmanuel joined a number of religious, social, and academic societies among which were the Legion of Mary and Le Cercle Francais. In Le Cercele Francais, he not only contributed articles to the society’s journal Bigard D’Aujour D’hui, but he was also a very active member of the Committee de Redaction as one of the dactylography in 1974. He also learned to speak French and use the typewriter as a seminarian.
CAREER AND LIFE
Coming out of the seminary training in 1976 he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Divinity (B.D.) from the Bigard Memorial Seminary an affiliate of Pontifical Urban University, Rome. Consequently, Emmanuel Ogbodo Edeh was ordained a Catholic Priest (first priest to be ordained in his hometown) of the Holy Ghost Congregation Nigeria Province on the 19th day of April 1976 by the then Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Godfrey Mary Paul Okoye C.S.Sp., in his hometown, Akpugo.
From the first day of his ordination, he was filled with the motivation and passion for what he calls his mission of practical and effective charity, that is, special (holistic) care for the sick and suffering, the physically challenged, the abjectly poor and the abandoned; and providing proper education for the troubled youths of the modern society. He finds happiness in feeding and caring for the little ones from abjectly poor families, as he patiently listens to and sympathizes with, and consoles the suffering of their parents as they narrate their stories to him.
After ordination Fr. Emmanuel Edeh was placed on a primary assignment as a young missionary besides his personal pursuit of implementing his mission of practical and effective charity, which comprised teaching at the Holy Ghost Juniorate Seminary Ihiala, his Alma Mater, acting as the provincial secretary of the Holy Ghost Congregation and serving as a curate to Rev. Fr. Tobias Enweremadu, C.S.Sp., the then parish priest of St. Martin’s Parish, Ihiala (1976–78).
Studies in the USA
Furthering His Education
His desire to further his education took him to the US in 1978 on scholarship and by the State University of Chicago, however, he declined the offer and transferred to De Paul University Chicago which was more in line with his yearnings. At De Paul University, he got his Bachelor of Arts (BA), Master of Arts (MA), and Ph.D. all in Philosophy, majoring in Metaphysics. He also obtained a professional certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), from Loyola University Medical Center cum Mary Ann Joy Hospital May-wood, Illinois, USA.
Return to Nigeria
Father Edeh returned to Nigeria in February 1984. However, the aftermath of the Nigerian Civil war on Nigerians was still vivid. He was stunned by the gloom, doom, and abject condition of the country resulting from the devastation of the Nigerian Civil war whereby millions of people were displaced and broken, and families and kindred were in disarray; quarreling against each other. People’s homes, houses, and lands were forcefully snatched from their rightful owners. Court cases were multiplying in hundreds and thousands. People went to court seeking justice to prevail in their cases. Even courts’ positions on certain matters were not the final resolution of the problem, as individuals often took the law into their own hands. Regrettably, the government (local, state, and federal) were not people-oriented and could therefore not proffer concrete solutions to the people’s malaise of cynicism, desperation, and despair. It was in this decadent state of the nation that Father Edeh began his pastoral ministry.
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He was posted to the Holy Ghost Novitiate, Awo-Omamma, Orlu Diocese, to join the Novitiate staff for some months before finally joining the Philosophy staff at Isienu in September 1984. At Awo-Omamma, he took care of the spiritual and material needs of the people that came to him through works of charity with the support of his then provincial Superior, Very Rev. Fr. James Okoye C.S.Sp. He was later posted to Our Lady of Lourdes parish Elele in Rivers State, the same year to begin his pastoral ministry as the parish priest. Elle is in the Niger Delta region, an oil-rich region known for its restiveness due to decades of exploitation and neglect by the federal government. Therefore, on assuming his role as the parish priest, Father Edeh set up different platforms to carry out his mission of practical charity, like the Poor Peoples Ward where the abjectly poor are kept, fed on a daily basis, and taken care of irrespective of age, gender, religion, and ethnicity. Our Saviour Motherless Babies’ Home is where abandoned children and Motherless Babies are nurtured and given special care. Our Saviour Rehabilitation Centre for skills acquisition and creation of employment opportunities, Centre for the Rehabilitation and provision of specialized care to those with mental sicknesses that have been uncared for and left to degenerate. In his efforts to provide free medical care for the poor and the abandoned in his Charity model, Father Edeh established different health and social welfare institutions from a Teaching hospital, Maternity Hospitals, Specialist Diagnostic laboratories, Medical Clinic, Rehabilitation Centre, and a Motherless Babies Home, that have provided free services for the past twenty-four years.
Influence in education
He took up a lecturing position at the Department of Philosophy, O
SISATECH Polytechnic, Enugu then a campus of Enugu State University of Science and Technology, and led the movement for the provision of qualitative and affordable education to all regardless of their gender, ethnicity, and religion. This quest led to the establishment of several academic institutions ranging from Nursery schools, Primary schools, Secondary schools, and Universities that are situated in different parts of the country. In these institutions, people from all walks of life and of different races and creeds are admitted and allowed inter-religious freedom on campus. Through his institutions, Father Edeh has given and continues to give hundreds of scholarships to the poor and the disadvantaged especially those with physical disabilities receive free tuition and accommodation. Gender equality is also an area where Father Edeh has made tremendous strides. In a male-dominated society like Nigeria, he has been the biggest promoter of women’s education, through the establishment of dedicated institutions solely for the education of women, and also instituting a gender equality employment policy at all the institutions he has established.
Centre for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation
Father Edeh established a gigantic National Pilgrimage Centre at Elele in Rivers State. Here millions of people from across the globe visit in their quest to find peace in their hearts, lives, and families. Within this Pilgrimage Centre, Father Edeh also established a Centre for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation. This Centre is charged with the responsibility of reconciling people with one another as means of achieving world peace. It is documented that more than 14 million cases have been amicably resolved at this peace Centre since its inception for individuals, families, kindred, villages, communities, and towns regardless of their ethnicity, gender, religion, or political adherence.
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Father Ede’s Charitable works
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Father Edeh also established the Madonna International Charity Peace Award (MICPA). This Charity Peace Award has been a prime supporter of financial relief efforts in natural disaster-stricken areas like the earthquake devastation in Haiti and the tsunami crisis in Asia. The Award has also provided relief and support to victims of religious extremism in Nigeria. The Award has also gone to some persons and organizations that have been taking care of orphans, Motherless Babies, and displaced people in places like Haiti, Cambodia, India, the Philippines, England, the USA, and Cameroon.
Fada Edeh and Madonna University
Fada Edeh Founded Madonna University on 10 May 1999 in Okija, Anambra State, it was established by Father Edeh. Edeh had founded Our Saviour Institute of Science and Technology in Enugu the previous year. In 2004, under the approval of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Madonna University’s main campus was moved to Elele in Rivers State
Madonna University is the first Catholic university in Nigeria. It was accredited by National Universities Commission. Madonna University Nigeria has three campuses that are located in Elele – Rivers State, Okija – Anambra State, and Akpugo – Enugu State. The campuses have different Faculties with Departments. The Okija campus in Anambra state has the following Faculties: Management and Social Sciences; Arts and Education, and Law. The Elele campus has Faculties of Medicine and Surgery, and Pharmacology. The Akpugo campus has Faculty of Engineering. These campuses have their main libraries as well as libraries attached to Faculties and the Departments. The university graduates first class, second class, and third class students. The university also has a postgraduate program and part-time program that runs on Fridays and Saturdays.
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