BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF BISHOP GREGORY OBINNA OCHIAGHA
The MostReverendGregory Obinna Ochiagha, PhD., is the Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu, Imo State, Nigeria. Born August 31, 1931, at Ibeme in Imo State, he was ordained a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia on July 31, 1960, by the Most Rev. Anthony Gogo Nwedo. He is the first priest of Umuahia Diocese, a diocese established in 1959. Bishop Ochiagha is amongthe pioneers of All Hallows Seminary,Onitsha, Anambra State. He received his doctorate degree from the Catholic University of America.
During the civil war, the Bishops of the old Onitsha Province appointed himto work with the government of Biafra. Hewas the only priest on the team that met with the delegation from Nigeria at Lome Togo for a peace talk and its restoration between Nigeria and Biafra.
After the war, hebecame the Director of Communications for Onitsha Eccclesiastical Province,between 1970and 1972.For five years, hewas the Rector of Immaculate Conception Seminary,Ahiaeke, UmuahiaAbia State. He was among the few priests elected to reopen the Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu after the civil war. Thereafter, heworked as a teacher(academic staff)as well as a bursar. Later he was appointed to be the pioneer Rector ofBigard Memorial Seminary, Ikot Ekpenecampus in Cross River State(present day St. Joseph Seminary Ikot Ekpene). At one point, hewas involved in curriculum revision for schools in the Old Imo State government and various boards of government.
His Holiness, Pope St John Paul II appointed himfirst Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu in 1980 and consecrated him abishop on January 6, 1981 in Rome.Hewas installed at the Holy Trinity Cathedral Church on February 15, 1981. As a bishop, heheld many provincial and national responsibilities. Among them include: Chair, the Liturgy Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria; Chair; planning and hosting of the National Eucharistic Congress in Jos 1983, and the Second National Eucharistic Congress in Owerri 1993; Chair, the Seminary Commission for the Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province; and Chair, Seminary Commission for Owerri Ecclesiastical Province from inception until retirement as Bishop in 2007. Bishop Ochiagha believes in Divine Providence, the Church and the Priesthood. He enjoys the Latin language and has a passionate love for the Sacred Liturgy.