POPE Francis has promoted the current parish priest of Saint Mary’s Parish in Makurdi’s North Bank Reverend Father Stephen Beba to an elevated position within the Catholic Church naming him as a Chaplain of His Holiness.
From Makurdi in Benue State, Reverend Father Beba will from henceforth be addressed as Monsignor and will have certain privileges with respect to ecclesiastical dress and vestments. His Eminence, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, the Archbishop of Abuja, made the announcement during the 25th Priestly Anniversary of the Catholic Bishop of Makurdi, Most Rev Wilfred Anagbe, in Makurdi.
Reverend Father Beba, who was born in 1945, was among the first group of seven Tiv priests ordained on December 29, 1971 and is the only survivor of the group. According to Cardinal Onaiyekan, the certificate and letter appointing Reverend Father Beba was dated October 29, 2019 and was signed by the pope himself.
Others ordained with him were late Bishop Emeritus of Makurdi, Most Reverend Athanasius Usuh, former governor of Benue State Father Moses Adasu, Father Benjamin Adzor, Father Dominic Yuhe, Father Edward Maer and Father Simon Ivever. With his appointment, Reverend Father Beba becomes the first priest to be honoured with the title of Monsignor since the creation of the Makurdi Diocese on April 2, 1959.