Mission in Abuja

The city of Abuja is the modern capital of Nigeria. It is a very modern city built in the 1980’s, planned to become the new capital of Nigeria. Abuja is actually in a Federated State in the middle of Nigeria. It became the capital of Nigeria in 1991, replacing the city of Lagos as capital city on 12 December. One of the significant features of the area are the large dome rocks, such as Aso Rock which is a 400 meter monolith exposed by erosion. There is an even larger rock north of the city called Zuma Rock which stands at 792 metres.

Thus Abuja represents a striking contrast to the rest of Nigeria. It is a very modern city, with a great influx of foreign investment, dignitaries and the wealth that accompanies them. Thus the conditions of life in Abuja are quite good and are not very representative of the rest of Nigeria.

The North of Nigeria is primarily Muslim, which is represented in the rather large Mosque in the capital city.

We have had a chapel here since 2013 in the private home of a person who makes her living room into a chapel. There are between 35-40 people for the Mass. Normally we come only once a month, and say the Mass on Saturdays in the evening and Sundays in the morning. However, on this Sunday the Mass was in the evening in order to service the chapel with the chapel in Port Harcourt. This will allow us to come at least twice a month to Abuja.

Even though the evening Mass is not ideal for this small group of people, the faithful were very generous and covered all the cost of travel. This makes the logistics of giving them the Mass every Sunday very promising in the future – for the airport in Abuja is very modern and accessible to all the states of Nigeria. This will make the travel to the various missions possible, including the rather far off chapel in Lagos.

The present chapel is however too small for the number of faithful – with 50 people about half of them have to stand outside or in the small room on the gospel side of the altar. We hope to be able to find a better solution in the future to accommodate the increasing number of faithful who come to our masses. Again this is rather difficult considering the limited funds that we have available.

Laus Deo Virginique Mariae!