SHARING MY FAINT KNOWLEDGE OF THE LATE MOST REVD. PETER I. ADOBOH, BISHOP, CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF KATSINA ALA OF BLESSED MEMORY.
By Terungwa Hundu
The news that Sankera, the Family of the Catholic Diocese of Katsina Ala is going to interred the remains of their Chief Shepherd, the Late Most. Revd. Peter Adoboh on a Wednesday; 11th day of March, 2020 is no longer a breaking News. This saintly man of God slept in the Lord on 14th February, after battling with his detroriating health condition for a spanned time he died on a unique day when the Catholic world celebrated the Memorial of Saints Cyril (Monk) and Methodius (Bishop) and a Saint whose feast day is almost turned romantic and secular; St. Valentine. Departing in the tripodal company can be great, with assurances of unwavering journey home. MAY GOD CONTINUE TO REST THE SOUL OF OUR BELOVED BISHOP IN THE PEACE OF HIS CHRIST.
I had the privilege of first encounter with Most. Revd. Peter Adoboh in the year 1998 when he came for Holy Week ceremonies for one of the “Easter Centers” within the then gigantic Parish of St. Margaret Tor Donga, where Revd. Fr. Cletus Asornyi was the Parish Priest, with two other priests and a Pastoral Year Seminarian, Fidelis Akumbul Due Phelle (the Present Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Katsina Ala).
I recall an incident: the day Fr Peter Adoboh was visiting the parish to perform Holy Week ceremonies. Seminarian Fidelis Akumbul Due Phelle was learning how to drive an old Pick up van of the Parish in company of the driver and myself. We were heading to an outstation (now St. Michael’s Abaji-Kpav), on sighting Fr. Adoboh’s Starlet light green color spot Car, Seminarian Phelle refused to drive the van again, and motioned the driver to occupied the seat. Seminarian Phelle told us Fr. Peter Adoboh who was coming in the car ahead was his Teacher at STAMS Makurdi and it was against the Diocesan policy that a Seminarian should drive a car, so he won’t disrespect his formator by showing up driving in his full view. Phelle told me the name they (Seminarians) gave this their formator, that they were calling him THE DOLLAR MAN, because he returned from Canada recently. Fr. Peter Adoboh successfully carried out his Holy Week ceremonies within Tor Donga parish and left the Parish on Easter Monday. Chances of my meeting this calm, gentle, soft spoken, humane priest again became miragcal until the year 2006.
In the year 2006 the lot fell on me to serve the Parish of Holy Trinity Dagba, Ikyurav-Ya during my Pastoral year experience. I was opportuned to work under the oldest priest in the then Adikpo Deanery, the whole of Kwande Local government area then was a single deanery, with some parts of Ushongo local government area, and Fr. Peter Adoboh was the dean of this deanery. It also happened that on arrival I met a wrangling scenerio where the parish priest and the faithful of the parish were at percived Ecclesiastical tenterhooks, and as it was ordinary, the Dean (Fr. Peter Adoboh) was to congealed the situation. A day was set aside in July for this, the reconciliatory process was to start with the Holy Mass; the Dean arrived early for the excercise. Before the procession to the altar, the parish priest shared roles to us; he said he will Celebrate the Mass, the pastoral year Seminarian will read the Gospel while the Dean will Preach the gospel; I felt nervous but I was not supposed to even suggest, even the Dean had no say, so I remained numb. I remember the dean preached the reconciliatory mass using a story of how ‘the Chamba People of Adamawa State used to trap monkeys’.
Eventually Fr Peter Adoboh was named the first bishop of Katsina Ala and was installed the first Bishop of the Diocese on 23rd February, 2013. In him I saw a zealous Bishop, he worked so hard as if he knew he won’t stay longer in his episcopate: his Pastoral visits were marvelous and enriching with powerful catechesis. For me his existence is defined in his beautiful but lengthy homilies pack full of deep Spirituality; each time I had an opportunity of listening to his sermon I became incapable of old self, I always felt touched to my inner person. Zeal for the Lord’s house consumed the bishop until his life was poured out like a libation.
Being a man of Serenity, Most Revd. Peter I. Adoboh’s life was always pierced as if with a sword, especially when he worked as the Parish priest of St. Ann’s Adikpo when the whole area was engulfed with politicial crisis for so long; being at the middle of crisis of such magnitude could be soul wrenching. Unfortunately even when he was installed the Bishop of Katsina Ala Diocese he inherited internal and external aggressions that made his Ecclesiastical territory nearly ungovernable. He worked so much for peace, being a man of peace himself.
Today the Bishop left this challenge for Sankera sons and daughters, and his former Ecclesiastical jurisdiction (Diocese). May he not be hurried with the peace he worked and sacrificed his last energy for. May the Diocese and Sankera people rather work to sustain this peace. Amen.
Dear God, take your faithful servant home, I know nothing will stop you from admitting him in the company of your elect, I’m sure you won’t, if you the Good Lord could give salvation to the penitent Robber (Luke 23: 43), how much more to your humble servant Bishop Peter Adoboh? St. Augustine says that: “the sin against the Holy Ghost mentioned specifically in scripture (Matt. 12:31) is the sin of FINAL IMPENITENCE by which a man rejects grace and pardon, up to and including the moment of his death”, (cf A Tour of the SUMMA of St Thomas Aquinas, p. 195). Your humble servant prepared so well for his FINAL PENITENCE; MAY YOU CROWN HIM WITH EVERLASTING LIFE.
MAY THE SOUL OF MOST REVD. PETER ADOBOH AND ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED REST IN PEACE OF CHRIST. AMEN.