Monsignor (Dr.) John Kanebi Asuquo Aniagwu
Ordained on 15th August 1971, at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, Yaba, in Lagos, Msgr. John Aniagwu has left an indelible mark on the landscape of the Catholic Church in Nigeria, especially in the areas of education, priestly and religious formation.
Today, from his seat as the Parish Priest of St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Ikeja (1995 to date), Msgr. Aniagwu is the Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos (from 2012), Episcopal Vicar of Ikeja Region (from 2005), and was recently appointed Chancellor of Augustine University, Lagos, in 2015.
Msgr. John Aniagwu, indefatigable Priest, erudite scholar, seasoned administrator, and Teacher of Teachers, was born in Ijebu-Ode on 15th March 1944.
After his primary education at Holy Cross Catholic School, Lagos in 1958, he was admitted into St. Theresa’s Minor Seminary at Oke-Are in Ibadan, where he completed his A-Level education in 1963, and proceeded to the Seminary of Ss. Peter and Paul, Bodija, Ibadan in 1964.
A year later, he was sent to the Pontificio Collegio Urbano de Propaganda Fide in Rome to continue his training for the priesthood.
While there, he attended the Pontifical Urban University, and completed the B.A.; M. Phil (1966; 67) and B.Th.; M.Th. (1967; 71).
While in Rome, he used his holiday periods to acquire a Diploma in French language from University of Caen, France; and another in German, from the Goethe Institut, Schwabisch-Hall, Germany.
After ordination, he was given his first appointment as Manager of the Holy Cross Group of Schools in Lagos, a post he held up till 1973.
In 1974, he proceeded to study and obtain the M.A. in Religious Education at the University of San Francisco, USA; while at the same time, working as Assistant Priest in St. Agnes Catholic Church, San Francisco. In 1982 he completed a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education at the University of Lagos, Nigeria.
As part of his continuing education, he later attended the Marianella Renewal Centre in Dublin, Ireland in 1994, and the Haggai Institute, Maui, Hawaii, USA in 2000.
In a long career as educator, Msgr. Aniagwu was Rector and Lecturer at the National Institute of Moral and Religious Education, Akoka, Lagos, (now St. Augustine’s College of Education) from 1975 – 1978. Subsequently, he was assigned as Lecturer and Vice-Rector at Seminary of Ss. Peter and Paul, Bodija, Ibadan, from 1978 – 1982. He became Rector at Ss. Peter and Paul, Bodija in 1982, a position he held until 1994, after which he went on Sabbatical leave in Dublin, Ireland.
He returned to Lagos, and was appointed Parish Priest of St. Leo’s, Ikeja in 1995. He was invested Honorary Prelate of His Holiness the Pope, and given the title of Rt. Rev. Monsignor in 1998.
He is a Member of several bodies including the Nigerian Academy of Education; Governing Council of St. Augustine’s College of Education, Akoka, Lagos; Board of Trustees of Augustine University, Lagos; Philosophy of Education Association of Nigeria; Catholic Theological Association of Nigeria; International Biographical Association, Cambridge, England; Nigerian Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission; and the Editorial Board of The Word Among Us (Nigerian Edition).