Three Nigerians among 25 Opus Dei priests to be ordained by Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-sik

Next Saturday, May 20, in the Basilica of St. Eugenio in Rome

The cardinal will ordain 25 priests to the prelature of Opus Dei on Saturday 20th of May in the Basilica of St Eugenio. The ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will be broadcast live, via

Among the new candidates to the priesthood there are three Nigerians:

Vitus Ntube, who hails from Anambra State and was born in Kaduna State. He studied Botany at the University of Ibadan. He is currently completing his studies in Rome with research on Joseph Ratzinger’s contribution to the Theology of Religion. According to him, “Being a priest would be a way of being a collaborator of Truth and Joy, what St. Augustine calls the gaudium de veritate, helping everyone to discover true joy and the joy of truth.”

Sylvanus Asogwa is from Enugu State. After his graduation from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, he worked briefly in a laboratory as a Microbiologist and later as a teacher in Enugu State and Lagos State respectively. He is in the final stages of completing his Doctorate Thesis on The Trinitarian Anthropology by St. Gregory of Nissa, at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome.

Vitus Ntube, Sylvanus Asogwa and Agaba Otache
Vitus Ntube, Sylvanus Asogwa and Agaba Otache

The third Nigerian is Agaba Otache who hails from Benue State and was born in Kaduna State. He schooled at Christ the King College, Gwagwalada, Abuja, and later proceeded to Federal University of Technology, Minna where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Chemistry. Agaba also holds a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Ibadan. It was there at the Irawo University Centre that he came into contact with Opus Dei and found his vocation. Currently, he is in Rome to undergo a Doctorate degree in Theology. He has this to say to the benefactors who are involved in the training of priests: “I want to say a big thank you for all the donations and contributions that have been so helpful to me in the journey so far. Thank you. God bless you. I promise to have you all in my prayers.”

Another of the future priests is Philip Moss. He was born in Ecuador but raised in Washington DC. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame and worked for several years in New York before undertaking theological studies in Rome. “I am excited,” says Philip, “to think that I will soon be working as a priest, making Christ present in the Church and for all humanity.”

Pablo Tevere, an Argentinian public accountant by profession, moved to Bolivia in 1997 where he worked for 21 years in development projects in one of the poorest rural areas of the country. “When I arrived in Bolivia, I got involved in the development cooperation sector, to collaborate in social activities in the Altiplano of Bolivia. This area of the country is made up of small indigenous Aymara communities where poverty and social marginalisation are combined for ethnic reasons. Now, with my new role as a deacon and in a few days’ time as a priest, I am looking forward to continuing my work with the most disadvantaged people to help with the needs of the soul, which affect people with material and social deprivation in a more marked way.”

Javier Marrodán, from Pamplona (Spain) will be ordained after a long professional career in journalism and teaching. He worked at Diario de Navarra between 1988 and 2007, and then at the Faculty of Communication of the University of Navarra, until 2019. He believes that there may be a certain continuity in the pastoral work that awaits him from now on: “I have dedicated myself for a long time to telling stories, and to trying to do it well,” he assures us. It may have been good training.

Also among the ordinands, is Panamanian Giancarlos Candanedo Páez, a lawyer and communicator, who has worked in public service, politics and university teaching. He recalls that “since I was a child, I always had the desire to serve my country and the church through politics, but thought that this was incompatible. Knowing the message of Opus Dei made me see that all honest work can sanctify us, and this includes politics and public service. He adds: “Today God is asking me to serve him in another way, bringing his Word, comfort and mercy to the whole world. It is a great responsibility that I take on with joy and hope.”

Jorge Oliveira hails from Portugal. After graduating in Civil Engineering at the Instituto Superior Técnico, he dedicated his professional life to project management in the construction and banking sectors. He loves running and has completed four marathons and seventy-two half marathons: “I never thought God would call me to be a priest. I know I have family and friends praying for me and for the 24 who will be ordained with me. With my sights set on WYD in Lisbon and following the example of Pope Francis, I would like my life to be a joyful service to all, and especially to the youngest persons in the society.”

The 25 candidates hail from Spain, Nigeria, Mexico, Chile, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, the United States, Costa Rica, Panama and Peru.

Here are their names:

Sylvanus Sobechi Elias Asogwa (Nigeria)

Rodrigo Ayude Puga (Spain)

Alejandro Bertelsen Simonetti (Chile)

Giancarlos Candanedo Páez (Panama)

Íñigo Cortés Elorza (Croatia)

Juan Esteban de Sas Rosero (Costa Rica)

Héctor Devesa Santacreu (Spain)

Pablo Espinosa Malpartida (Spain)

Daniel Alberto Flores González (Mexico)

Francisco de Castilho Monteiro Gil Serrano (Portugal)

Roberto Edgard Hernani Gómez (Peru)

Juan Ignacio Izquierdo Hübner (Chile)

Borja Lleó de Nalda (Spain)

Alexandre Madruga da Costa Araújo (Brazil)

Javier Marrodán Ciordia (Spain)

José María Martínez Ortega (Spain)

Philip Moss (United States)

Vitus Chekwube Ntube (Nigeria)

Jorge Oliveira (Portugal)

Agaba Simon Otache (Nigeria)

Ferran Parcerisa Pujol (Spain)

Uxío Rojo Otero (Spain)

Pablo Taberner Sanchis (Spain)

Pablo Osvaldo Tevere (Argentina)

Rodrigo Vera Aguilar (Mexico)