Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha

The Archdiocese of Onitsha (Latin: Archidioecesis Onitshanus ) is a location in Nigeria Roman Catholic archdiocese based in Onitsha.


The Archdiocese of Onitsha was founded on July 25, 1889 by Pope Leo XIII. cessions of territory from the Apostolic Vicariate of Benin Coast sub - Niger built as Apostolic Prefecture. On April 16, 1920, the Apostolic Prefecture of sub - Niger was Pope Pius XI. elevated to the Apostolic Vicariate Apostolic Vicariate and renamed Southern Nigeria. The Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Nigeria was born on July 9, 1934 by Pius XI. renamed with the Apostolic Constitution Ad enascentis in Apostolic Vicariate of Onitsha - Owerri. On February 12, 1948, the Apostolic Vicariate of Onitsha - Owerri was divided into the Apostolic Vicariate of Onitsha and Owerri.

The Apostolic Vicariate of Onitsha was posted on April 18, 1950 by Pope Pius XII. charged with the Apostolic Constitution Laeto accepimus to an archbishopric. On November 12, 1962, the Archdiocese of Onitsha were parts of its territory from the foundation of the Diocese of Enugu. For more territorial concessions were made on 10 November 1977 on the establishment of the Diocese of Awka and on 9 November 2001 on the establishment of the Diocese of Nnewi.


Apostolic Prefect of sub - Niger

  • Joseph Lutz CSSp, 1889-1895
  • Léon- Alexander CSSp Lejeune, 1900-1905
  • Joseph Shanahan CSSp, 1905-1920

Vicars Apostolic of Southern Nigeria

  • Joseph Shanahan CSSp, 1920-1931
  • Charles Heerey CSSp, 1931-1934

Vicars Apostolic of Onitsha - Owerri

  • Charles Heerey CSSp, 1934-1948

Vicars Apostolic of Onitsha

  • Charles Heerey CSSp, 1948-1950

Archbishops of Onitsha

  • Charles Heerey CSSp, 1950-1967
  • Francis Arinze, 1967-1985
  • Stephen Nweke Ezeanya, 1985-1995
  • Albert Kanene Obiefuna, 1995-2003
  • Valerian Okeke, since 2003