Our Diocese


5 December 1885Onitsha established as a mission with Father Joseph Emile LUTZ C.S.Sp. as the head of the mission.
7 April 1889Became a Prefecture with Father LUTZ as the first Apostolic Prefect.
28 September 1905Father Joseph Ignatius SHANAHAN C.S.Sp. was appointed Apostolic Prefect.
20 April 1920Erected Vicariate of Southern Nigeria by Pope Benedict XV.
6 June 1920Episcopal ordination of Joseph Ignatius SHANAHAN C.S.Sp.as Apostolic Vicar of the Vicariate of Southern Nigeria. Principal Consecrator: Bishop Denis Kelly of Ross, Ireland.
27 May 1927Episcopal ordination of Charles HEEREY C.S.Sp. as the coadjutor Bishop of the Vicariate. Principal Consecrator: Bishop Joseph Ignatius SHANAHAN C.S.Sp.
28 April 1950Vicariate raised by Pope Pius XII to the status of Archdiocese and Metropolitan See of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province with Bishop Charles HEEREY C.S.Sp. as the first Archbishop.
29 August 1965: Episcopal ordination of Francis ARINZE as coadjutor and first indigenous bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese. Principal Consecrator: Archbishop Charles HEEREY C.S.Sp.
26 June 1967Appointment of Bishop Francis ARINZE as Archbishop of Onitsha.
11 May 1985: Episcopal ordination of Stephen EZEANYA as the 2nd indigenous Archbishop of Onitsha. Principal Consecrator: Cardinal Francis ARINZE.
6 May 1995: Enthronement of Bishop Albert OBIEFUNA (formerly bishop of Awka) as Archbishop of Onitsha.
9 February 2002: Episcopal ordination of Valerian M. OKEKE as coadjutor Archbishop of Onitsha. Principal Consecrator: Archbishop Osvaldo PADILLA.
1 September 2003Most Rev. Valerian Okeke became the Archbishop of Onitsha, and the Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Onitsha.
28 May, 2007: Granted a Basilica
The Holy Trinity is the Patron of the Archdiocese.