Scam, kidnap by South African police

Scam, kidnap by South African police

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Scam, kidnap by South African police

Scam, kidnap by South African police

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Biafra, click here.

Father Kieran

From the first minute I walked into an Igbo Mass at St Cyprian's Roman Catholic Church, I felt welcome.

St Cyprians, at 63rd and Christian in West Philadelphia, is a regular American Roman Catholic Church. At 1pm every Sunday, the Igbo priest comes and with him, his flock. The Mass is partly in English, but predominantly in the Igbo language.

I showed up at St Cyprian's the last Sunday in November, 2011 for 3 reasons: first, I had been invited by High Chief Malachy Orji, click here; second, I had been invited by Dr Chris Orji to photograph his wife Ms Chisom Constance Orji, click here; and third, General Ojukwu who led Biafra into secession and through the Nigerian Civil War, had died the previous day, and I wanted to pay my respects to a community I knew would be grieving.

Father Kieran leads a flock of highly educated, hard-working Africans who are mostly, although not all, both Nigerian and Igbo. He himself is Igbo, and he has been a priest for far longer than I can imagine, he looks like he is in his twenties but has the voice and commands respect as if he was in his fifties.

I have heard Father Kieran speak in homilies and exhorting his flock to take office-holding seriously. I had fun helping him clean up the church hall after a party, so much fun that I could not speak for 2 days afterwards. That was interesting!

When I brought MJoTAtalks: Music host to church to meet High Chief MC Orji, Mr Omenihu Amachi, click here, Dr Chieke Ihejirika, click here, and Father Kieran, Father Kieran gave Irv a warm hug, welcoming him.

Which didn't surprise me. Igbos have a debt to Haiti. Haiti was one of the few, very few, nations that supported Biafra in its secession. And Igbos tell me that Haitians are descended from Igbos taken as slaves. I told Irv that, he said what was amazing was when he was hearing the Igbo language sung and spoken in church, the words and inflections sounded to him like Creole, which he speaks fluently.

Irving said he felt at home. Wonderful. So do I.
St Cyprian's Roman Catholic Church

525 South Cobbs Creek Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19143


Schedule of Masses

8 am & 11 am
- 1pm, Nigerian Igbo Mass
3pm on 2nd and 4th Sundays, African French Speaking Mass

Weekdays: 7 am
in St. Josephine Bakhita Chapel (8 am in Summer)

Sacrament of Penance:

Sundays before Mass