Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Fr Hilary Dechelem, parish priest of Church of Immaculate Conception Upper hill, Makurdi as Bishop of Bauchi Diocese.
Rev. Fr Ralph Madu, General Secretary, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja announced this in a statement made available to newsmen.
The ordination date for the Bishop-elect is yet to be announced. Dechelem was born on June 3, 1966 in the former Benue Plateau State.
Madu informed that Dechelem is a native of Moeda–Kwalla from Kwampan Plateau and attended L.E.A Primary School, Kabala, St Catherine’s Makurdi and Central Primary School, Awe, Nassarawa State respectively.
Dechelem had his Secondary Education at St Peters College Toto, St John Bosco, Doma and Government Secondary School Obi all in Nassarawa State.
The Claretian Missionaries admitted him in 1986 at Nekede Owerri for Petulancy, had his first Religious Profession in 1988 at Utonkon, Benue and Final Religious Profession in 1993 at Maryland, Nekede, Owerri.
The Bishop-elect was ordained priest in 1995 at Kwa Parish, Jos Archdiocese, had Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Claretian Institute of Philosophy in 1990, an affiliate of the Pontifical Urban University, Rome.
He had a Master’s Degree in theology from Spiritan International School of Theology, Attakwu, Enugu in 1995 an affiliate of Duquesne University Pittsburg Pennsylvania, U.S.
He also had a Master’s Degree in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University Omaha, Nebraska, U.S, and a Certificate Course in Spiritual Direction from Creighton University in 2014.
He Studied Masters in Business Administration and Project Management Technology at Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo.
He is presently doing his doctorate degree in Policy Analysis and Public Administration at the University of Abuja.
He worked as Bursar and part time lecturer 1995 at the Claratian Institute of Philosophy, Nekede and was elected in the Provincial Council as Consulter of Economy 1999 and Consulter of Spirituality, 2005.
The Bishop-elect was a member of the General Economic Council (GEC) of the Claretian Congregation in Rome 2003 to 2006.
He was the Parish Priest Maria Goretti, Parish Ikenegbu, Owerri Archdiocese 2005 to 2010 and also Parish Priest St John Mary Vianney Parish Kwande, Shendam Diocese and Vicar for Religious 2010.
He is a lecturer and a core team, Institute for Formators, Du, Jos, from 2015 till date.