BISHOP OF AHIARA: A SHORT BIOGRAPHY
A BIOGRAPHY OF AHIARA’S BISHOP PETER EBERE OKPALEKE
Msgr. Peter Ebere Okpaleke was born into the family of Reuben Ezeuko Okpaleke & Bridget Ekejimma Okpaleke (both of blessed memory), of Amesi in Aguata L.G.A of Anambra State. He is the fourth of nine children.
He attended Bigard Memorial Seminary (now St. Joseph Major Seminary) Ikot-Ekpene (1983-1987) and Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu (1988-1992).
Msgr. Okpaleke was ordained a priest on August 22, 1992 by Most Rev. Simon A. Okafor, the then Bishop of Awka Diocese. After ordination, he was appointed the Assistant Secretary to the Bishop and he served in this capacity till 1995 when he was asked to go to the Catholic Institute of West Africa(C.I.W.A) for post-graduate studies in Canon Law (1995-1997).
On his return to the Diocese, after his Masters' Degree programme, he was appointed the Diocesan Financial Administrator as well as vicar and afterwards Chaplain of St. Joseph the Worker Chaplaincy, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka (1997-1999). He combined this with his work as Diocesan Financial Administrator.
In 1999, Msgr. Okpaleke was sent to the Pontificia Universita Della Santa Croce, Rome where he obtained a Licentiate and a Doctorate Degree in Canon law (1999-2002) as well as a Diploma in Ecclesiastical Administration (2002).
To the glory of God, Msgr. Okpaleke demonstrated his intellectual endowment by consistently obtaining First Class Honours in most of the examinations he took in the course of his studies both in Nigeria and abroad.
On his return, Msgr. Okpaleke was appointed Parish Administrator of St. Anthony's parish Nanka (March 2002 - October 5, 2002) and then the Diocesan Chancellor, (2002-2011). He was one of the Diocesan Masters of Ceremonies. From 2011 till his Episcopal appointment, Msgr. Okpaleke was the Parish priest of Ss. John and Paul, Umuebele, Awka
Msgr. Okpaleke has served on many Boards, Commissions and Committees. These include the Finance Council, Pastoral Council, Diocesan Board of Examiners, Presbyteral Council; College of Deans; Priests' Education Commission, Committee on the Creation of Parishes and Judge, Onitsha Inter-diocesan Marriage Tribunal. He was the secretary of some of these Boards and Commissions. Since 1995, Msgr. Okpaleke has been a member of the Canon Law Society of Nigeria and, in 2009 he was elected Coordinator of Research and Publication of this body till now.
Msgr. Okpaleke has nine books/monographs to his credit.
1). The Administrator of Diocesan Property (2002).
2). A Handbook on the Administration of Parish Property (2002).
3). Conflict Prevention. Management and Resolution in the Church (2004).
4). Irregular Unions (Marriages) and Denial of the Reception of Holy Communion (2004).
5). Pastoral Visitation: Towards Knowing the Significance and Necessary Preparations (2006).
6. The Role of Deans in Diocesan Apostolatc (2008).
7). The Establishment, Competence, Functions and Organization of Diocesan Pastoral Council (2010).
8). I Believe in the Communion of Saints (2011).
9). Consultative Process and Not Democracy in the Catholic Church (2012).