Necrology - Monsignor Godwin Pius Akpan, MSP

Necrology - Monsignor Godwin Pius Akpan, MSP

A Biography of Very Rev. Monsignor Godwin Pius Akpan, MSP

 Godwin Pius Akpan was born on December 26th 1930, and was baptized as an infant. Encouraged by his father to go to school, he applied himself to his studies and passed his standard six examinations in 1943.  He then taught for about two years before being sent for a teacher training programme at St. Thomas College, Ogoja.  While in the college he felt a strong desire to become a priest.  He completed his Grade III teacher's examination in 1948, and left in 1949 to study at the Holy Family College Oku, Abak, which later become a part of the junior seminary, Abak, that had just been opened. Dominic Cardinal Ekandem, then a young priest, was its first Rector.

 Godwin Akpan later entered Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu, in 1954 and on completion of his studies; he was ordained a priest on July 31, 1960 at Sacred Heart Cathedral by the Bishop of Calabar, Joseph Moynagh.  He was the third priest of the Calabar Diocese.  He was then made the rector of the preparatory seminary for two years and later served in St. Joseph's Parish Anua, St. Andrew's Parish Ikot Okure, Ibesiko and Christ the King Parish Uyo.

 In 1972, Fr. Akpan was sent for further studies first to the University of Swansea, England where he obtained a diploma in Administration, and then to the Catholic  University of America, Washington, DC where in 1974 he got a Master's degree in Sociology. On his return, he was sent back to Christ the King Parish Uyo and also made Vicar General of the diocese.  In 1975, he was honoured as a Papal Chamberlain by Pope Paul VI which conferred on him the title 'Monsignor'.

 Then came the establishment of the National Missionary Seminary of St. Paul, and Msgr. Akpan with the consent of his bishop, Most Rev. Dr. Brian Usanga came to become its first rector.  He later applied to become a pioneer/foundation member of the Missionary Society of St. Paul and was permanently aggregated to the Society on January 25, 1985.  Then Seminary opened in October 1977 in Iperu Remo and he remained its rector until 1988.  He also became the acting superior general of the Society from November 20, 1987 and held the position until the first General Chapter of the society in 1995.  After that, he proceeded on a Sabbatical leave, he was officially appointed to the US Mission on September 1997, and was assigned to assist in the Society's Office of Mission Development, Houston.  He visited Nigeria to celebrate his 40th priestly ordination and his 70th birthday in early 2000.  After returning to Houston, following the celebration, he was finally recalled to Nigeria and he came back on June 26, 2000.  He reminded on Medical leave in the Society's house in Iperu Remo, Ogun State and finally retired there.

He passed away peacefully in Iperu Remo on August 31, 2010.  May his gently soul rest in peace.