Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Fahey, Michael

Second Advisor

Carey, Patrick

Third Advisor

Hinze, Bradford


The Holy Ghost Congregation (Spiritans) to which I belong is an international missionary order, with a special attachment to Africa, the evangelization of which has been its primary claim to fame. The Nigeria Province of the Spiritans, to which I belong, was the first in Africa (erected in 1972), but in comparison to the other provinces in Europe and North America, it is but a young member of this international missionary family. (The Spiritans celebrated their third centenary in 2003). This young Province of Nigeria is now second only to the Province of France in the number of total membership in the congregation, and will displace France from its premier position in a few years. This is a significant fact. It means that the future of the Spiritan congregation is in Africa (or the South) and not in Europe or North America (or the North). It means that more and more, Nigeria, and Africa, will be the face of the new Spiritan missionary. As a missionary among the Borana of southern Ethiopia between 1997 and 2001, I have been and still am part of this new face of the Spiritan missionary. This dissertation was as a result of my desire to register as well as come to terms with this reality. I had started my search for a dissertation topic in the area of the early Church Fathers, one of my abiding interests, but a desire to work on something that would be of immediate relevance to my home Church, to the Church in Africa, informed my switching early on to the subject of this dissertation. And I am glad I did. It has been for me a worthwhile journey, a journey of self-knowledge...



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