Frs. Oliver O'Reilly, Eamon Lynch and Peter Casey at the Mass of Commission in 1983.
In 1983, in the spirit of Christ's command in Matt 16:15."Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone", three priests from the Diocese of Kilmore, rose to the challenge. At a Mass in the Cathedral of SS. Patrick and Felim, Frs. Oliver O'Reilly, Eamon Lynch and Peter Casey, undertaking the missionary role of the priesthood, were commissioned by Bishop Francis McKiernan to work alongside the Priests of St. Patrick's Missionary Society, Kiltegan to minister in the Diocese of Minna, in northern Nigeria.
In subsequent years Kilmore's mission transferred to the urban setting of Lagos and was continued with Frs. Oliver Kelly, Benny Fitzpatrick, John McMahon, Leo O'Reilly, P.J. Sexton and John O'Rourke undertaking the assignment
Fr Benny Fitzpatrick has been our longest serving missionary and has been doing this work for the past 15 years in Lagos. Fr. Benny has always had a huge passion for the poor and underprivilaged. While immersing himself in his parochial responsibilities Fr. Benny applied himself especially to ministering to residents of Kirikiri prison, which was in his parish of Olodi. Since then Fr. Benny has moved to the neighbouring parish of Amukoko. 5 years ago, together with a group of parishoners, he set about the task of building a school complex to provide educatonal facilities for Primary, Secondary and Vocational training. Heretofore education was the privilage of the wealthy and elite. Fr Benny's vision is to give young people, regardless of their social position, a skill or trade for life, offering them independance and an alternative to a life of servitude, idleness or crime.
The Salesian Brothers of St. Don Bosco have been invited to monitor the running of the school in it's early days due to their long experience in the area of education.
Each year, through the Offertory collection at Masses on St. Patrick's Day, the people of the Diocese of Kilmore contribute generously to the work Fr. Benny and others from the diocese are doing to help those who are in great need. When aid is not forthcoming from government nor from outside agencies they are wholly dependent on you. They thank you for your generosity and ask that you continue to support them in this valuable work.
Below are some images of the school building at different stages of construction
Fr Benny with students Dec 2012
Amokoko School project August 2012
A photograph of the school taken in 2012 as the building nears completion
An image taken in 2011 showing the progress made at the new school over the last year
The school building two years ago
The new school building at an early stage of construction