Vatican City, 18 March 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- erected the new diocese of Pankshin (area 8,486, population 1,100,000, Catholics 168,606, priests 47, religious 10) Nigeria, with territory taken from the archdiocese of Jos and the diocese of Shendam, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Jos.

- appointed Rev. Michael Gobal Gokum of the clergy of Jos as first bishop of the new diocese of Pankshin, Nigeria. The bishop-elect was born in Kadyis, Nigeria in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1991. He studied for a licentiate in ecumenism at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including priest of the parishes of “St. Mary's” in Tafawa Balewa, “St. Theresa's” in Bwari, and “Murumba” in Igu; president of the archdiocesan catechetical commission and chaplain of the Catholic Women Association; and priest of the parishes of “Immaculate Conception” and “Sts. Peter and Paul”. He is currently administrator of the “Our Lady Queen of Nigeria” pro-Cathedral of Abuja, dean of the Garki deanery, archdiocesan director for the teaching of the Catechism and chaplain for the youth of the archdiocese.

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