CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF IJEBU ODE
Most Revd. Francis Obafemi Adesina was born on 28th June, 1964 to Mr. and Mrs. Adesina in Wenchi, Ghana. He is a Nigerian from Oyan in Odo-Otin Local Government Area, Osun State.
He began his elementary education at Saint Luke’s Anglican Primary School, Akure, Ondo State from 1970 to1976. He proceeded to Sacred Heart Minor Seminary, Akure, Ondo State for his secondary education from 1976 to 1981. With a renewed desire to become a priest, the young Francis proceeded to Saints Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Spiritual Year Programme, Ekpoma, Edo State, now known and called Saint John of the Cross Seminary from 1981 to 1982.
He went on to Saints Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan from 1982 to 1989 for his philosophical and theological studies which culminated in his Ordination to the Catholic Priesthood on 14th October, 1989 for the Diocese of Oyo by Most Rev. Julius Babatunde Adelakun. He later incardinated to Osogbo Diocese at its creation in 1995.
Between 1996 and 2000 the Bishop-Elect pursued his postgraduate studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome. Much later, he undertook his Doctoral studies at the Pontifical Urban University, Rome (2005-2009). In 2008, Msgr. Adesina attended the Institute of St. Anselm, Center for Religious Formation, Kent, United Kingdom for a brief formation.
Some of the academic degrees he bagged while studying include: Diploma in Religious Studies, University of Ibadan (1986); Bachelor in Sacred Theology, Pontifical Urban University, Rome (1989); Licentiate in Sacred Scripture, Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome (2000); Diploma in Human Growth and Development, Institute of St. Anselm, Center for Religious Formation, Kent, United Kingdom (2008); Doctorate in Sacred (Biblical) Theology, Pontifical Urban University, Rome (2009) and a Diploma, Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, Rome (2011).
Between 2000 and 2005 and 2009 to date, he rose through the ranks of the Seminary Formation Team as Lecturer in Theology Department, Dean of Seminarians’ Affairs and later became the Rector of the Seminary from 2013 until his appointment as Bishop-Elect of the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode on 17th January 2019.
While he served in the Seminary, he taught the following courses: Introduction to the Sacred Scripture, History of Israel, Biblical Inspiration, Introduction to the New Testament, Literature and Theology of the Gospel of Mark, Literature and Theology of the Gospel of Luke, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew I-II, Introduction to Biblical Greek I-II and Old Testament Wisdom Literature. He is very proficient in English, Italian, German and Yoruba languages. However, he enjoys a reading knowledge in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, French and Spanish.
He will be best described as a teacher and lecturer since he taught for a couple of years at Saints Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan (2001- 2005); (2009 to date).
In the course of his Priestly ministry, he served in the following capacities in the then Oyo Diocese as Assistant Cathedral Administrator, St. Benedict’s Cathedral, Osogbo (1989-1990); Assistant Parish Priest, St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Ilesa (1990-1992); Priest-in-charge, St. Dominic’s Quasi-Parish, Ifewara (1990-1992); Parish Priest, St. Augustine’s Parish, Ipetumodu (1992-1994); Parish Priest, St. Anthony’s Parish, Ede (1994-1996); Chaplaincy, Federal Polytechnic, Ede (1994-1996); Parish Priest, St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Ilesa (2000-2002); and as a Priest-in-residence, St. Benedict’s Cathedral, Osogbo (July-September 2009).
While serving in his incardinated Diocese, some of his portfolios were: Director, Diocesan Pastoral Center, Ede (1994-1996); Diocesan Pastoral Secretary, Oyo/Osogbo Dioceses (1994-1996); Diocesan Senate Secretary, Oyo/Osogbo Dioceses (1994-1996); member, of the Osogbo Diocesan Consultors (1995-96; 2000 to date); Diocesan Director of Renew Programme, Oyo and Osogbo Dioceses (1992-1996); Diocesan Coordinator of Evangelization 2000 Programme, Oyo and Osogbo Dioceses (1993-1996); Chaplain, Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria, Oyo/Osogbo Dioceses (1992-1996); first Radio Presenter, Diocesan Weekly Radio Outreach: Otito Oro Olorun on Osun State Radio Corporation (1995/6).
He held other positions such as: Lagos-Ibadan Provincial Coordinator of Renew Programme (1992-1996); member of the Sub-committee of Ibadan Provincial Pastoral Plan (1994); Priest-in-charge of Arts and Culture Departments, Seminary of Ss. Peter and Paul, Bodija, Ibadan (2002-2005); Parochial Vicar, Diocese of San Bernardino, California, U.S.A (Summer supply from 1992-2009); Dean of Students, Seminary of Ss. Peter and Paul, Bodija, Ibadan (2010 to 2013); Member, Ibadan Arch-diocesan Senate (2010-2013); Associate Editor, West African Journal of Ecclesial Studies (2000 till date).
He is an ardent preacher of the Word of God at seminars, retreats and lectures within and outside the shores of Nigeria. The Seminarians of Saints Peter and Paul Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan will always remember him for his homilies titled ‘The Testament of glory on the memorial of Charles Luwanga and companions’; ‘Courageous witnessing on the memorial of St. Boniface’; ‘Be strong and show yourself a man (1Kg 2:3)’; ‘Do not be afraid, only have faith’; ‘Becoming authentic witnesses to the resurrection’; ‘You are to follow me (Jn 21:19)’; ‘Treat no one with contempt’; ‘Overcoming the world’; ‘Let Christ grow greater in you’; ‘Do you love me? (Jn 21:15)’; ‘Cost of discipleship’; ‘To whom shall we go’; ‘Spirituality of waiting of the Advent Season’; ‘Blessed is the one whose fault is taken away, whose sin is forgiven’; ‘True Righteousness’; ‘Forgiveness, the purest prayer’; ‘Where is your treasure?’; and ‘Trusting in God’s providence’.
“As he takes up the mantle of administration of the Diocese, we pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the intercessions of Our Blessed Mother Mary and of all the great pastors of the Church for a successful and fruitful ministry in the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode.“