A monastery is a building that houses a group of monks. Monks are people who have sworn to devote their lives fully to a religious service within Catholicism. These monks live in the monasteries. In Nigeria, there are about five monasteries across the country but because these monasteries uphold a high level of secrecy, only about four are commonly known and can be discussed.
In ancient times within Catholicism, monks were a part of as minority who could read and write, so they brought education to their congregation and to the rest of the world. Monks also kept a detailed record of past events, ongoing and upcoming events.
Other functions of monks were to provide food to people who came to the church for help, they had different roles in the church as leading the choir, reading bible lessons to the congregation, being in charge of Christian books, etc.
In this article, we explore these monasteries and where they are located. Let’s begin;
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Mater Ecclesiae Monastery Sangotedo, lagos state
Sangotedo is located in Eti-Osa, Lagos, Nigeria. Lagos state is one of the five western states in Nigeria. Mater Ecclesiae monastery is home to a community of nuns and this monastery is inspired by Saint John Paul II. Saint John Paul II was once head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City till he died in 2005. He was a man of faith and is remembered for his audacious efforts to end communism and for issuing an apology for the Catholic church involvement in World War II.
As always, a monastery is a reminder of peace and tranquility that can exist in the world and this monastery is no different. One word that perfectly describes the nature of life in this monastery is ‘beautiful’. The nuns at Mater Ecclesiae Monastery choose to uphold their faith and follow the path of their doctrine in a sacred and consecrated manner. Living true to their oaths of ‘Totus Tuus’ in chastity, poverty, obedience and in keeping the Rule ‘Totus Tuus’.
Walking through the gates of the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery both sides of the road are filed with a well-kept garden and sculptures of the saints of Catholicism. As with monasteries, everyone must observe silence except when called upon to speak. The building itself is very visible with a huge sign of the cross at its top.
For anyone looking to visit its address is Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie Rd, Eti-Osa 106104, Sangotedo.
Demas Nwoko Benedictine Monastery, Ewu-Esan, Edo state
The Demas Nwoko Benedictine Monastery was built in the order of Saint Benedict and Ewu monastery is home to a community of Benedictine monks. This monastery is also known by many as Ewu Monastery. Demas Nwoko although not a monk as this monastery named after him because of his amazing ability to create master pieces buildings. He strives to integrate modern structural techniques and stage design to reflect the African culture.
This gorgeous work of art was built by Dom Augustine O’Sullivan and Dom Columaba Breen of Glenstal. The trio sent to Nigeria to build this monastery were the aforementioned names and Father Ambrose, they were sent after the Monastic community of Saint Columba Abbey, Ireland, after two attempts to establish a church in Uruguay, Kenya failed.
Apart from servicing the monks, this monastery also serves as a retreat center for those seeking to find a peaceful and serene environment for spiritual worship. It can accommodate up to 50 guests. Also, the monastery has a visible enterprise which is an herbal product manufacturing private known as Pax herbal clinic and research laboratories.
For anyone looking to visit the address is Ekpoma-Auchi Road, 310113, Ewumonastery, Nigeria.
Augustinian Monastery Jos, Nigeria
This monastery is located in the northern part of Nigeria. The Augustinian monastery is 45 years old (1976 – 2021). It is one of the most popular monasteries as it is referred to as the ‘mother house’ of all Augustinians in Nigeria. Authorities at this monastery chose to situate it at its present location as a result of the relocation of Saint Augustine’s Major seminary from its temporary quarters in Saint Michael’s Nasarawa to the present-day site in Laranto in 1970.
Fr. Vincent Bertie Hickey was in charge of the supervision of this site after it acquisition and further enlargement in June of the year 1978. The building of the structure lasted for about two years. To live through to its claims as the mother house of the Nigerian province, in 1976 the monastery housed the Nigerian pioneer students, the formators and the home for the Vice provincial.
It also proudly holds the memories of our Nigerian brothers’ events such as, the first chapters of the vice-province, Augustinian publications as established by bro, the Augustinian Federation of Africa, and many more. Later development would have the home and office of the provincial related to Rantya, leaving the monastery as the home of the professed students and the formators.
The bond of the monks at this monastery is very close as they eat together, work together, recreate together, and pray together. Although different tribes, color, character, face, talents, gifts are represented but they are all bond by love and togetherness. As always, the Augustinian Monastery meets the spiritual needs of everyone who walks through its gates.
Awhum Monastery Enugu
The Awhum Monastery was founded by father Abraham Ojefua in 1970, it was again incorporated on the 2nd of July, 1978. It got the status of an abbey on the 15th of February 2006. Awhum Monastery is located in a valley town in Enugu state, one of the five eastern states in Nigeria. The town has other special features such as a waterfall.
The Awhum Monastery official name is Our Lady of Mount Calvary Monastery. The building of this monastery is big enough to accommodate those looking for a serene environment for spiritual worship.
For those looking to visit Awhum Monastery, Enugu, it is located Amamaugwe village of Awhum town in Udi local government area, Ohum.