Njinikom lies at the base of Mount Boyo. The next closest parish to St Anthony’s Parish in Njinikom is Funantui, a hours walk away, on the back side of Mount Boyo. 82 year old Father Rory O’Brien is the Pastor at Funantui. He hails from Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland. He was ordained to the Priesthood in 1955 as a member of Saint Patrick’s Missionary Society. He was immediately sent to Nigeria were he remained until 1988. He was then transferred to Funantui where he has resided since.
Terry and I have had the pleasure of seeing Father O’Brien during our stay here. His big smile and Irish Brogue brighten those days when our paths cross. With an associate Pastor, Father O’Brien administers to 15,000 Catholics in the area with 10 out-stations in addition to the main Parish. He stays very busy visiting the sick in the Parish. Reading is his main passion when his duties allow him the time.
When he first came to Africa in 1955 he was able to get home every 4 years to see his family. Through the years those visits became closer together until his yearly visits home are now the norm. He finds his work “encouraging and very fulfilling.” He said if was not he would have retired back to Ireland many years ago.