On April 27th, 1957, Pope Pius XII with prophetic understanding of the needs of his time sent out his Encyclical FIDEI DONUM inviting the Bishops to be generous in sharing pastoral resources through Priests and Laity with Africa. Archbishop Gordon Gray of the Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh in Scotland responded by inviting the young Priests of the Archdiocese to volunteer for temporary service on the missions. The response was encouraging. In 1957, Fr. Daniel Simpson and in 1958 Fr. Donal Foley and Fr. Patrick McFadden volunteered to go to Calabar to work with the Kiltegan Fathers under Bishop Moynagh and his recently consecrated Auxiliary, Bishop Dominic Ekandem.Nobis Cartel
In 1962, Archbishop Gordon Gray met Bishop Reddington of Jos at the Second Vatican Council in Rome. They discussed the needs of the Diocese of Jos which included the Province of Bauchi. This is a large area that has been unable to develop due to lack of priests and resources.
In January 1964, after due consultation with the Cathedral Chapter and Priests of the Archdiocese and with the encouragement of Pope Paul VI, Bauchi Province was welcomed into the care of the Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh.
On June 7 1963, Bishop Reddington appointed Fr. John Gibbons Parish Priest of Bauchi. Most of the Parishioners at this time were Igbos, civil servants, small scale businessmen and a good number of indigenous people. On December 22, 1965, he was involved in a fatal motor accident at Zalanga town, 40 Kilometers from Bauchi on his way to Azare where he was going to celebrate Christmas. The Emir of Bauchi, Adamu Jumba, travelling with his convoy on the same route carried him to hospital in Bauchi. From there he was taken to Jos and then Ibadan where he died on 11 January, 1966. His last words to Priests who were by his bedside: ‘Be good Priests and look after Bauchi’. He was buried on 20 January, 1966.
Fr. Daniel Simpson who left Calabar in the South was appointed to be Parish Priest of Bauchi early 1967. He was instructed to build a small church but capable of later expansion. He worked for the primary evangelisation of what is today Bauchi Diocese. He opened so many rural churches. Apart from Bauchi, he was also at Billiri, Gambar and Gombe missions. In 1969, he was joined by Fr. Leo Glancy.
The Ursuline Sisters came to Gambar in 1973 to look after a new clinic. Sr Mary, Sr. Patricia and Sr. Brigid the Provincial.
Lack of personnel compelled the Scottish Archdiocese to return Bauchi to the Archdiocese of Jos in 1990.
Bauchi Diocese was carved out of the Archdiocese of Jos on July, 5th 1996 as an Apostolic Vicariate and formally established on November 7th, 1996 with the Episcopal ordination of Most Rev. Dr. John Moore, SMA, as the Vicar Apostolic. Through his missionary zeal, Bauchi experienced both spiritual and structural development within the short time he was Bishop. Also, he saw to the formation of an indigenous clergy for the Diocese. His motto was in Hausa language: ALLAH SHI DAYA NE i.e God is one.
The present Bishop, Malachy John Goltok was appointed in 2011. Born and brought up in Bauchi, he is very much familiar with the terrain and the needs of his Diocese. He has been working hard to continue the good work that has been done for the evangelisation of Bauchi.
Bauchi Diocese comprises of Bauchi and Gombe States. Today, the Diocese has 23 Parishes, three Clinics and five secondary schools. There are 50 priests including the Bishop, with some Fidei Donum from the Archdiocese of Jos, Diocese of Kafanchan, SMA Fathers and the St. Patrick’s Missionary Society and one Army Chaplain.
There are three Women Religious Congregations working in the Diocese: the OLA Sisters, SHCJ Sisters and St. Louis Sisters. There is a Catholic Population of 90,ooo faithful.Nobis Barry