Local Face: Father Livie Onyebuchi
Father Livie Onyebuchi MSP has come from Hatfield to serve the Roman Catholic Church of St Anne which is part of the Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in Bedgrove.
He was born in South East Nigeria, also known as Igboland and on finishing secondary school in 1982, he went to Lagos, returning East in 1985 by which time he already knew that he had a vocation even though his brother was expecting him to join him in a business venture. His first time at Mass was at the age of 3 and he still remembers the Parable of the Sower. After contacting the local Diocese about priestly formation, he discovered the Missionaries of St Paul (MSP) and entered their Seminary. This required two years of initial Spiritual Formation followed by three years studying Philosophy then a further four of Theology. The vigorous training was to fit him to adapt to every circumstance and be able to flourish in an unfamiliar culture. Of the 25 students who started with him, only 8 reached Ordination in 1994.
Most young priests spend a year as a curate and Father Livie (Livinus) started as an administrator in a Parish but within a couple of months he was catapulted into another responsibility – Acting Editor of Ambassador Publications, the media arm of MSP, for 3 years before returning to the General Chapter of the Order then on to the Seminary as Dean of Students and Lecturer in Philosophy and Theology. By 1997 Father Livie had been sent to Dublin for postgraduate studies in Philosophy and Law before returning to the Seminary as Lecturer after 6 years in 2003. By 2004 he had become the Academic Dean and Registrar. He was moved to become Rector of St Albert Instutute of Philosophy and had hoped to have a Sabbatical in 2011 but instead was sent to set up a new Seminary and Institute of Philosophy, Christ the King, in Kafachan to the North East of Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. The first Seminarians graduated last year.
In 2015, Father Livie was sent to Hatfield where he became Chaplain to the University of Hertfordshire until 2017, while also Assistant Priest at St Peter’s and Mary, Mother of God Churches. His determination during Covid has been to keep disruption to a minimum and continue as normal as possible. In 2021 he was given the post of Vice Regional Superior of the MSP, UK Region. He arrived here in his new Parish on Tuesday 26 October determined to keep an open door to all.