St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Lagos Main Land was the first outpost of the Roman Catholic Church outside the Holy Cross Cathedral which enjoyed a pride of place as the first point of settlement for the Roman Catholic Church to cater for the spiritual needs of the returnees from Brazil, other Latino American countries and the Caribbean Island in the mid-19th century.

Initially the church’s influence was restricted to Lagos Island. Much of the Mainland was thinly populated by the Ijebus until some Egbas, who were forced to seek safety from the Kiriji war (1977-1893) came from Onigbongbo where their farmland was and settled as well. Consequently, Governor Clifford ceded part of Ebute-Metta (Ago-Egba) to the Egbas for protection. Ebute Metta was thus made of Ebute Iddo, Ebute Otto and Oko Baba (Ago-Egba) From Lagos Island at Opopo (popo) Aguda, the Roman Catholic Missionaries sought to win converts across the Lagos lagoon on the Mainland. This Evangelization must have started from 1890 under Bishop O’Rourke with outstation services, later Masses in the homes of the early converts. By 1895, the Church acquired the present location of St.Paul’s Catholic Church from the De Souza family. In addition to the church’s building, St. Paul’s primary school for boys and Mount Carmel girls school were built from 1894-1898.

The earliest priests visited the Church from Holy Cross Cathedral in canoes. On February 4 1900, b style <"mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"> Reverend Father Ernest Haugher (SMA), later Vicar Apostolic of Gold Coast performed the first baptism in St. Paul’s ,by this time, work on the Carter bridge was about to start.

After the World War 1, automobile transport multiplied slowly. In August 1926, Bishop Ferdinand Terren arrived at St Paul’s in his own automobile, the first Catholic Missionary in Nigeria to own one. St Paul’s under Archbishop Leo Hale Taylor became a launching pad for evangelization in Nigeria. It was from St. Paul’s that St. Patrick’s (now St. Dominic’s)was established in the 1920’s on a land donated by Pa Hooper, the goldsmith of Yaba. It was also through St. Paul’s that St. Michael’s was formed and managed by the late Monsignor Oni in 1945.

St. Paul’s became the seedbed of Journalism when on June 21, 1924, the second oldest magazine in Nigeria, the Catholic Herald was published. It served as a veritable instrument for the spread of the gospel and a tool for the correction of social ills and the fight for equal right and justice as well as the call for Nigeria’s independence.

St. Paul’s excelled in education of the young. The Catholic schools were quite formidable in sports in Lagos during the Empire days and beyond as well as centres of academic excellence and discipline. As time went on, the Church benefitted from the population that came to work at the Nigerian Railway Corporation, the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria and the Nigerian Breweries at Iganmu. The population grew as people came all over Nigeria, Gold Coast (now Ghana), Togo and Benin Republic and the Church was ready to receive them.

St. Paul’s Catholic Church has been blessed with many highly intelligent pious and hardworking Priests and Reverend Sisters who have over the years, managed to wield the various people together to serve God and develop the Church as well as the community. The present Parish Priest, Very Reverend Monsignor Gabriel Osu, a moral theologian and journalist has more or less, brought back the communication unity and evangelization.

The Church has been listed in the roll of the United Nations Heritage sites as a result of the Holy Black Sculptures of spiritual images which prompted the use of the church for the mass of the FESTAC 77. A lot of tourists visit the Church, pray, take pictures and marvel at the works of art as well as the stained glasses. The Altar is the only one so far built in the spirit of the Vatican 11, where worshippers sit round the Altar during Masses.

St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Lagos with over 8,000 Parishioners has been cut out from the on-sets as a pioneering church and has played that role excellently well.

St. Paul
The Parish Priest Very Rev. Msgr. Gabriel Osu

The Associate Parish Priest Rev Fr. Anthony Godonu
1. Parishioners can now sponsor the weekly Bulletin with a minimum of N3,000 weekly and your name will be published.
2. The special Edition of the Paulist Magazine will be out on 5th Sept. 2010, Place your Advert , Articles and Goodwill messages.
I kneel before the Father, from Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that He may grant you in accord with the riches of His glory to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length + more
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