Idris Moses Gwanube, a young Nigerian Muslim who embraced Catholicism as a teenager, has been ordained a priest. He was ordained by Bishop of Jalingo Charles Michael Hammawa on February 25, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Cathedral in Jalingo.
Born into a staunch Muslim family in 1990, his parents named him Mustapha. He was the youngest of five boys and six girls.
Moses was a keen student and went on to pursue secondary education at Alpha Academy Secondary School, Mararraba, in the year 2004-2005. It was during this period that he was drawn to the Catholic faith. In his free time, Moses used to sell home-baked bread to support his family. Once, he stumbled upon a Sunday School where the children bought the bread, and he made a good profit. Soon, the Sunday school and the church became a business center for the teenager.
Moses began visiting the church regularly and the liturgical music and worship had such an impact on him that he decided to learn about the Catholic faith.
Moses was accepted as a catechumen and later received into the Church. He became part of the Block Rosary Crusade, the Altar Boys’ Association, the Legion of Mary, and the choir. He was also an active member of the Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON).
As expected, Moses was met with stiff opposition from his community and suffered persecution from his family. He was kicked out of his home and received several death threats. At this point, his parish priest offered to take him away from his hometown to a place of safety. Moses was elated to be enrolled at the Sacred Heart Minor Seminary, Jauro- Yinu, Jalingo. The six years he spent there anchored his faith in God. Having graduated in 2012, he spent a year discerning the call to the priesthood. Moses then completed his philosophical and theological studies and was ordained to the diaconate on July 18, 2021.
“I am totally for the Church. Whatever mission or apostolate the Church wants me to embark on for the sake of spreading the Gospel, I am ready to carry it out,” said a jubilant Fr. Moses to SW News. He is also a talented musician and a polyglot, fluent in about 10 languages. Fr. Moses is one of the very few Muslim converts in Nigeria who have become a Catholic priest