Diocese welcomes Father Efiri Matthias Selemobri
to St. Mary ParishOn July 1, the Diocese of Dodge City welcomed a second priest from the Missionary Society of St. Paul (MSP) to southwest Kansas.
Father Efiri Matthias Selemobri, known as “Father Matthias,” told the Register June 23 that he was looking forward to serving in the Diocese of Dodge City where he will be able to put his Spanish language studies to work.
Father Matthias, recently Development Director for the society in Houston, began a one-year assignment as parochial vicar at St. Mary, Garden City, on July 1. Father Cosmas Nwosuh, MSP, served at the Garden City parish for the last year, and is now serving in Medicine Lodge, Sharon and Kiowa.
When told of the heat wave in Kansas, Father Matthias reminded the Register that he had spent the last several years in Houston. He laughed and said he was praying for the grace of God to deal with the cooler weather in Kansas.
Father Matthias was born in Nigeria, Africa on March 13, 1966. His father was an educator. Both his parents were given the gift of Catholic faith before their marriage. Father Matthias was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest on June 22, 1991.
After his priestly ordination, Father Matthias worked for four years in Nigeria in the formation and vocation departments of the Missionaries of St. Paul.
He left for and worked in Cameroon, Africa in 1995 and was appointed to the USA in 1996. Father Matthias has been working in the development office of the Missionary Society of St. Paul since July 1996.
Father Matthias spent four more years at the seminary of The Missionary Society of St. Paul in Abuja, Nigeria, working in the Formation and Vocation Department. In 1996, he was appointed the Director of Mission Development in the United States, working at MSP’s USA Headquarters in Houston, Texas.
Father Matthias is a frequent and dynamic speaker, delivering inspiring messages concerning reconciliation, evangelization, vocations and renewal.
Father Matthias is fluent in a number of languages and has recited the Angelus in English, French, Spanish, and native Izon on the Internet.
In addition to appearing on EWTN and other media outlets, he has spoken at more than 300 churches.
In an article in the Oct. 12, 2007 Le Mars Iowa Sentinal, written by Earl Horlyk, Father Matthias said, “It is fitting that our mission is named after St. Paul, because he is so well known for his travels. His journeys through the length and breadth of the ancient world are nothing short of extraordinary.”
The Missionary Society of St. Paul was formed in 1977 when the Catholic Church in Africa was called to share in the work of the Church across the globe.
“We were called upon to preach the gospel of Christ,” he said in the article, “and share what little we have with those who were even less fortunate.
“In addition to serving the needs of American Catholics,” Matthias said, “we serve Christ’s people in in Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, England, Sweden, Grenada, Liberia, and Malawi.”