Presbyteral Council

Among the consultative bodies required by the Code of Canon Law are the presbyteral council, the college of consultors and the finance council. The presbyteral council and the college of consultors are advisory groups mainly composed of priests who are to assist the diocesan bishop in his pastoral governance of the portion of the people of God entrusted to him. while the two groups have a connection with one another, they also have separate and distinct functions. Speaking of the presbyteral council, canon 495 stipulates that in each diocese a presbyteral council is to be established, that is, a group of priests which, representing the presbyterate, is to be like a senate of the bishop and which assists the bishop in the governance of the diocese according to the norm of law to promote as much as possible the pastoral good of the portion of the people of God entrusted to him. This legislation is set in place in accordance with the conciliar directive given in Vatican II’s Presbeterorum Ordinis which says that bishops “should gladly listen to their priests, indeed consult them and engage in dialogue with them in those matters which concern the necessities of pastoral work and welfare of the diocese. In order to put this into effect, there should be – in a manner suited to today’s conditions and necessities, and with a structure and norms to be determine by law – a body or senate of priests representing all the priests. This representative body by its advice will be able to give the bishop effective assistance in the administration of the diocese” (PO, no.7). In this way, canons 497, 498 and 499 address various issues relating to membership of the presbyteral council. Thus for the Catholic diocese of Zaria, the following priests are the members of the presbyteral council and they meet four times (quarterly) in a year to deliberate on pastoral issues for the spiritual growth of the diocese:


  1. Most Rev. George Jonathan Dodo – Local Ordinary and President
  2. Fr. Henry Atuma – Vicar General and Chairman
  3. Fr. Samuel Aliba – Secretary
  4. Fr. Augustine Isek– Judicial Vicar
  5. Fr. Michael Kagarko – Finance Officer (Procurator)
  6. Fr. Peter Tanko – Dean, Samaru Deanery
  7. Fr. James Akema – Secretary, Samaru Deanery
  8. Fr. Lawrence Gana Bakut – Dean, Sabon Gari Deanery
  9. Fr. Mathew Chafa – Secretary, Sabon Gari Deanery
  10. Fr. Emmanuel Ezema – Dean, Ikara Deanery
  11. Fr. Alfred Mamman – Secretary, Ikara Deanery
  12. Fr. Michael Bazai – Education secretary
  13. Fr. Danlami Tijani – Vocations Director
  14. Fr. Isaac Agu – Pontifical Missionary Societies (PMS)
  15. Fr. Peter Ogwuche – Communications Director