The foremost Institute of Pontifical Right in Africa

Rev. Fr. Prof

Austin Echema



Administrative Block

CIWA, Port Harcourt.

Other offices held

Co-ordinator of Undergraduate Studies

Email Address
Phone number


Current position
Professor of Liturgy

Rev. Fr. Prof. Austin Echema is a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Owerri and the first Professor of Liturgy in Nigeria.

He is currently a Lecturer and Co-ordinator of Undergraduate Studies at the Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port Harcourt.

Full Bio/CV


1996 till Date:             Lecturer (Full-time) Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port Harcourt

3.         2000 till Date:             Part-time Lecture Seat of Wisdom Major Seminary, Owerri

4.         2009-2014                   Part-time Lecturer Veritas University Abuja, Obehie Campus

5.         2008 till Date:             External Examiner/Reader, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

6.         2012 till Date:             External Examiner/Reader, Katholisch-Theologischen Privat-Universität Linz, Österreich

7.       2013 till Date:             External Examiner/Reader, Universität Wien Katholisch-TheologischenFakultät Institut für Historische Theologie Liturgiewissenschaft and Sakramententheologie


A         Appointments in the Institute

1.         Coordinator, Liturgy Unit (1997-2002)

2.         Secretary, CIWA Journal of Inculturation Theology (1996-2000)

3.         Member, CIWA Publications Board (1997 till date)

4.         Assistant Chaplain (1996-1998)

5.         Secretary to Various Committees that looked into the activities of the former CIWA Fellowship (1996-1998)

6.         Member of Intermediate/Junior Staff Committee (1996-1998)

7.         CIWA Master of Ceremonies (1997-2006)

9.         Member, Editorial Board, CIWA Theology Week Proceedings (1997 till date)

10.       Member, CIWA Theology Week Steering Committee (1997 till date)

11.       Member, CIWA Senate (1997-1999; 2010 till date)

12.       Chairperson, CIWA Theology Week Public Relations and Social Sub-Committee (2000 - 2015).

13.       Coordinator, Works Department (1997-1999)

14.       Member, CIWA Governing Council Finance Committee (2000 till date)

15.       Spiritual Director, CIWA Chaplaincy Youths Association (1996-1998; 2001-2006)

16.       Spiritual Director, Student Sisters Obehie Campus (2006-2015)

17.       Coordinator, Undergraduate Programme (2010 till date)

B.        Appointments Outside the Institute    

1.         Chairperson, Owerri Archdiocesan Theology Commission (1998 till date)

2.         Chaplain, Owerri Archdiocesan Laity Council (1998 till date)

3.         Provincial Chaplain, Owerri Province Laity Council (2005 till date)

4.         Master of Ceremonies, Owerri Archdiocese (1998 till date)

5.         Chairperson, Owerri Archdiocesan Liturgy Commission (2005 till date)

6.         Member, Owerri Archdiocesan Exams Board (1996 till date)

7.         Consultor, CBCN’s Pastoral/ Liturgy Commission (2005 -2011)

8.         Member, Owerri Provincial Liturgy Commission (2007 till date)


  1. Catholic Theological Association of Nigeria (CATHAN)

Vice President (2004-2007, President (2013-2016)

  1. West African Association of Theological Institutions (WAATI) Member (1998 till date).
  2. Interdiocesan Liturgy Commission for Igbo-speaking Dioceses of Nigeria (IDLC-ISA)  Member (2008 till date)
  3. Catholic Liturgists’ Association of Nigeria (CALAN) Member (2011 till date) 


A.        BOOKS

1.         Corporate Personality in Traditional Igbo Society and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1995, 334 pages.

 2.        The Holy Spirit and Liturgical Year, Owerri: Assumpta Press, 1998, 63 pages

3.         Anointing of the Sick and the Healing Ministry: The Nigerian Pastoral Experience, Frankfurt: IKO Verlag,  2006, 197 pages.

4.         Igbo Funeral Rites Today: Anthropological and Theological Perspectives, Münster: LIT Verlag, 2010, 91 pages.

5.         Priests and Laity Collaboration in the Postmodern Church, Owerri: Assumpta Press, 2011, 297 pages.

B.        ARTICLES

1          “Model of Church as Family and the Female Altar Servers” in Journal of Inculturation Theology 3, 1996, 1-18.

2.         “The Sacrament of Reconciliation: Implications of the New Term” in Journal of Inculturation Theology 4, 1997, 32-44.

3.         “Liturgy and Social Justice in Contemporary Church Life” in Bigard Theological Studies 18, 1998, 28-47.

4          “Justice in the Church” in The Nigerian Journal of Theology 13, 1999, 8-26.

5          “Contextualization of Christian Liturgy among Igbo Catholics of Nigeria” in P. Chibuko ed. et al, Inculturation in the Third Millennium, Port Harcourt: CIWA Press, 1999, 65-76.

6.         “The Eucharist: Focus of our Christian Life” in J.S Ukpong ed. et. al, Jesus Christ: The Food of Life, Port Harcourt: CIWA Press, 2000, 116-132

7.         “Funeral Rites: Challenges to Christians” in Journal of Religion and Culture 2, 2001, 137-149.

8.         “Liturgy: A Teaching in Action” in Journal of Incultruation Theology 5, 2003, 141-155.

9.         “Eucharistic Celebration and its Political Implications for Christians” in F. Nwaigbo ed. et al, Church and Democracy in West Africa, Port Harcourt:  CIWA Publications, 2003, 214-228.

10.       “Pastoral Administration of Sacraments and Sacramentals: Abuses” in Maurice Jiwike (ed), The Challenges of the Pastoral Ministry in a Pluralistic Society, Owerri: Assumpta Press, 2004, 34-56.

11.       “Liturgy as Centre of Encounter with Jesus Christ” in Bodija Journal of Philosophy and Theology 7, 2004, 29-41.

12.       “The Liturgical Assembly in the Third Millennium: The Nigerian Perspective” in Raph Madu and Austin Echema (eds.),Essays in Honour of Msgr. Alphonsus Aghaizu, Owerri: Assumpta  Press, 2004, 77-94.

13.       “Collaborative Ministry in the Church Family” in Francis A. Adedara (ed.), Church Leadership and the Christian Message, Ibadan: Stirling-Horden Publishers, 2004, 88-102.

14.       “Liturgy and the Interpretation of Christian Doctrine” in Francis A. Adedara (ed), Church Leadership and the Christian Message, Ibadan: Stirling-Horden Publishers, 2004, 202-215.

15.       “The God of Justice and the Church’s Option for the Poor” in Oche-Amamihe Wisdom Journal of Theology and Philosophy 1/2 , June 2005, 33-54.

16.       “‘Built from Living Stones’: Architecture and Spirituality” in Journal of Inculturation Theology 7, 2005, 50-68.

17.       “Pentecostalism and Baptism in the Holy Spirit: A Critique” in The Nigerian Journal of Theology 19, June 2005, 71-87
18        “The Omnipotent God Vis-a-vis Human Suffering: The Church’s Response,” in F. Nwaigbo ed. et. al, The Church and HIV/AIDS in West African Context, Port Harcourt: CIWA Publications, 2005, 257-270.

19.       “Reuniting Prayer and Politics” in F. Nwaigbo ed. et al, The Christian in Politics and the West African Experience, Port Harcourt: CIWA Publications, 2007, 259-268.

20.       “Autonomy of the Local Churches of Africa and the Question of Foreign Aid,”in Journal of Inculturation Theology 9, 2007, 56-72.

21.       “Collaborative Ministry and Extra-Ordinary Ministers of Communion” in Koinonia 3, 2007, 29-46.

22.       “Pastoral Ministry and Life in the Church in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects” in Jos Studies 16, 2008, 63-80

23.  “The Spirituality of the New General Instruction of the Roman Missal” in The Nigerian Journal of Theology 22, 2008,                     133 147.

24.       “Liturgical Celebration and Human Liberation in the African Context” in Ephrem’s Theological Journal 13, 2009, 31-43.

25.       “The Ministry of Reconciliation in the Recent Teaching of the Church” in F. Nwaigbo ed. et. al, The Church and Reconciliation in Africa, Port Harcourt: CIWA Publications, 2009, 70-97.

26.       “The History and Theology of the RCIA” in Kekong Bisong and Mathai Kadavil (eds) Celebrating the Sacramental World: Essays in Honourof Emeritus Professor Lambert J. Leijssen, Leuven: Peeters, 2010, 110-128.

27.       “Liturgical Pedagogy and Nation Building” in F. Nwaigbo, ed. et. al.Theological Education for Human Development and Nation-Building in Africa, Port Harcourt: CIWA Publications, 2010, 273-281.

28.       “The New Roman Missal and the 2002 GIRM” in Koinonia 5, 2011, 99-112

29.       “African Eucharistic Liturgy in a Postmodern Church” in L. Ijezie,  ed. et. al.Theology and Liturgy in the Life of the Church, Lagos: Clear Impact Services, 2012, 26-48.

30.       “The Bishop as Chief Liturgist and Liturgical Teacher” in U.J. Njoku and S. O. Anyanwu (eds), Bringing Good News to the Poor. Essays in Memory of Anthony Gogo Nwedo, Umuahia: Lumen Press, 2012, 114-125.

31.       “Tithing or Voluntary Giving? A Theological Liturgical Evaluation” in Koinonia 5,  2012, 27-42.

32.       “The New English Translation of the Roman Missal. Overview of the Major Challenges” in C.A. Njoku (ed), Ugo Ocha: A Pioneering Voice (A Festschrift for Msgr. Theophilus Okere), Owerri: Totan Publishers, 2012, 232-248.

33.       “The Laity: The Journey so far in Owerri Ecclesiastical Province (1912-2012)” in C.A. Njoku & M.N. Ezeh (eds.), History of the Catholic Church in Owerri Ecclesiastical Province (1912-2012), Owerri: Assumpta Press, 2012, 237-246.

34.       “Religious Formation of the Laity: Reinterpreting the Image and Role of the Catechists in our Parishes” in L. Ijezie, ed. et. al.The Church in Africa, Lagos: CATHAN Publication, 2013, 275-290.``

35        “Eucharistic Sharing and Ecumenism: A Historical Perspective” in L. E. Ijezie ed. et. al.The Church in Nigeria and Ecumenical Question, Lagos: CATHAN Publication, 2015, 553-573

36.       “Divorce, Remarriage and Holy Communion in the Catholic Church: Pastoral Issues” in L.E. Ijezie, et al (eds), The Family and the New Evangelization, Lagos: CATHAN Publication, 2015, 432-544

37        “The Importance of Liturgical Norms in the Eucharistic Celebration: The    Nigerian Experience,” in The Nigerian Journal of Theology 29 (June 2015), 59-78.

38        “Discovering the ‘Seed of the Gospel’ in our Indigenous Culture in the Light of Pauline Approach to Evangelization (Acts 17:16-28)” in WAJES II,2014/2015, 68-88.


39.       A Review Article on Uche Felix Onwukike, Democracy in Nigeria: Its Anthropological and Social Requirements in Journal of Inculturation Theology 14, 2000, 134-137.

40.       A Review Article on Chika J. Uzor, Living Between Two Worlds: Intrapersonal Conflicts Among Igbo Seminarians-An Inquiry, Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2003 in Journal of Inculturation Theology 9, 2007, 100-105.