Rev. Fr. John Ugobueze, M.A., DHCE
Father John Ugobueze was ordained as a diocesan priest in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria, in 1985. He served as a priest and pastor in rural parishes in the State of Anambra, Nigeria for nearly 10 years, among them, St. Gregory’s Catholic Parish, Iyiowa, Odekpe, Anambra State, Nigeria. His Archbishop sent him to the United States for graduate studies, where he earned a Masters degrees in Theology and in Rhetoric Communication, and a Doctorate in Health Care Ethics (DHCE). Fr. John is Board Certified in Clinical Pastoral Education, having completed his Chaplaincy training with studies and pastoral care with several United States medical centers, including the Mayo Clinic, and while employed as vice president of Spiritual Care at the Provena Medical Center in Illinois. Presently Fr. John resides and works in Houston. He serves as one of the nine full-time Chaplains at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC), one of the largest and most prestigious VA Medical Centers in the country, serving almost 130,000 veterans from all over the country.
While he was in Nigeria, the local, mainly rural parishioners of his parishes wanted to recognize him for his apostolic work as spiritual director of the CATHOLIC EUCHARISTIC PRAYER MINISTRY, ODEKPE. Community members urged their leaders, Chiefs, Okakwu, Local Government Area Head and Principal to donate a large tract of private and community property to allow the Church’s continued work in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in the “alleviation of misery and want among the sick and poor,” as the the property Deed states. After his experiences in Nigeria, Father John sees a critical need for high quality medical and psychiatric care in rural communities. Scientific surveys and studies by the United Nations, World Health Organization, NGOs, and researchers in Nigeria’s Teaching Hospitals also concur with Fr. John’s observations.
Fr. John has not forgotten the wishes of his Nigerian parishioners in Odekpe. He founded a United States IRS 501(3)(c) not-for-profit corporation. Assisted by a team of professional advisors in Texas and Nigeria, he is working to raise funds from foundations to design and coordinate construction of a Western model hospital in the impoverished rural Odekpe community.