Father Bonaventure Okoro
Father Okoro is a native of Nigeria, West Africa. He is the eldest of eleven children. His mother is a homemaker and his father was a Director of Religious Education until he retired five years ago. Fr. Okoro majored in Philosophy at a college in Cameroon, Africa, then taught French as a second language in a Catholic college in Nigeria for a few years before coming to the United States at the invitation of the vocation director of the Rockford Diocese in August, 1998. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, where he completed his graduate work in theology, and was ordained on May 18, 2002, by the Most Rev. Thomas G. Doran at St. Peter Cathedral in Rockford, Illinois. His first assignment was as Parochial Vicar at St. Patrick Parish in St. Charles, Illinois for two years, after which he went to St. Mary’s in DeKalb, Illinois for five years. Fr. Okoro has a hearty laugh and loves working with people, helping them to bring out the best in themselves. That inspired him to pursue an extra graduate degree in counseling and psychology at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, from which he graduated in August, 2008. He provides pastoral counseling to people who need it. He also loves to help out in food pantries, first with the ministry of St. Vincent de Paul in DeKalb and now with the N.I.C.E. (Neighbors in Christ Ecumenical) Center in Lee. Fr. Okoro became Parochial Administrator of St. James Church in Lee, Illinois in September, 2009 and was installed as pastor in October, 2012.