One Body in Christ – Nigerian Catholics call Greensburg Home

By Jordan Whiteko and Robin Mull
The Catholic Accent

A “home away from home” is how the Adesina family describes their faith community at Our Lady of Grace Parish, Greensburg. The family of four traveled nearly 6,000 miles to relocate from Nigeria to the area around the Diocese of Greensburg and are now active members of the parish choir and its community.

An educational opportunity in January 2017 brought Oluchi Jennifer Austin-Adesina to the

United States to study nursing at New Jersey City University. She loved the diversity she saw in the

United States and the opportunities that surrounded her new home. That is why she had the rest of her family join her in August of that year.

After Oluchi completed her studies, she wanted to stay in the United States. However, she wanted a place for her family that was removed from the hustle and bustle of city life. Her prayers were answered when she received

a job offer to be a nurse supervisor at Excela Health, now Independence Health System, in Greensburg.

The new job and relocation were exciting, but equally important to the family was finding a new church community. In 2020, they found Our Lady of Grace Parish, where they were welcomed and able to celebrate Mass and sing in His glory.

“There’s just something about this parish that feels welcoming. I love Father Dan’s sermons and Father Dan  sings very well, too,” said Oluchi. And her husband, Austin, agrees: “God wanted us to be here at this time.”

Austin and Oluchi are involved in parish life on multiple levels, serving as Eucharistic ministers, Mass cantors, and organists. “It’s always a joy to celebrate Mass whenever the Adesinas share their gifts in liturgical ministry,” said Pastor Father Daniel J. Blout.

Their sons, Oluwatobi “Toby” and Oluwaseyi “Seyi.,” participate in Mass as altar servers and spend their free time volunteering for parish events, such as Vacation Bible School and fish fries. They are also following in their parents’ footsteps for their love of music.

Music is the heart of what inspires Austin and Oluchi, especially spiritual music. It provides them with strength and encouragement through their daily lives. In Nigeria,

in 2000, Austin moved to Abuja and attended Mass at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral, Garki-Abuja (Federal Capital Territory). He felt compelled to join the choir, and  it was there he met fellow choir, member and his future wife.

Their love of music and worship doesn’t go unnoticed. Director of Music and Liturgy, Marisa Cazden says the Adesinas are a family truly led by the Holy Spirit.

“The way they participate in the liturgy turns their performance into a prayer, leading our worship more fully in praise of God,” said Cazden. In Nigeria, music is a big part of the offertory procession that involves singing and dancing. The liturgical aspect of the Roman Catholic faith remains the same wherever you attend Mass. “For instance, when you take out the priest and the singing, everything about the Mass is the same; that’s the beauty of Catholicism,” said Austin.

Oluchi said that we are all children of God and united

to celebrate the liturgy of Mass as one body of Christ.

“Evangelism is not just about preaching the word but doing it. People see you, and your actions before you speak.” Oluchi calls us to do the work of God. “That is what our faith is calling us to do.”


Subscribe today!