About US

HISTORY history

The youth apostolate has been the major concern of the Catholic Church. So many times they have not failed to portray this as they are the future of the Church. The need to guard this future gave birth to the Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON) established by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria in the year 1985.
Youths are instrumental in the Building of the Church. They are the future of the Church. The Archdiocese of Abuja under the Leadership of His Eminence, Dominic Cardinal Ekandem and His able successor, Most Rev. Dr. John Onaiyekan (now His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan) has indeed moved from strength to strength leaving no stone unturned. Having been raised to the status of an Archdiocese in 1994, many bountiful progress in many areas especially Evangelization, Education and health were recorded. During this period, many statutory Organizations were also raised including the Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria which was approved by the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria in the Catholic Archdioceses of Abuja. The organization affirms the place of youth in the Church’s life and promotes youth involvement in the work of evangelization. It outlines, promotes, direct and evolve network of support for youth initiatives as groups or as individuals for the development of the Church and the Society.

Sequel to the many leadership challenges among the and setbacks of the Catholic Youth Organization, the Parish Youth Council was formed in August, 2007 in a letter titled: Formation of the Parish Youth Council written to all Parish Priests by His Grace the Archbishop of Abuja. In the preamble of the guidelines on the formation of the Parish Youth Council, he stated that it is to be made up of representatives drawn from all the statutory youth societies in the church, the societies here referred to are strictly for the Youths and not those whose membership are opened to children but for the Youths and adult alike. The vision of the Archbishop in forming the parish Youth Council was to see to the building of a formidable, vibrant Youth Ministry in the Archdiocese where young people will contribute their quota to the growth of the church in their time.

The Church realized with regret that an overwhelming percentage of all the Youth bodies in the Archdiocese do not belong to any of the Youth organ. Moreover, there were many cases of mistakes, misunderstandings, setbacks and leadership challenges among the different Youth Organizations constituting the Youth Council. It was based on these observations that the church decided to restructure the Youth Apostolate. In January 2011, a National Conference was organized by the Catholic Secretariat of Abuja to address the concerns and sentiments of the Youth with a view to finding lasting solutions to them. Emphasis were made on the character of the church which is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic and the need for the Youth apostolate in the various dioceses to work in harmony under one umbrella.

After a Restructuring Abuja Youth Summit which was organized on 13th – 15th of December, 2011 at Regina Pacis Girls College, Garki II, Abuja; a summit well attended by youth delegates from all the parishes and youth organizations in Abuja, with some parish chaplains and the Metropolitan Archbishop himself present, the Old CYON in Abuja Archdiocese was restructured. The summit was aimed at re-evaluating the AYC structure and critically evaluating the extent of its impact in the lives of the youths in the Archdiocese and the entire Youth Ministry. It was also geared towards addressing the problems of structure and organization of youths in Abuja Archdiocese.

After series of inspiring sessions and with active participation of the His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the summit has come to be adjudged by many, if not all, as the best thing that has ever happened to the youth apostolate in the Archdiocese of Abuja as it brought about the dissolution of former Youth Groups like AYC and the former CYON to bring about what is well known as the “NEW CYON” (the beginning of a new dawn). All young Catholics in Abuja Archdiocese will be under this umbrella body- “New CYON”. Then six man caretaker committee was appointed by the Archbishop to run the affairs of the CYON until the Archdiocese conducts a credible election.


Sequel to this development, a circular was passed to all parishes in the Archdiocese on the directives of the new CYON and its modalities for implementation. Following this, a full time Youth Chaplain was immediately appointed by the Archbishop of Abuja in the person of Rev. Fr. John Sixtus Okonkwo.

Having conducted election at various parishes; the Archdiocesan Election was awaited by all and on June 15th-17th, 2012 at DRACC Lugbe, another remarkable experience in the history of the youth of Abuja Archdiocese took place. It was one that will never be forgotten in a hurry; “The Leadership Seminar”. Following the reformation of the new CYON in the Archdiocese of Abuja by his Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, 175 youth delegates from the various parishes (four from each Parish) in Abuja Archdiocese converged at DRACC Sabon Lugbe for the leadership seminar. The seminar was aimed at preparing the young minds to assume responsibilities as well as face the challenges that come with such responsibilities and thereafter, to become effective and responsible leaders of this era, both in the Church and the society at large. On June 17th, 2012, an Archdiocesan Election for the new CYON was conducted amongst the delegates, as newly elected executive emerged in the Archdiocese of Abuja.
They were formally inaugurated by His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Archbishop of Abuja on 14th July, 2012 at the 2nd Council Meeting of the New CYON Abuja Archdiocese at Church of Assumption Parish Asokoro, Abuja.
In line with the restructuring of the Catholic Youth Organization in Abuja, a new Archdiocesan Youth Coordinator; Emmanuel John Nkanta, was employed by the Archdiocese to assist the Archdiocesan Youth Chaplain in his administrative works and also to coordinate and execute plans, activities and programs as approved by the Archdiocesan Youth Executive Council headed by the Archdiocesan Youth Chaplain. The Archdiocesan Youth Office has the following modus operandi:


Together, we can build a united, peaceful, vibrant, and progressive Youth Apostolate rooted in love for growth and development.



  • To lead the youth towards ever serving God.
  • To foster the spirit of togetherness, promote unity and mutual understanding among the youths.
  • To make known the Catholic Faith to Christians and non Christians alike.
  • To protect the interest of the Catholic Church and defend her teachings.
  • To cater for the needs of the youths and taking constitutionally all matters affecting any member and the youth in general.
  • To be affiliated with the Government and Non-Governmental Departments in order to interact with other bodies and participate in all Government activities.


At a time like this

when we come together

from the east and west

from the North and South

when we come together in the name of Jesus Christ

Oh Lord arise and shine x2



  • Spiritual Development
  • Economic / Empowerment
  • Project Development
  • Social / Psychological Development


  • Secondary Institution
  • Unemployed / underemployed
  • Disabled
  • Gifted / Talented
  • Sick / HIV / AIDS
  • Employed / Self Employed/ Professionals



  • Abuja Interfaith Peace Building Forum
  • Catholic Liaison Office
  • Cooperative Society
  • Cassava Growers Association