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From Nigerian refugee to Capuchin priest: Fr. Anthony Kote-Witah is right where God needs him

When Fr. Anthony Kote-Witah, OFM Cap., first walked into the Solanus Casey Center, he knew it was where God was calling him.

The Nigerian native and human rights activist was discerning a vocation with the Capuchins in 2013 when he visited St. Bonaventure Monastery, and upon looking at the statues of human rights champions St. Oscar Romero, St. Teresa of Calcutta and Martin Luther King, Jr., he felt sense of people he wants others to feel.

“Whoever comes to the Solanus Center, we tell them this is a place of peace,” Fr. Kote-Witah told Detroit Catholic. “I tell them this is our Rome, a place of pilgrimage where people find peace, they find God. It is a real center of evangelization.”

Fr. Kote-Witah ministers at the Solanus Casey Center, serving as a spiritual director for pilgrims, celebrating Mass, offering healing services, hearing confessions, leading substance-abuse support groups and helping the Capuchin Soup Kitchen.

The Capuchin priest was ordained by Bluefields, Nicaragua, Bishop Paul Schmitz, OFM Cap., on April 27 at St. Clare of Montefalco Parish in Chicago for the Detroit-based Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph. He is now serving at the Solanus Center and assisting on the weekends at nearby St. Ambrose Parish in Grosse Pointe Park.

“Since Solanus’ beatification at Ford Field, the Solanus Center has been a center of pilgrimage for people from all over, to see God’s people, to serve God’s people,” Fr. Kote-Witah said. “If the governor of this state and the governor’s second can come to the soup kitchen to help serve God’s people (referring to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s visit to the soup kitchen in December) and see what we are doing, then anyone can come and as Pope Francis says, ‘smell like the sheep,’ to be there with God’s people.”

Read more at Detroit Catholic.

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