Diocese: Beloit priest’s mother rescued from abductors in Nigeria

A Beloit priest’s mother was rescued from abductors in Nigeria Saturday, according to the Diocese of Madison.

On Monday, spokesman for the diocese Brent M. King said Father Paul Arinze’s mother Virginia was rescued from kidnappers this weekend overseas in Nigeria and was recovering at a Nigerian hospital Sunday. Paul Arinze is a Catholic priest at Our Lady of the Assumption on Shopiere Road in Beloit.

King said Virginia Arinze was taken from her home in Nigeria at gunpoint on Feb. 21, and the kidnappers had left a note implying there would be a demand for ransom later.

King said Virginia Arinze was rescued Saturday night and two of her abductors were captured. Arinze was in intensive care recovering from the ordeal. Paul Arinze left Sunday for Nigeria to be with his family, King said.

Paul Arinze is scheduled to return to Beloit later this week.

The vicar general of the Diocese of Madison, Monsignor James Bartylla, said in a statement that the diocese was relieved with the news of Virginia Arinze’s safe return.

“I know I speak on behalf of (Father) Paul Arinze that he is very grateful for your prayers,” Bartylla said.

In a statement on its website, Our Lady of the Assumption church said Paul Arinze “thanks you from the bottom of his heart for the prayers and support
you have offered him and his family.”