Most Reverend Dr. Michael Odogwe Elue, the Catholic Bishop of Issele-Uku, was born on the 4th of April, 1956 into a Catholic family of Mr. Dominic Chidi Elue and Mrs. Theresa Asimonye Elue of Akumazi-Umuocha in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. He is the first son but the second child in the family of eight children. One of his siblings, the last of them, is Rev. Fr. Calistus Isioma Elue, who was among the very first set of priests he ordained in 2004 for the Diocese of Issele-Uku at the beginning of his episcopacy. His father died on August 17, 1984, the eve of the day of his ordination to the Catholic priesthood while his mother died on December 17, 2011.
Bishop Elue attended St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Akumazi-Umuocha from 1962 to 1968. After his primary school education, he became an apprentice to a tailor at Umunede. He did the work of tailoring from 1969 to 1972. In 1973, he left everything to answer the call of our Lord Jesus Christ to the priesthood. First, he got enrolled into the prestigious St. Paul’s Minor Seminary, Benin-City, Edo State, Nigeria, where he studied from 1973 to 1975. From 1976 to 1977, he proceeded to St. Anthony’s College, Ubulu-Uku, Delta State, Nigeria, where he completed his secondary school education in order to be able to sit for the School Certificate Examination, which was not available in the Minor Seminary at that time. In 1977, he was sent to Ss. Peter and Paul Seminary, Ekpoma Campus, Edo State, Nigeria, for a spiritual formation before proceeding to Ss. Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan in Oyo State, Nigeria, where he studied Philosophy and Theology. On December 4, 1983, he was raised to the Order of the Diaconate. At the completion of his theological studies in 1984, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Issele-Uku by Most Rev. Dr. Anthony Gbuji on 18th August 1984 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Akumazi-Umuocha.
His first pastoral assignment after his priestly ordination was to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Issele-Uku as the Assistant Parish Priest from 1984 to 1985. He was then appointed to St. John of the Cross Spiritual Year Seminary, Ekpoma as a formator, and in 1987, he came back and was appointed the Parish Priest of All Saints Catholic Church, Onicha-Ugbo, where he was until 1992. From there, he was sent to the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA), Port-Harcourt to study Biblical Theology. In 1996, he was sent to Rome and Jerusalem to continue his studies.
Before his episcopal ordination as the third bishop of Issele-Uku diocese, on February 21, 2004, Bishop Odogwu Elue held many pastoral and academic assignments of responsibility. Prominent among them were as Professor at All Saints Major Seminary Ekpoma, Nigeria, chaplain for inter-Religious Dialogue, member of liturgical commission to mention but a few. Bishop Odogwu holds Doctorate degree on Biblical theology from the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Jerusalem in affiliation with Pontificium Anthenaeum Antonianum, Rome.
Upon his return to the diocese in 1999, he was appointed to the staff of All Saints Major Seminary, Uhiele, Ekpoma, where he taught in the theology department till his appointment as the Bishop-elect of Issele-Uku Diocese.