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IMMACULATE HEART SISTERS CELEBRATE DIAMOND JUBILEE OF FOUNDATION WITH THEIR MOTHERS AND FATHERS IN THE FAITH

The Diamond Jubilee Celebration of the foundation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ with our Fathers in faith: the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans), our Mothers in faith: the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary, Our Spiritual Formators: the Jesuits and Marist Brothers of the Schools.

The celebration began with the Holy Mass officiated by Most Rev. Calistus Onaga, Bishop of Enugu Diocese. Preaching the sermon, Very Rev. Fr. Augustine Onyeneke traced the history of the coming and activities of the missionaries to the southern part of Nigeria. He recalled how the Holy Ghost priests endeavoured to spread the faith into the hinterland with the Sisters of St. Joseph Cluny. Eventually, when the Sisters moved on to Calabar, Bishop Shanahan had to found the Sisters of the Holy Rosary in Ireland to assist in the enormous work of evangelization going on in Nigeria.

When Archbishop Charles Heerey took over from his predecessor, Bishop Joseph Shanahan, he founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Most Pure Heart of Mary (Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ). According to him, the Congregation was begun to fulfill the immediate need of uplifting the women in Igboland; but today, the Sisters have so grown that they have become the pride of the Church, of our fathers and our mothers in faith.  He urged the Sisters to keep the faith and the light handed on to them burning bright.

Mother Mary Claude Oguh, IHM, the Superior general of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, read an address of welcome and gratitude to the guests, articulating how they helped the Congregation in various capacities. She prayed God to bless all of them and grant the dead among them eternal rest. Brother Michael Oruche of the Marist Brothers of the Schools thanked the Sisters for appreciating the Marist Brothers. According to him, he had always known the Sisters as dedicated to service, honesty, straightforwardness. Trustworthy but you cannot push them around and that has helped them to survive. They were ready to serve and to die for the church, but they had to be respected for who they are, persons created in the image of God.

On behalf of the Holy Ghost Fathers and brothers, Very Rev. Fr. Peter Agboneme, CSSp, Provincial of Eastern Province, thanked the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters on behalf of the Spiritans for their resilience.

The highpoint of the celebration was the planting of the Diamond Jubilee Tree by the Sr. Patricia Nwankwo, Provincial of Holy Rosary Sisters, Eastern Region (Enugu). There was also presentation of token of gratitude to each of the Congregations who had influenced the life and growth of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ. There was a round table discussion by the pupils of the Sacred Heart Nursery/Primary School on Bishop Shanahan, Archbishop Charles Heerey and the foundation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ.The vote of thanks was given by Mother Mary Joseph Uzoigwe. 

 

 


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