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Twenty-six young Religious of IHM Institute sealed their yes to God when they perpetually pronounced their Vows to God on 6th and 8th September, 2014.  The celebration was held in two groups, one for 14 Sisters at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha on the 6th and the other for 12 Sisters at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Orlu on the 8th of September.

Two of the Sisters who did their final Commitment are from Kenya and others are from different Archdioceses and Dioceses of the Country; Onitsha, Owerri, Awka, Enugu, Nsukka, Nnewi, Orlu, Okigwe, Umuahia,, Aba and Ogoja.  Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, presided over the celebration at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha while Most Rev. Augustine Ukwuoma was the chief celebrant at Orlu. 

In his homily which he termed “Remain in my Love” (John15:9), his Excellency, Most Rev. Valerian expounded the meaning of Religious Consecration and its implications.  He started by saying that the benefit of remaining in God’s love is summarised in Christ’s words; “… that your joy may be complete” John15:11.  He continued, “Religious life is all about Perfect Charity and the apex of the life of perfection is Charity.”   The Word became incarnate through Mary’s Virginity so we become Religious so that God’s Word may be incarnate through us.  So doing, our life becomes a testimony of God’s love such that whoever encounters us will go home happy saying, “thank God he is still among us.”  

“You are Missionaries of love”, His Excellency addressed them.  “You cannot be imitators of Christ who is obedient, poor and chaste unless you are in fire with love.   Religious life is a perfect obedience to the Father”. He told them to remember that the measure of love is to love without measure.  He finally told the parents and relatives to pray for their daughters and support them to live their lives of Consecration.

The IHM Sisters were in full participation just as the relatives and friends of the Sisters who did their final commitment.  The home parishes of the Sisters and some of those where they work accompanied them to the celebration.

Towards the end of the Mass, Sr. Mary Jerome Obiorah, the Second Councillor and Sr. Mary Philipeen Osei- Wusu, the third Councilor respectively thanked everyone at Onitsha and Orlu on behalf of the IHM Institute.

After the solemn Holy Mass with all its solemn rituals, the celebrants had group pictures with the Sisters who did their final commitment, the Mother General and her Council and others.  The IHM family with other families, relatives, parishioners and friends received the Finally Professed at the arenas of the two Cathedrals/venues.

The Superior General, Mother Mary Claude Oguh, IHM in both celebrations, thanked God for the Sisters who accepted his call, the Bishops that led the celebrations, parents and relatives of the Sisters and the Parish Priests who prepared the celebrations at Parish levels with their parishioners.  She prayed that God may lead all home safely.



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