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IHM FIRST RELIGIOUS PROFESSION, 2015

IHM Sisters had their First Religious Profession where 13 Novices pronounced their vows at the Novitiate Chapel, Nkpor, Anambra State, on August 8th, 2015.

His Excellency, Most Rev. Valerian Maduka Okeke, the Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, presided over the Holy Mass.  He concelebrated with the home Parish Priests of the Sisters making their profession.  He said that the Sisters are taking the first major step and we have to support them.  He urged the families to support them with prayers and support the work they do. 

During his homily which he termed “The Splendor of Divine Love”, the Archbishop said that the sisters are called to live the life of Perfect Love.”  “Through these you show the splendour of God”, he told them.   Perfect love shows in selflessness – in sacrificing own desire, ambition and putting first the interest of Christ.” 

The Archbishop explained that splendor goes beyond ordinary beauty; “it is the attractiveness, the joy that makes one admire that which has that splendor – God.”  He went on to say that divine splendor emanates from divine love and the Church teaches us Divine Love above ‘baby’s love’ that always wants to take instead of giving. 

He encouraged the Sisters to develop divine splendor which attracts souls to whoever has it.  He advised their families to give them genuine support to live their Vows and he asked the Sisters to leave their families’ affairs in God‘s hands. 

Following the rituals of First Religious Profession, the Sisters vowed to God to live the life of the Evangelical Counsels of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience in the Spirit of humility and compassion wherever they will be sent.  The Archbishop summarized the vows in the following form;

Christ was chaste; He gave up the comfort of marriage

He owns all but was very detached 

He was obedient to the Father even unto death

On behalf of the Church and the Institute, Mother Mary Claude Oguh, the Superior General of IHM Congregation, accompanied by the Novice Mistresses, Srs. Mary Philippo Obi and Mary Elsie Onyema, received the Sisters’ Vows.   11 of the Sisters are from different Dioceses in Nigeria: Ahiara, Nnewi, Enugu, Nsukka, Orlu, Aba, and Idah, while 2 are from Machakos and Eldoret Dioceses in Kenya, East Africa. 

The families of the newly Professed Sisters and some members of their home parishes were there to witness the event.  The Holy Mass was followed by reception at the Novitiate compound.  Mr. Dan Chukwunyere from Ihiala, chaired the second part of the celebration.

Finally, the Superior General on behalf of the Congregation thanked the families of the IHM Sisters, Parish Priests and Parish Councillors for their support and gifts.  She also appreciated the Novice Mistresses, the Central Administration, all the Sisters and all present.  She enjoined all to give the new Sisters good support so that they will live their life of Consecration to the end.

 


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