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IHM FINAL RELIGIOUS PROFESSION, 2015

The Final Religious Profession of 18 Sisters of the IHM Sisters took place at Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Orlu.  Both events were celebrated respectively, on the 5th and 7th September, 2015.

These Sisters have lived out the Evangelical Counsels of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience several years in their different communities of IHM and apostolates.  They decided to commit themselves totally to God in the Service of God, the Church and humanity.  They were grand celebrations that gathered together priests, religious men and women, parents and relatives, friends and well wishers who shared in the joys of the sisters.

The Finally Professed Sisters come from different Dioceses in Nigeria: Onitsha Archdiocese, Awka, Abakaliki, Nsukka, Nnewi, Idah, Awgu, Orlu and Ahiara.

In his homily on the first event for 13 Sisters, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, the Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, explored three themes: Abandonment to Divine Providence, Co-responsibility and prayer.   He said that since Religious Life is a gift from God, the Religious, in abandonment to divine Providence is called to use this gift to serve.  “The Church calls it call and duty”, he added.  Reminding the Sisters that they no longer own themselves but live according to the rules of their state, the Archbishop advised them, “Do not allow self-will to lead you astray”.  He went on to urge the parents to help their children live their vows by giving them good advice and not demanding material goods from them.  Both parents and the Religious have to be in prayer in other to fulfill the vows, he concluded.

Most Rev. Augustine Ukwuoma, the bishop of Orlu diocese, in his turn told the 5 Sisters that “what pleases God will be their concern from today”.  He continued, “This is the year the Church has set aside for us to focus on and think about life of Holiness – Consecrated life – and that’s what makes your profession different”.  He reminded them that their profession is a commitment to God which, like every other commitment, has a consequence which gives meaning to it – total abandonment.  The bishop told the Sisters to treasure their community of IHM Congregation.  “You are in the year of production, invest yourselves in the Congregation, and invest yourselves in the Church and in this life”.

Bishop Ukwuoma also thanked the parents for giving back to God what he gave to them and requests that they pray for the Sisters.

There were receptions after the Holy Mass at both events.   Everyone present shared in the joys of the Finally Professed Sisters and that of the IHM Congregation.  The superior General, Mother Mary Claude Oguh, thanked all on behalf of the Congregation.

 


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