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The atmosphere, although quiet and cool, was alive with faith when the IHM Sisters gathered for the funeral of Sr. Mary Innocentia Ehirim, IHM, on 29th and 30th May, 2016 at Nkpor, Anambra State.

The Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke and two other Prelates concelebrated the funeral Mass with about 20 other priests, at the Novitiate Chapel, Nkpor.  Msgr. Jerome Madueke of Awka diocese represented the Bishop of Awka.

Most Rev. Valentine Obinna, the Archbishop of Owerri Archdiocese, who was the homilist, pointed out that Sr. Mary Innocentia was a woman of faith.  Drawing from the same faith, she worked among the people ministering to many and doing the things she did.  “She’s among those who prepared for the kingdom and assisted many”, he added.  For the living, he said we should try to teach the word of God in our words and deeds and always try to live in the Lord.

Most Rev. Gregory Ochiagha, the Bishop Emeritus of Orlu diocese said the Final Commendation prayer.  The body was accompanied by all to the graveyard where Archbishop Valerian took charge of the Rite of Interment and she was buried.

Sr. Mary Innocentia who died on April 2, 2016 became a Religious in 1973 and proved to be an ideal one while alive.   She was a teacher by profession and was involved in the formation of many for most of her years as a Religious.  She was the pioneer Novice Mistress in Ghana, from 1987 -1992.

Sr. Mary Innocentia assisted many in their spiritual journey both within and outside her Congregation and country: Men and Women Religious, Priests, Seminarians, Novices, Postulants, Catechists and Lay Faithful.  She was involved in conducting short retreats and 30 Days Retreat for different groups.  She died while on mission to the United States.

The Superior General, Mother Mary Claude Oguh, IHM on behalf of the Congregation, appreciated all the guests, Ehirim family and the people of Mbieri, her home town, who donated her for the service of God.   She particularly thanked the doctors and nurses of North East Memorial hospital in Houston, Texas, USA, who took care of Sister in her last moments, Fr. Felix Osasona, MSP, who ministered to her and the Nigerians in Houston, Texas, who showed their concerns and support in different ways.

May God rest her soul in peace.  Amen


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