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A Pilgrim Virgin, which will visit IHM Convents, was blessed on the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, June 4, at the Generalate community, Onitsha, Anambra State.

The statue which was blessed during the Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will travel under the title, ‘Mother of Mercy’, to all the IHM Convents in Nigeria starting from, June 10. 

It is part of the programme in union with the Universal Church in this Year of Mercy to live the life of Mercy and be witnesses of mercy to all through their different apostolates.  The programme is drawn to take place in personal, communal, regional and congregational levels.

Mother Mary Claude Oguh, IHM, the Superior General said that the programme is designed to enable each Sister participate and share fully in the celebrations and graces attached to the Year of Mercy.

Fr. Jerome Enwelum, the Chaplain of the Generalate Community was the Chief celebrant at the Mass.  He concelebrated with Frs. Andrew Nnoje CSSp. and Jude Nga of Cameroon, to mark the principal feast for the Institute.  Fr. Clement Obi joined during the Mass.

Fr. Nnoje in his homily, stressed the importance of placing our hearts on God and valuable things because as the Scripture says, where our hearts are there shall we be.  The Heart of Mary remained pure because she placed her heart on God and pondered on all that happened.  She was able to bear all because her heart was without bitterness. 

Towards the end of the Mass, all present joined in the prayer of Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary: IHM Associate Members, Children of the Immaculate Heart Block Rosary Centre, friends, representatives of the parish statutory bodies and St Augustine’s Choir; all of Sacred Heart Parish, Odoakpu Onitsha. There were group pictures with the Pilgrim Virgin after the Mass.

The Statue will leave the Generalate Community on June 10 when the Central Region will carry it.  Through the four IHM Regions in Nigeria – Central, Southern, Western, Eastern - it will visit all the IHM communities.  On arrival at the Centre of each Region, the Statue will be ceremoniously welcomed and the Mass of Reconciliation and Reparation will be celebrated.

There will be a day of celebration by the entire Congregation by the time the Pilgrim Virgin finishes its round to the communities before the year ends.  It is hoped that love, reconciliation, peace and unity will reign in these communities and through them, in mercy, to the people of God.


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