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IHM Associates Members had their Maiden Day at Madonna Renewal Centre, Nkpor on July 22, 2016.

The Associates gathered from different parts of the country: Aba, Abuja, Awka, Enugu, Onitsha, Owerri and others.

“I consider myself privileged today; I have been an Associate Member for a long time though I am officially attending your meeting today.”  That was Bishop Denis Isuzoh, the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese who officiated at the Holy Mass to mark the occasion.

Bishop Isuzoh concelebrated with his Secretary, Fr. Innocent, Fr. Anthony Ibekwe and Fr. Modestus of Awka Diocese and Fr. Peter Ikeoji who was directing a retreat at the Centre.

In his homily, the Bishop said that the Associates came together to learn and share Compassion and Humility which are the Charism and Spirit of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ.  The Prelate went further to say that the special thing about humility is the knowledge and attitude that whatever one has is a gift from God.  Therefore, it is humility when people see the Giver of the gift when they look at the members before seeing the gift.  About compassion, he said that all are instruments of God’s Mercy.

At the end of the Mass, Sr. Mary Juliet Okafor, the National Co-Ordinator, appreciated the members for the sacrifices made to be present and all who joined in the celebration; IHM Sisters led by the Superior General and Council, students of Cor Mariae Girls’ Secondary School and friends. 

After group photographs all went to the Centre’s Hall for continuation of the celebration.  After due protocols, there were addresses from speakers –the acting Chairman, Bishop Isuzoh, Mother Mary Claude Oguh and the National President, Engr. Gab Okafor.  The Superior General reminded the Associates who they are and their place in the Congregation.  She encouraged them in their effort to imbibe the Charism and Spirit of the Congregation.

The National President said the day was meant to look into their activities, learn from one another and from the guests.  He also said, “Ours is to assist the IHM Sisters spiritually and financially - to go to mission by giving.  There is no class distinction; the association is open to all.”

Within the celebration, there was a time allotted to lighting of candle to Our Lady.  Groups and individuals did, the Bishop did and the Superior General did.  Donations accompanied it.  It was a happy celebration and members looked forward to incorporating more members next time.   With the Maden Day, the general celebration will be once a year.


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