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CELEBRATION OF OUR 11TH GENERAL CHAPTER, 5-28 AUGUST, 2017

Our 11th General Chapter, with the theme, In Communion with Christ, joyfully serve in Compassion and Humility, was held at Madonna Renewal Centre, Nkpor, 5th–28thAugust 2017. A General Chapter as the highest authority charged with the responsibility of upholding the Charism and Spirit of our Institute, recognised the urgency and gravity of trust placed on her. The Capitulars visited our Founder’s grave, and our youth facility at Amawbia; a testament to our Institute’s commitment to advance Christian formation of the youth with renewed vigour. His Grace, Most Rev. Valerian M. Okeke, Archbishop of Onitsha, celebrated the solemn Opening Mass on Monday, 7th August. This was followed by a 3-day Spirit filled retreat led by Rev. Fr. Peter Okonkwo, CMF, as the adept facilitation of Rev. Fr. Wenceslaus Madu, CMF nudged members to fruitful deliberation and successful elections.

 

Being a very important exercise of the Church, we received compliments and recommendations from the Holy See and Local Ordinaries where our Sisters work. Many friends and colleagues in ministry, supported and commended our Institute’s unique contribution in the Church.

The theme of our 11th General Chapter, “In Communion with Christ, joyfully serve in Compassion and Humility”, pervaded all the varied stages of discernment during the Chapter. As consecrated persons, it recommended that we constantly strive for communion with Christ and fraternal love for one another in the community. The authenticity of this double-faceted communion manifests itself in joyful service rendered to others in compassion and humility. 

 

Our Founder and foundation members laid a very solid foundation for our Institute. The Chapter reminded us that our traditions give our Institute its unique flare and beauty. It is for these values that people celebrate the integrity of our Institute. We are called to return to our roots reclaiming these traditions that highlight the simplicity of our lives and our pride in our religious family, the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ! With our Charism and Spirit, our Founder enjoined us to be “The Fairest among the daughters of men;” a call not in arrogance or grandiosity but in simplicity of life.

After fruitful Chapter deliberations and decisions, Capitulars prayerfully tackled the second and very crucial aspect of their duty, which was the election of leaders to pilot the affairs of our Institute for the next six years. In God’s special design, our Superior General, Mother Mary Claude Oguh together with every member of her Council were re-elected to this sacrificial role. We give God the glory and pledge our cooperation to making their work easy.

We recognize the difficulties in our world today as political leaders strive to do what they perceive as best in their different countries. As IHM Sisters, called to serve in different capacities, we intensify our prayers for the different countries of the world and to live out our Charism and Spirit in order to help make the world a better place.

 

Finally, we thank every daughter of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and all who prayed, sacrificed and laboured to make this 11th General Chapter a success. We appeal to all to recognise that no leader can do it alone. The success and growth of our religious Institute is in our hands. We enjoin all hands to be on deck in moving our Institute to greater heights. Our Founder and friends, expect the best from us, it is our prayer that this special fire lit in our lives will continue to burn steadily.

 


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