Monthly Archives: November 2014

Letters from Ichama

Sr. Calista and Sr. Helen, Little Angels School

Sr. Calista and Sr. Helen, Little Angels School

HVM sisters and supporters are proud of the ministry of Srs. Calista and Helen who teach children at the Little Angels School in Ichama, in southern Nigeria.  The correspondence below provides a glimpse of the daily joys and the challenges they face.   The writer is Sr. Calista.  (Notes from SHVM website providing explanation are marked in blue.)

October 22, 2014

Greetings to all!

Sr. Elizabeth is currently staying with us.  She came here last Thursday for her retreat.

We are gradually preparing for the children’s inter-house sports activities next school term. We have shared the children into 6 houses named after Saints Paul, Peter, Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.

Boys and girls playing volleyball at Little Angels School, Ichama, Nigeria

Our tuition fee is one thousand, five hundred naira (about $8.50 US dollars) but new pupils pay nine thousand nine hundred naira for kindergarten to primary (about $56.20 US dollars).  We give them 2 pairs of stockings, uniform, sportswear, sandals, pullover, exercise books (12 copies), dossier and inter-house sports wear.  All these will be for the #9,900 naira they are going to pay.

I decided to go into providing all these so that the little money we will get from it can be used to support the payment of the staff’s salary.  If we depend on what the children are paying, we won’t be able to be paying the staff their salary.

Thank you.



November 19, 2014

Dear Sr. Rosemarie,

Thank you for your concern towards our ministry in this remote area we are in.  The majority of the people here are peasant farmers who don’t know the importance of education. So the majority of the children don’t have one single text book —  not even on the English language.

The idea of buying Bibles with the donation from Holy Name School in Birmingham, MI, is excellent because the children need it for their Christian knowledge.  I would like to use half the money for other reading books that are used here.

Secondly,  there are some orphans here who are not in school because nobody is here to pay their fees.  For example, this Monday l sent for one of our children that stopped coming to school because nobody can help him. I gave him a uniform, sandals and stockings without cost even though the school does not have the money to take care of this type of situation.  My concerns are; how l can pay his fees, buy some books for him, sportswear etc. There are many others like him.

Sr. Calista, HVM

1st Graders at Holy Name School in Birmingham, MI, recently held a bake sale with the generous help of their parents to support the purchase of books in Ichama.  Can you add to the energy of these children?  Can you respond to Sr. Calista’s concerns?  Visit the Contact Us/Donate page on this web site to make secure on-line donations.   Your donations (in US dollars! ☺) will go a long way, both literally and figuratively, to help support the children being taught by our HVM sisters in Ichama, Nigeria.

Report and Photos from 10th HVM Gala

The 10th annual HVM Gala at Sacred Heart Major Seminary on October 25, 2014, was a great success!   More than 150 guests shared in a spirit of celebration and joyful generosity to join with the HVM Sisters and their missions.  Funds raised through ticket sales and silent auction of donated items help support the HVM ministries in Nigeria.

    “Dear Brothers and Sisters,   As we gather to celebrate with the Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary and to support their continued efforts in the theological formation of their sisters in Nigeria, it is a wonderful time to remember the many blessings that God has bestowed upon us in the Archdiocese through these wonderful women who consecrated their lives to our Lord and to the service of the Church of Detroit.”  … Msgr. Timothy Hogan, Vicar for Clergy and Consecrated Life, Archdiocese of Detroit.   CLICK HERE to see the full welcoming letter of Msgr. Hogan.

CLICK HERE and HERE to see the names of our wonderful Sponsors and Patrons who provided such generous financial support.

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Carolyn Clifford, news anchor at WXYZ Channel 7 in Detroit, graciously served as host of the 10th HVM Gala.

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Carolyn Clifford-Goss and husband Mr. Gregory Goss.

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Table of Peter Kreher and Hugh Buchanan, members of HVM Advisory Committee.

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Left to right: Msgr. T.  Hogan, director of the Archdiocese of Detroit Office for Clergy and Consecrate Life.  Fr. Tim Birney, director of Archdiocese of Detroit Office of Vocations, honorary chairperson of the Gala.  Mr. Bishop Young, co-honorary chair of  this year’s Gala. Mr. Young leads the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral Knights of Columbus conference and is a K of C delegate in Southeast Michigan.

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Example of wonderful items for sale via silent auction. Mrs. Gail Bond has handled our auction tables for 10 years, always adding a touch of beauty to the items displayed!

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Beatrice Cochran has served as the creative chairperson of the HVM fundraising committee for eleven years.

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Lorielle Walker beautifully gathered the guests of the Gala through song. Lorielle  is a 12th grader who dreams of a career in the world of drama.  Lorielle is a granddaughter of Mrs. Beatrice Cochran.

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Christ the King parish table.  Dr. Paul and Mrs. Dorothy Sullivan have supported the Nigerian mission in Abuja for over fifteen years.  Sr. Fiorentina, HVM, continues to serve as a volunteer at Christ the King parish, where she has ministered for over 30 years.

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Mr. Samuel Onyene, a Knight of Columbus and member of HVM fundraising committee, and Sr. Chioma, HVM.  In recognition of his Nigerian heritage, Mr. Onyene has been a key leader in the commitment of the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral Knights of Columbus to supporting the HVM Nigerian mission.

14 IMG_4196aMr. and Mrs. Beck, from Sacred Heart parish.

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Sr. Mary Finn, HVM, standing right, shares with the St. Margaret Mary parish table.  Nigerian Sister Noel, center, was also part of the St. Margaret Mary parish table.

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Horizon House, directed by Martha Lum, an HVM Associate and member of the fund raising committee, support the mission by their presence and volunteer services.

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Deacon Rafael Jimenez (center) and his wife Margarita (violet sweater) gathered family together for an evening of sharing.

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Left – Mrs. and Mr. Joseph Emeroun with son.   Joseph is the brother of our Sr. Clare, HVM, in Nigeria.   Center – Mr.  Samuel Onyene, HVM fundraising committee.  Right – Sr. Chioma, HVM,  Our Nigerian connection.


Gift Bags for $10.00 each sparked high level of guest interest!  Possible Christmas gifts?

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Sr. Laura Marie, HVM, 3rd from left, and three smiling friends.

22 A IMG_4225 SHVM Galaa

Thelma Wilson, left, sold the winning ticket to Marie Perez.

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Sr. Rosemarie Abate at the head table.

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Above and below:  Fundraising committee members and HVM sisters are recognized.   Committee members: Beatrice Cocheran, chairperson, Gail Bond, Akua Budu-Watkins, Jo Ann Cain, Esme Carson, Charlotte Davidson, Linda Franklin, Martha Lum, Jean Merrille, Samuel Onyene, Marsha Polus, Janet Sapanaro, Mary Sears, Denise Sears, Augusta Stephens, Barbara Walker, Thelma Wilson.  HVM sisters present:  Srs. Mary Jane, Mary Francis, Mary Finn, Fiorentina, Laura Marie, Chioma, Rosemarie.

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Above: Happy dancers – both young and younger – enjoying the music by Ronnie Bonds, disc jockey.

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James Taylor, senior at MSU, volunteered to grace the Gala with his piano music.   James is grandson of Mrs. Cochran.  He hopes to succeed in the world of music.