Sr. Calista at Our Lady of the Rosary School

Our Lady of the Rosary School Children

In October 2021, Srs. Calista and Chioma, HVM, took positions at Our Lady of the Rosary Nursery and Primary School in Kpaduma, an impoverished area on the outskirts of Abudja, the capital of Nigeria,   Srs. Calista and Chioma want to help provide solid moral and academic foundations for the children of Kpaduma in keeping with HVM’s core value of universal love and service to those in need.  Impoverished Kpaduma abuts the rich and prosperous Asokoro district of Abudja.  

Catholic education in Nigeria is focused on forming compassionate and just leaders who will be prepared in the future to confront the complexities of the ever-changing Nigerian society.  Nigerian bishops write: “We admonish all Christians … to always seek out ways of doing something concrete to make society better.”  Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, August 2021.

Given the poverty of Kpaduma, your generous financial contribution to help pay student tuition would be a blessed event that echoes through the years as children born to slum parents grow into educated men and women, prepared to help better their communities.  Tuition is less than $50 US per yearCan you or your organization help?

Sr. Calista writes this letter to you:

On 4th October, 2021, l reported to school as the new Head teacher of Our Lady of the Rosary Nursery and Primary School, Kpaduma.  Kpaduma is a slum, an extension of Asokoro. It is overpopulated and abandoned by the government, and the occupants are truly suffering. It’s about 10 kilometres from our convent.

As someone who has a passion for indigent children, especially when it comes to denying them the right to be educated, l was moved with pity as a good number of the children were sent home, because they have not been able to pay their last academic session school fees. On arrival to Kpaduma, Sr. Chioma and I visited the families in their homes.  The stories that pierced my heart were those of parents as they narrated their family challenges, and their desire for their children to have the opportunity to be in school with others.

The parents of about half of the population of the school cannot afford to pay their school fees, and worse still, buying text books. It pierced my heart to hear that some pupils go to waste bins to pick disposed items so as to sell them to pay their fees or to buy text books. It is as bad as this!

Our Lady of the Rosary Nursery and Primary has 290 pupils and 14 teaching and non- teaching staff.  The  Nursery section  is for 3-5 year olds; the Primary section is grades 1-6.  Because of the poverty, the upper primary has children even up to 14 years of age who normally would be in secondary school but have not advanced. Even many 9 and 10 year olds are far behind. The need for sponsorships is the greatest for ages 4, 5, 9, 11,12.  The yearly fee is $43.87 US!

The local Rotary Club and other large-hearted people of God have intermittently supported the school by paying the school fees of some of the pupils and even erected two buildings for the school. But earnestly, we need more support which will afford some of the indigent pupils the great opportunity to be in school with their mates, and by so doing, we put smiles on their faces.

The sisters do not have any place to use as an office, but our joy is the small role we are playing in their lives, ensuring that morality is inculcated in them as well as sound and qualitative education.

Thank you so much for your efforts and sacrifices to ensure that indigent children are given a better future.  Education is the highest tool to a brighter future and greatness.

Many blessings!

Sr. Calista, HVM

Send your generous contributions marked for “Tuition Support” to Sisters, Home Visitors of  Mary, 121 E. Boston Blvd, Detroit, MI or to donate monthly via credit card click on the Donate button under “Donate Monthly” at the Donate/Contact Us tab on this website.  

Reflection on Fratelli Tutti

Fifteen people of diverse backgrounds joined with Sr. Rosemarie Abate HVM  at Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Detroit on October 9, 2021,  to reflect on Fratelli Tutti, the encyclical issued by Pope Francis in 2020 on loving and openness to all brothers and sisters regardless of nation or circumstance. 

Fratelli Tutti is at once both simple and profound.  It speaks to the day-to-day realities of our modern world.   It calls to action people and their institutions on diverse topics covering immigration, politics, justice, mercy, religion and interpersonal dialogue.  It points to Fraternal love and Social Friendship as the way to build better, more just and peaceful societies worldwide. 

Abdual Salam Lahawl of Sienna Literacy Center was keynote speaker.  Fluent in 4 languages and father of 7 beautiful children, Abudual shared his world-spanning life journey that led him to his abiding acceptance of all other people … “See people before you judge them”.

Table groups discussed issues arising from Chapter Three of Fratelli Tutti in, candidly sharing their  cross-cultural and cross-racial experiences and opinions.  All felt moved by a spirit of openness and acceptance.  All hope to return again for similar reflections.  Please contact Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary at homevisitors@att.net if you would like to join a future Fratelli Tutti reflections.

It is by encounter that bridges are built.  Bishop Braxton.

We are a single family dwelling in a Common Home.  Pope Francis.

The meeting closed with a Prayer for Civility from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Other Reference materials:

Short Summary  of Fratelli Tutti >>> click here.

Full text of Fratelli Tutti >>> click here.

Reflections on Fratelli Tutti >>>> click here.

 

National Migration Week

“An Ever Wider WE”

National Migration Week 2021 takes place September 20-26 and will climax with the Vatican’s celebration of  the World Day of Migrants and Refugees on Sunday, September 26.  In his letter announcing this year’s theme Toward an ever wider “we”, Pope Francis emphasized that “this focus calls on us to ensure that after all this, we will think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those'”, but only ‘us” (Fratelli Tutti, 35).

Sr. Sylvia at St. Joseph and Mary School

HVM Sr. Sylvia Etim is now devoting her energy and talents to work at St. Joseph and Mary secondary school in Korinya, a city in Gboko Diocese in Benue state in southeastern Nigeria.   The school is primarily a boarding school with students living on campus.  Local people work mostly in farming.  The area is a calm and safe environment for growing crops in the fields and and for growing beautiful minds and souls in the  school. 

This is in the heart of  the area throughout Nigeria and Cameroon populated by Tiv people, an important African ethnic group, who trace their proud and peaceful culture back many hundreds of years into the past.   The Tiv language is spoken by about 15 million people.  HVM Sr. Lydia, who is also missioned with Sr. Sylvia at St. Joseph and Mary school, is Tiv and speaks the Tiv language.

Sr.  Sylvia works as Vice-Principal handling administrative duties and student affairs, especially for students who live on campus.  It’s often hard for parents to afford the expense of quality education, but their sacrifice and that of the HVM Sisters and others helps ensure a brighter future for students at St. Joseph and Mary school.    

 

New HVM Leadership Team

August 2021:  We welcome our new Home Visitors leadership team and ask blessings upon them as they begin their role of leadership in directing the HVM mission and caring for the religious congregation for the next four years.  Please say a prayer that the Holy Spirit may guide their discernments and they are open to the voice of the Lord and the needs of God’s people.

Sr. Clare, administrator

Sr. Winnifred, vicar (fills in if necessary for administrator)

Sr. Vivience

Sr. Sylvia

Sr. Barbara

Keep the Mission Rolling

Dear Friends of Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary,

As we reflect on the loving presence of the Spirit of Jesus and His/Her moving power to “Go out into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all”  (Mark 16:14), our Sisters in Nigeria are in dire need of assistance to “Go Out” to carry out these words of our Lord.    A trustworthy vehicle is needed for the Sisters in Gwagwalada, Nigeria, to attend Mass, teach religion classes and serve their other inspired missions .

Donations from people like you have funded the Home Visitors of Mary in Nigeria for the past 20 years. Your generosity is even more important now as our normal fundraisers and parish mission appeals have been cancelled for two years due to the  Covid-19 pandemic.

May God bless you as you hear and respond to the cry of the poor.

Donations can be made on this web site at Donate or by check mailed to Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary at 121 E. Boston Blvd, Detroit, MI 48202.

Sincerely,

Sr. Rosemarie Abate, HVM

 

 

 

Pope Francis at Easter: No one is least, No one is excluded

Vatican photo of Pope Francis Easter Vigil Mass

Celebrating the 9th Easter of his pontificate, Pope Francis delivered a homily at the Easter Vigil Mass, reflecting on the Easter episode of the women at the tomb.  The Pope drew attention to what the angel told them.   “Wonder at hearing the words: ‘Do not be afraid!” the Pope said.  “You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He has risen’.  And a message:  ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him’.”

Galilee, an outpost farthest from the ritual purity of Jerusalem, was where Jesus began His mission.  There, He brought His message to “those struggling to live from day to day, the excluded, the vulnerable and the poor”.  It is in such peripheries that God tirelessly seeks out those who are discouraged or lost.  He goes to the “very peripheries of existence, since in His eyes no one is least, no one is excluded”.  Thus, the Risen Lord is asking His disciples to go to the settings of daily life, the streets we travel every day, the corners of our cities.  “There the Lord goes ahead of us and makes Himself present in the lives of those around us, those who share in our day, our home, our work, our difficulties, and hopes.”  The Pope said, “We will be amazed how the greatness of God is revealed in littleness, how His beauty shines forth in the poor and simple.”

In the hour of darkness when humanity is grappling with the pandemic and other ills, Christians need to take to heart the Easter message of the angel not to be afraid, assured that in Galilee where the Lord precedes them, their expectations will be fulfilled, their tears will be dried and their fears will be replaced by hope.

Read entire article here  –  https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2021-04/pope-francis-easter-vigil-homily-galilee-begin-anew-2021.html

 

MI Sisters condemn statements by GOP Chairman

Shocking and Horrifying Statements

Ron Weiser, University of Michigan photo

Sisters Home Visitors of Mary joined with sisters from other Michigan congregations in condemning the recent statements of Ron Weiser,  Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and Regent of the University of Michigan.   On Thursday March 25,  Weiser referred to Michigan Governor Gretchen Witmer, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel as three “‘witches” to be burned at the stake.  And he mentioned “assassination” as a possible action while discussing Republicans who had voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.

https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/michigan-gop-chair-calls-whitmer-nessel-benson-witches-who-should-be-burned

https://www.michiganadvance.com/2021/03/26/state-gop-chair-calls-whitmer-nessel-benson-witches-to-be-burned-at-the-stake-jokes-about-meijer-upton-being-assassinated/

Leaders of Catholic Sisters congregations throughout Michigan issued this statement:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     Monday, March 29, 2021

 STATEMENT OF LEADERS OF CONGREGATIONS OF MICHIGAN CATHOLIC SISTERS
CALLING FOR RON WEISER’S REMOVAL AS CHAIR OF THE MICHIGAN REPUBLICAN PARTY AND RESIGNATION AS REGENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

As women of faith whose congregations have served the people of Michigan – men and women, Republican and Democratic – for 1,084 collective years, we were deeply troubled and alarmed to hear University of Michigan Regent and Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser refer to our state’s top three elected women officials as “witches” that the GOP’s “job now is to soften up” so that “when we have good candidates to run against them that they are ready for the burning at the stake.”

This language is not only abhorrent on its face, it poses a real and present danger to the three elected leaders and to all women in Michigan, giving bullies and abusers public license to vent their anger and vitriol on the bodies of real women in our cities, neighborhoods, and State Capitol. One in three Michigan families are already impacted by domestic violence and over 100 domestic violence-related murders occur in Michigan every year, according to Haven, a national nonprofit promoting violence-free homes and communities.

In our faith tradition, all people are made in the image of God. This kind of abusive language, displaying misogynistic contempt for women, is abominable. It has no place in our public discourse and is appalling coming from a Regent of one of our nation’s premier educational institutions. Chairman Weiser’s inflammatory aside about “other than assassination” as to how to deal with two Michigan Republicans who voted to impeach President Trump is both shocking and horrifying. No political party should associate itself with such deeply disturbing remarks, much less abide them in its own leader.

We call for Ron Weiser’s resignation as Regent of the University of Michigan and for his removal as Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, urging party leaders to clearly and unequivocally condemn these dangerous and alarming comments.

The Michigan Catholic Sisters issuing this call include the elected leaders of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids, Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Monroe), Home Visitors of Mary, Servants of Jesus, Marist Sisters, Mission Sisters of the Holy Spirit, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – West Midwest and Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph who comprise Region 7 of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

#          #          #

You can view a video of Weiser’s statements here.  Watch the video here.

Public outcry over Weiser’s words continues to mount.

https://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2021/03/28/u-m-academic-leaders-slam-ron-weiser-witches/7037974002/

https://www.fox17online.com/news/politics/michigan-catholic-sisters-calls-for-weisers-removal-from-positions-after-witches-comments

Late Saturday, one day before Palm Sunday when Jesus met with the Pharisees,  Weiser issued a prepared statement in apology, saying “I apologize to those I offended for the flippant analogy about three women who are elected officials and for the off-hand comments about two other leaders. I pledge to be part of a respectful political dialogue going forward.”   Earlier in the day the Michigan Republican Party issued a separate tweet, “Dana Nessel should spend less time on her manufactured outrage about an animated local political meeting and more time protecting victims of Larry Nassar.”

Sisters HVM at Easter 2021


May Life Spring Up in Us

as we open ourselves to the Spirit
filled with hope and peace

 

Ten years ago our Sisters opened Little Angels School in Ichama, diocese of Oktupo in the southern part of Benue state.   This Easter 2021 Sr. Lydia and Sr. Sylvia, Home Visitors, begin ministering at St. Joseph Parish in Korinya city in the diocese of Gboko, also in Benue state.  Benue state is the heart of Tivland culture and Korinya is another small city in a rural setting.  If you visited today you would want to escape the 107 temperatures by seeking the cool 103 temperatures of the shade.

St. Joseph Korinya parish happens to be the starting point of Catholicism in Tivland.  The parish has a nursery, a primary school, a boys and girls high school, (day and boarding) as well as a clinic.   Recently the priest added an ICT center  to the elementary school so pupils can learn basic computer knowledge before moving to secondary school.   The bishop underscores the importance of education, especially of the poor, in this growing area filled with tensions.   Pray for our Sisters going forth with hope to bring peace that comes from a deep respect and love of every person – Catholics – Muslim; farmer-herder; no matter your tribe.  Your donations help provide education for hundreds of youth in a poor farming area.#####

“People ask: What is the most durable power in the universe?   And the fact is that Easter answers that question.  You wonder about it. What is it that is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos? It’s the power of love. Easter tells us that. Sometimes it looks like the other powers are much more durable. Then we come to see that isn’t true. But the most durable lasting power in this world is the power of love.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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