Tea Topic: The Rivers of Detroit

A delightful afternoon was held at Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary convent in Detroit on February 16, 2020, when guest speaker Arlene Reese presented an entertaining lecture on “The Rivers of Detroit”.  This friendly “Tea” event helped raise funds for HVM ministries in Nigeria.  Guests mingled and enjoyed heavenly Tea and snacks prepared by HVM associates.

Arlene Reese is a gifted and energetic woman who is herself a poet and celebrated librarian at Detroit Public Library.  Her lively presentation was based on her research at the library, including facts on the Detroit River’s role in the Underground Railroad, photos of items found on the bottom of the river over the years (!!!) and stories of the Boblo boats and the Purple Gang mobsters running rum from Windsor to Detroit during prohibition. 

Ms. Reese’s presentation closed to long applause with her recitation of American writer Langston Hughes’ 1920 poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”:

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
      flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.


New Year’s Message


Pixabay License. Free for commercial use.

Blessings to you as we walk with hope and dreams into the New Year 2020.  Two of Pope Pope Francis’ recent messages are especially worthy of  our reflection at this time of new beginnings.  His message for 105th World day of Migrants and Refugees 2019 and his message on the Celebration of the World Day of Peace reflect the heart and essence of our HVM mission and vision for the past 70 years. 

In World Day of Migrants he writes:

  • The Lord through migrants invites us to embrace fully our Christian life and contribute to the building up of a world more in accord with God’s plan.
  • When we show concern for migrants, we also show concern for ourselves – we give voice to a part of ourselves that we may keep hidden because it is not well regarded in our throw-away culture
  • Our fear of “the other” conditions our actions and makes us intolerant, closed and even racist.  Fear deprives me of the ability to encounter the other and Jesus.
  • Progress depends on our openness to being touched and moved by those who knock at our door.  Their faces shatter all those false idols that can take over and enslave our lives-idols that blind us to the lives and sufferings of others.
  • A development which excludes makes the rich richer and the poor poorer.  Real development seeks to include all and show concern for coming generations.
  • Person is at the heart of reality – the whole person  and all people.
  • The true model of the Christian is “the last shall be first!”  We need to see, and help others see that migrants and refugees are brothers and sisters to be welcome, respected and loved.

In World Day of Peace he writes:

  • Peace is a journey of hope:  Hope is the virtue that inspires us and keeps us moving forward, even when obstacles seem insurmountable.
  • Peace is a journey of listening:  The world does not need empty words but convinced witnesses, peacemakers who are open to dialogue that rejects exclusion or manipulation.
  • Peace is a journey of reconciliation:  Only by choosing the path of respect can we break the spiral of vengeance and set out on the journey of hope.
  • Peace is a journey of ecological conversion: This conversion must be understood as a transformation of how we relate to our sisters and brother, to other living things, to creation in all its rich variety and tot the Creator who is the origin and source of all life.

Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary on two continents have dedicated their lives to these precepts for the past 70 years.  We thank you for walking with us and we appreciate your support. 

Christmas Greetings from HVM

May the Joy of Christmas ring in your heart and your family!

In the beginning was the Word.  Through Him all things came to be. Whatever came to be in Him, found life,  Life for the light of all.  The light shines on in darkness, A darkness that did not overcome it.   The Word became flesh and made  his dwelling among us.    Coming from the Father, filled with enduring love.  Jn 1.

God fill you with the LIGHT so you know HOPE and Give Hope to others!


Could you or your classroom or organization include in your Christmas giving:

Religious Education Books for children in Nigeria?

Subsidy for Child tuition or Day Care?

Construction costs of Day Care Center?

Solar Panels cost?

Christmas greetings from Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary in both Detroit and in Nigeria!


HVM Celebrate 70 years of Evangelizing

Looking Back

On an icy morning 70 years ago on the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lady, November. 21, 1949, the Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary were born!  Click  here for some history details.

Founding of Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary

Sr. Mary Schutz, foundress of  the HVM, wrote this account in an article celebrating our 50th anniversary in 1999:

        A one inch notice in “The Michigan Catholic” was the initial seed that eventually came to fruition as the Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary.  Miss Josephine Brownson asked for an after-school instructor for Wednesdays – which was my afternoon off from work at Van Antwerp library.  Dr. George Hermann Derry, president of Marygrove College, inspired in me the reality of the Indwelling Presence of the Trinity and a growing awareness that the laity must share in the work of the bishops.

        Miss Brownson introduced me to my class.  All the students were Colored (the term of the time).   I would walk the students a few blocks from the school to St. Peter Claver church (now Sacred Heart Parish) to make a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  St. Peter Claver was treated as a national parish for all Colored Catholics in Detroit east of Woodward.  Later, Fr. Thiefels invited me to take over the Sunday School at the parish. I invited Lou Murphy to teach with me.

        Ten years later, my mother died and I was searching to join a religious congregation that would assure ministering in the Black community. I consulted Msgr. Ryan, head of CCD in the archdiocese.  He said, “I’ve had an idea itching the seat of my pants.  Why not start a community that will go house to house inviting people to the Church and be responsible for catechetics!”

Immigrant Rights Legislation Update

On October 31, 2019, Senate Bill 0631 and 0632 and House Bills 5192 and 5193 were introduced and are sponsored by Sens. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, and Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, in the Senate and Reps. Alex Garza, D-Taylor, and Rachel Hood, D-Grand Rapids, in the House.   Both bills are supported by Michigan Immigrant Rights Center and the Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary.  We encourage you to attend any future hearing and to take a moment to contact your elected officials to express your support.

Find your Michigan Representative

Find your Michigan Senator

The bills would make noncommercial Michigan driver’s licenses and state identification cards available to applicants who do not have proof of U.S. citizenship or immigration status. The bills eliminate the “legal presence” requirement for proving Michigan residency and they would specify types of documentation allowable for proving Michigan residency and identity for the new category of documents.

The bills would have a broad positive impact. They would

  • Allow citizens and currently, eligible immigrants who lack the documentation required by the Secretary of State, to get licenses and state identification cards.
  • Widen the insurance pool and lower costs for all Michigan residents due to unlicensed and uninsured drivers submitting fewer claims.
  • Promote public safety by ensuring that drivers are trained, screened and tested; law enforcement will be able to more efficiently and effectively identify individuals they stop.
  • Increase workforce and economic participation by making it easier for individuals to travel to work, go to the grocery store or doctor, rent an apartment, access health care, purchase insurance, etc.
  • Increase state revenue through vehicle registration and taxes on insurance premiums and car purchases.

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia already have similar laws that provide access to a driver’s license or identification, regardless of immigration status.

The Best Chicken Under Heaven?

Under construction

Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary are happy to announce the completion and recent first habitation of the new poultry house on the grounds of the HVM Formation Center in Gwagwalada, Nigeria.  This new facility was entirely financed by gifts from generous US supporters!  Deep and sincere appreciation goes to all donors.  God bless you for your kindness and benevolence!  May God harken to your prayers and grant your hearts’ desires.

The Sisters HVM have long operated a small poultry pen in the front yard at the Gwagwalada Formation Center.  This new chicken house is much larger.  It can house 500 or more birds, ranging from day-old chicks to fully-grown roaster chickens ready for sale during the upcoming Christmas holiday season.  

Future efforts and financing might extend production to layer hens and eggs which would go much farther in meeting the protein needs of the Sisters and the local community.

15th Annual Fundraising Gala

Sunday, October 13, 2019.
15th Annual Fundraising Gala: .  2-6 p.m.

Fr Don Archambault

Join other supporters of Sisters Home Visitors of Mary at the beautiful St John Armenian Conference Center, Southfield, MI on Sunday, October 13, 2019, for the 15th Annual SHVM fundraising gala.

This year joyfully honoring Fr. Donald Archambault, retiring Corpus Christi pastor, for his many years of dedication as pastor in the City.

New earlier start time this year:  2:00 pm.  Dinner at 3:00 pm

Proceeds from the annual fundraising gala will go to support the HVM missions in Nigeria.   Early childhood formation and family live have always been a focus of HVM.  With your help we hope to build a permanent Home Visitors of Mary Day Care Center and move from the small space Sr. Vivienne has rented the past four years.

The current day care center in Apo, not far from Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Cathedral, provides a loving center for children six months to two years of age.  It’s in an area where both parents must work for a living, struggling to exist.   The HVM sisters support these families by providing a safe and loving environment for the children’s early years.

I wish to support 15th Annual HVM Gala.

If an questions, please contact Sr. Rosemarie Abate at 313-869-2160 or email homevisitors@att.net.


Labor Day 2019: The Dignity of Work

The Dignity of Work & The Rights of Workers.

Labor Day in the US provides an opportunity to reflect on what the Church teaches us about the dignity of work and rights of workers.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, together with Catholic Relief Services, recently created THIS VIDEO (<<< click here) to communicate the Church’s teaching on work.

In the Catholic traditions, work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continued participation in God’s creative action.  As we mark Labor Day in the US, we are invited to reflect on low wages and inequality in our workplaces and how the persistence of low wages is a barrier to full participation in that creative action.

Pope Francis espoused these same principles in his first public writing, “The Joy of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium), the historic Apostolic Exhortation he issued on November 24, 2013.  See especially this summary of his words on failure of traditional economic dogmas >>>  One Of The Most Powerful Critiques Of Modern Capitalism That You Will Ever Read

What can YOU do to support workplaces built upon justice and dignity?


Water for God’s Thirsty Children

Safe water is a fundamental human need and right everywhere in the world.  There is no life without water.  Many of us here in Michigan give little thought to water.  We take it for granted.  We live only miles away from the largest fresh water seas in the world — the Great Lakes — and our local governments usually provide safe and usable water for our everyday needs.

But even close to us, many of our neighbors lack access to safe water: in Flint, lead was allowed into the water by government mismanagement, in Detroit area, our neighbors struggle to keep water service in the face of high prices and overdue bills. 

Elsewhere around the planet people of all ages fall ill and die because of contaminated water.   The World Health Organization estimates that 1,000 children die every day due to illness causes by drinking contaminated water.

Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary in Nigeria are doing there small part to help.  Due to your generous support, the SHVM Formation House property in Gwagwalada is equipped with a deep water well that provides safe water for the sisters.  Local families living nearby have always been welcomed into the front yard to gather water from the SHVM well, thus insuring safe water for household use.  But they still needed to carry the water long distances back  to their homes in heavy buckets. 

To make it easier for their neighbors, the Sisters ran a pipe with faucet from their well directly through the nearby wall of the SHVM compound.  Now the local families have much easier access to share God’s liquid gift from the SHVM deep water well.  And they have much shorter trips to carry the heavy jugs of water back to their homes for their use drinking, cooking, and washing themselves and their children.

This photo taken from a passing car shows a neighbor man filling up water containers at the Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary water faucet.

Other organizations working to improve access to safe water include:  Water With Blessings and Children’s Safe Drinking Water



August 25: Ring Bells for Racial Healing

Dear Friends,

2019 marks the 400th Anniversary of Black enslavement in the United States. Please join Pax Christi USA and the Episcopal Church on August 25th to continue the long walk to freedom and the critical work of racial healing.  See details from Pax Christi below.


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August 19, 2019

From: Pax Christi USA – Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau

Subject: Celebrate the National Day of Healing to Commemorate 400 Years of African American History and Culture

Dear Faithful Members of Pax Christi USA:

On behalf of the Pax Chisti Anti-Racism Team, we are joining with the members of the Episcopal Church on August 25 to participate in a Healing Day of National Bell Ringing.  Please read this letter from the Episcopal Church for more details and information >>>  click here. 

We are inviting you to contact your local Catholic parish asking them to toll their church bells at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, to commemorate the 400 years of African History and Culture in the US and to continue (or begin) the work of racial healing.

If, wherever we are on Aug. 25, individually or as a community, we could find a bell somewhere in our homes and walk out on our porches, patios, yards, or open a window, and ring that bell for the liberation of our brothers and sisters too long denied human dignity and human rights.

Thank you for ringing a bell for long-deserved freedom.

Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau

Interim Executive Director, Pax Christi USA

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Sisters Home Visitors of Mary supporters may also wish to read the The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery.