Christmas Message from Sr. Rosemarie

shvm-theadorationofthemagiChristmas Blessings!

Christmas is family time – a time for giving to and receiving from those to whom we relate.  Our Home Visitors mission embodied from the outset on the streets of Detroit and on the roads of Nigeria and in the HVM constitution calls us to witness universal love to all people.  Epiphany, or Little Christmas, raises our view that we are family with all people.  The Magi followed their star, their dream.  May we each have the dream that Christ puts in our hearts – that all will be one; we belong to one family.

Pope Francis’ encyclicals underscore that we share a common home; we are family.  The pope says that Christians must offer a dignified welcome to migrants because every human being is precious and more important than things.

“The worth of an institution (our country, our self) is measured by the way it treats the life and dignity of human beings, particularly when they are vulnerable, as in the case of child migrants.”

Hope is the key to witness the Love we celebrate at Christmas.  When we are hopeful we are energized by our Faith in the One who gifts us with Life, a life we share with all – all people and all creation.

“Jesus, in many ways you are leading strangers into my life.  Give me a humble heart, open to receive gifts from others and to receive others into my heart.  I will then learn that they are my sons and daughters, my brothers and sisters.”  Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., Biblical Meditations for Advent and Christmas Season.

World Day for Migrants and Refugees is January 15.  National Migration Week will be celebrated in the United States January 8-14.  This year’s theme is “Child Migrants, the vulnerable and the Voiceless.”  As we repent may we work to change our laws and behavior so that solutions can be found to the war, greed and corruption that push people and families from their homes; solutions that benefit the entire family, especially the rights and needs of children.

Could you volunteer?

As Catholics who believe in the sanctity of life, we must not be complicit in the suffering of migrants dying in the shadows.   Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center is one organization serving such people in our very diverse metro Detroit area. SWIRC seeks volunteers to assist with the pro bono legal services they provide.  Volunteers are needed for translation and preparation of cases.   Contact Sr. Rosemarie to see how you might help care for our brothers and sisters seeking life.

Might your parish organization in southeast MI be interested in an educational reflection on immigration?  Contact Sr. Rosemarie for details.

Check out US Conference of Catholic Bishops or Latin American Working Group for news on immigration issues.

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Photos from Oct 9 Gala

stjohnarmeniancenterThe SHVM Fundraising Gala at  St. John Armenian Center in Southfield, MI, on October 9, was a wonderful event.  The Gala featured top notch music, theater and dance performances highlighted by a theater program under direction of Gina Ellis, storytelling by Satori Shakoor, and an Adult Dance Troop from Legacy Dance Studio  directed by Rosalind Leath.

Their performances speak to us in harmony with the Sisters Home Visitors of Mary vision of the Mystical Body of Christ, wherein each individual has a place and part to play …




Mr. Joseph Emerou & Family


Msgr. Michael LeFevre


Beatrice Cochran Chairperson of HVM Fundraising Committe



Family of Melissa Belevender


Sr. Rosemarie Abate


Courtney Jackson


Lorielle Walker, onstage


Lorielle Walker


Click here to see dancing … Video


Maria Larkins


Satori Shakoor



Thelma Wilson (r) and friend



Ben Washburn, Mrs. Washburn, Sr. Fiorentina






Kaitlyn Clark


Sr. Mary Finn


Janet Sapanaro


Five smiling ushers and Janet Sapanaro


Two happy young gentlemen


Mr. Hugh Buchanan








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Adopt a Sister!

Help Educate the Sisters

Can you find an Organization or Family to Adopt a Sister in studying for her degree in Nigeria?  $2,000 US would cover living expenses for one year or fees.

Srs Mary Martha (l) and Margaret (r)

Srs Mary Martha (l) and Margaret (r)

Sr. Mary Martha Mbah is in her third year at Veritas University ( thanks to an anonymous donor. Besides carrying a full schedule, Sr. Mary Martha attends St Martin De Porres parish every week-end to lead faith formation for children at religion classes and children’s liturgy as well as develop an empowerment sewing project for women. Sr. Mary Martha has developed a Sunday worship guide for children that she is marketing to several parishes in Abuja; this is new to the churches which may have as many as 500 children for Sunday Mass.

Sr. Lydia Agba

Sr. Lydia Agba

Sr. Lydia Agba began her 3 years at Veritas University this fall with the help of a scholarship  from Catholic  colleges  in PA   Sr. Lydia  initiated the Mary Schutz Women Empowerment Project seven years ago. While studying, Sr. Lydia is developing her connections with organizations serving women who have been caught in trafficking.  She hopes to develop her skills to better serve.




Sr. Jane Nwachukwu

Sr. Jane Nwachukwu

Sr. Jane Nwachukwu has been serving at the Archdiocese of Abuja Development for Peace and Justice Office where she touched the lives of prisoners and internally displaced persons (Nigerian refugees) living in camps around Abuja. She has been given a scholarship to continue her study of law to prepare her for work in peace and justice projects. She begins her studies at Nile University in Abuja.


Sr. Sylvia Etim

Sr. Sylvia Etim

Sr. Sylvia Etim has served the past ten years as religious educator and church secretary at two parishes in Abuja. She will work towards completing her degree at Veritas University.






Sr. Calista and Sr. Helen, Little Angels School

Sr. Calista and Sr. Helen, Little Angels School

Sr. Calista Iwu has served as principal of Little Angels School in Ichama, Benue State since its beginning 5 years ago. In addition to her overwhelming responsibilities at school, Sr. Calista is working on her Masters degree in administration.



Sr. Juliana

Sr. Juliana

Sr. Juliana is working on her masters degree in England.  A scholarship covers her tuition costs but substantial additional living expenses still need to be covered.






PLEASE CONTACT SR. ROSEMARIE AT HVM in DETROIT if you can adopt any of our Sisters for a year.

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Upcoming Gala – Sunday, Oct 9

stjohnarmeniancenterThe soon-to-arrive SHVM Fundraising Gala on Sunday, October 9, promises to be a wonderful event.  To be held this year at the beautiful St. John Armenian Center in Southfield, MI, the gala will feature top notch music, theater and dance performances by renowned local artists to accompany a sumptuous dinner and cash bar.  Items for sale via Silent Auction and a “Five and Dime” per bag table will raise funds to support Home Visitors of Mary missions in Nigeria.

Entertainment will be highlighted by a theater program under direction of Gina Ellis, storytelling by Satori Shakoor, and an Adult Dance Troop from Legacy Dance Studio  directed by Rosalind Leath.

Doors open at 5:00 pm.  Dinner at 6:00.   Home by 9:30 pm.  Special honorees this year are The Ladies of St. Peter Claver.  Donation: $90.00.  Table of 8: $600.

Tickets can purchased online using the Donate/Contact tab above.  Be sure to include a note saying the payment is for tickets to the 2016 Gala.

Map & directions to the golden spire of St. John’s Armenian Church & Cultural Center, 22001 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, MI 48075, 248-569-3405.


  • From the East, South or West: enter parking lot from northbound Southfield Road service drive.
  • From Northwest: exit southbound Lodge at Northland exit.  Immediate turn right on Winora and enter parking lot.
  • From North:  travel southbound Southfield Road to Lodge Xway exit.  Take right of exit branch to Northwestern Highway.  Turn right at Winora and enter parking lot.


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HVM News from Nigeria


!00 Srs Winifred and ChiomaPlenty of HVM good news from Nigeria!  Sr. Rosemarie Abate returned to Detroit from a month-long visit with her HVM Sisters in Nigeria.  She is delighted to share from her trip, highlighted by the joy of witnessing the perpetual profession by Rev. Srs. Winifred Umoh and Chioma Unomah on August 21 at St. Paul Parish in Gwagwalada.   Sr. Monika Etokudoh also professed her first vows.  The ceremonies and Sunday Eucharist were celebrated by Most Rev. Anselm Umoren, Auxiliary Bishop of Abuja.


Srs. Winifred, Chioma & Monica

The beauty and struggle of the future is being confronted with boldness, courage and conviction by the Sisters Home Visitors of Mary in Nigeria.  Growth and involvement are blossoming.  We’ll try hard to report further on the activities and challenges of our sisters in future online posts and at the upcoming SHVM Gala at St. John Armenian Cultural Center in Southfield, MI on Sunday, October 9.  The formation house in Gwagwalada is nearer to completion.  The Home Visitors of Mary Theology Institute housed there provides certified pastoral ministry and theology courses through CIWA (Catholic Institute of Western Africa) especially for laity and women religious.  In addition, the Home Visitors will be welcoming Blessing Oluchulawu as a candidate on September 12.  Blessing has been a pre-candidate for 2 years as she finished her degree and government community service requirement of college graduates.

Profile of Sr. Winifred …

!SHVM Sr. Winifred

Profile of Sr. Chioma …

!SHVM Sr. Chioma

Associate members also play an important role in HVM ministries.  Associates meet at 7:00 pm the third Tuesday of every month at the SHVM convent at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria in Abuja.  They welcome new members …

!SHVM Associate Members

In addition to the profession of vows by Srs. Winifred, Chioma and Monika, Sisters Home Visitors of Mary also held their quadrennial chapter congress attended by all available Sisters.  See smiling sisters below posing with His Lordship Most Rev. Anselm Umoren, Auxiliary Bishop of Abuja  …

!00 All Sisters with Bishop Anselm

Below: Elected leadership of SHVM.   Sr. Mary Divine, Sr. Barbara, Sr. Clare, Sr. Calista, Sr Rosemarie.  With Most Rev. Anselm Umoren, Auxiliary Bishop of Abuja …

!SHVM Chapter Leadership photo IMG_20160811_114224

Below:  Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Cathedral in Abuja.  The SHVM convent is right across the parking lot from the cathedral.


KODAK Digital Still Camera

Our Lady Queen of Nigeria

Below:  typical Sunday attendance at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Sunday attendance

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Sunday attendance

Below:  Sisters Home Visitors of Mary Convent at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Sisters Home Visitors of Mary Convent

Below:  scenes from day care center near the SHVM convent & Our Lady Queen of Nigeria.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Below:  scenes from day care center and book store in nearby Apo.  Click here to see a fuller description of these two new SHVM endeavors.

Nap time in Apo

Nap time in Apo

KODAK Digital Still Camera



Srs Rose and Viivienne at bookstore

Srs Rose and Vivienne at bookstore


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Thank you from Ichama

Dear Sr. Rosemarie,

Sr. Calista and Sr. Helen, Little Angels School

Sr. Calista and Sr. Helen, Little Angels School

Thank you so much to the children of Holy Name School.  May God continue to bless them and crown with success their every good effort.  And thank you for your efforts, Sister, especially for the efforts you are making to raise money for the less privileged in our school.

The children of Little Angels School are very grateful. They are now preparing for their final examination which will qualify them to be promoted to the next class if they pass. Schools here in Benue State will be going on vacation on 18th July.

I thank God for the life of Mrs. Mitchell and for her happy retirement.  I pray God will continue to bless her and always meet her at the point of her needs. I will write to her later.

Since we started this term, I have used part of the money you sent to buy uniform wears for about 20 of them. Sister, you need to see some of these children and what they wear to school –  something that is not good to wear or even to stay at home, they wear it to school.  We have 3 uniform wear options and out of this 3, some don’t have even one that is presentable.  It pains me so much when I see them.   I will pay the school fees of about 20 children this term with the same money.   What I need now is resources to enable me to fully take care of the uniforms, books and fees of the children here that so much need help.

Thank you once again, Sister. If not for you, I know that a good number of the children in our school now would have had the opportunity to be here

Love to our Sisters.  And to all.

Sr. Calista

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Holy Name School 1st Grade Missionaries

First grade students at Holy Name Catholic School in Birmingham, MI, raised more than $400 for Little Angels School in Ichama, Nigeria.

00 Holy Name 1st Graders

First grade teacher Mrs. Zanda Mitchell prepared our future mission-conscious Christians by leading her first graders in a cookie & bake sale to help children at Little Angels School, where 3 HVM sisters serve as director and teachers.   Tuition at Little Angels School is $10.00 per year but even this small amount is too much for some local families in Ichama.  The money raised by the first graders at Holy Name are enough to pay tuition for 40 children.

How have you helped our children experience the joy of sharing and merciful giving?  You can help support the same efforts as these “small” missionaries at Holy Name School.   Go to the Contact Us/Donate  page on this website and click on the “Donate” button there.  A single $10 donation is enough for a full year’s tuition.

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