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.

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Sunday attendance

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Sunday attendance

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

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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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New Bookstore and Day Care Center in Apo

00 st_charles_lwanga1Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary in Nigeria has given full support to two creative new projects by Sr. Vivienne Eze, HVM.   After several years of week-end pastoral ministry at St. Charles Lwanga Parish in Apo, named in honor of  St. Charles and his companion martyrs of Uganda, Sr. Vivienne has ventured two new endeavors there:  a Bookstore and Precious Baby Day Care.

The bookstore is located within the parish premises.   Stocked with bibles, spiritual books and religious articles, it attracts the new parishioners of the parish in Apo, a developing satellite town southeast of the Nigerian capital city of Abuja.   Utube video of parish mass and choir is below.

Precious Baby Day Care provides a caring environment for children of young working parents. Parents know and trust Sr. Vivienne and are grateful to have a Day Care in close proximity to their living quarters.

The brightly decorated rooms for infants and toddlers contain colorful sleeping mats, attractive learning materials, charts, white board, TV, tables and chairs.  Sr. Vivienne, a gifted singer and well qualified in early child development, plans each day’s activities of songs, stories, ABC’s , play, eating and sleep time ready for the children to be picked up by their parents.

You can help support the Sisters Home Visitors of Mary book store and day care center by using the Donate button on the SHVM Contacts page.

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Sr. Rosemarie Easter Message

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Joyous Easter Greetings!

May our Easter reflections shatter our fears and fill us with awe so we go forth with hope and purpose.  May new life blossom in and around us as we become more open to mercy and a compassionate presence with one another.

Please pray for out Nigerian Sisters as they touch families and children in their communities through religion classes, at schools and in day cares.  And as they reach out to those hospitalized, imprisoned and displaced by terrorism.

Thank you for being in mission with us through your prayers and generosity.  Starting with two Sisters from Detroit, the HVM community in Nigeria now numbers twenty-five vowed religious women in the Home Visitors congregation.  The building of our formation house and development of the Pastoral Institute in Gwagwalada has been a dream made real through your support.  The chapel still needs to be finished but the classes, library and computer classes are already happening.

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Evangelization goes on in many ways.  Our HVM ministry is after all (as it has always been) to build up the Church, not buildings.  Sr. Vivienn is opening a bookstore and day care as well as continuing her pastoral ministry at St. Charles Lawange parish in Apo.  Sr. Juliana is working with the justice office while Sr. Anne focuses on prison ministry in the Kuje area.  Sr. Lydia opened a second women’s empowerment program to serve victims of human trafficking.  These are just some of the new happenings this year.  May the Spirit continue to guide and empower growth into all it can be.

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Thank your for walking with our HVM sisters as they reach out to share the Joy of the Gospel in the lives of others.  We beg you to consider supporting the preparation of religious and laity to help form the growing Catholic family in Nigeria.  We hear how the cost of college education is keeping women from joining religious congregations in the USA; the same is true in Nigeria.  Could you or your Knights of Columbus group or your sorority or church committee adopt a HVM sister’s education?

Thank you for your prayerful consideration.


Sister Rosemarie Abate, HVM

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Holy Name 1st Graders Live the Joy of the Gospel

The children and staff of Holy Name School, Birmingham, MI, put into practice the call of Pope Francis to live the Joy of the Gospel by showing mercy and by sharing our goods with others.

On January 22, the first grade Missionaries of Mercy at Holy Name collected clothing, household items, and toys for donation to St. Raymond – Our Lady of Good Council parish Thrift Store in Detroit.  00 Holy Name 1st Grade This project was a great success due to the generosity of Holy Name families.  Two vans full of toys, pots and pans, dishes, and household goods were delivered to the thrift store, where families moving back in to nearby abandoned homes can shop for basic household items with a dollar or less. The thrift store and St. Vincent DePaul parish conference are ways of reaching out with the compassion of Christ.   Sisters Home Visitors of Mary serve in the parish and oversee the Thrift Store.

Under the wonderful formation of their teacher Mrs. Zanda Mitchell, the first graders will also have a bake sale to support their sister school in Ichama, Nigeria. This is the 2nd year that Mrs. Mitchell has linked these young Christians’ hearts and hands to bring her children into mission with the Home Visitors of Mary here at home and in Nigeria.

Ball Into Basket Competition

Little Angels School in Ichama, Nigeria

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New Year in Adamawa, Nigeria

0 20160101_112641We are blessed to receive and be able to share this moving account from Sister Clare Emeruom on her new year visit to villagers in Adamawa state in northeastern Nigeria.

Sr. Clare captures the heart of the HVM sprit!  Through the magic of the internet we are able to share her journey almost instantaneously.

Via email from Sr. Clare ——-

“Thank you sister Rosemarie for your good new year wishes.

I went for an unforgettable missionary experience in the interiors of Adamawa state.

I had the desire to spend part of the Christmas/new year holidays with a different people, to reach out to those not my own, to see a different place and to meet a different people.  I also wanted to test my courage. The state I went to, Adamawa, is in the north east where boko haram thrive.  People put fear in me when they heard of where I wanted to go but I thought “Is it not humans that live there?

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I thought of being in solidarity with the people over there. I went and everywhere was calm and serene. Things are going on well.  I was informed that the area never experienced any attack of boko haram in spite of the fact that they are located in the middle of the bush, in totally remote and deserted area.  So it was good to know that boko haram terrorists are not in all the areas in the north.


In those small villages, people came to new years eve vigil mass and masses at dawn in huge numbers without fear, relaxed and sang praises to God.  When the people were told in Church that I too am originally from the far east of the country, they were surprised I made the decision to come. They were very happy and grateful.   I was glad I did.  I am glad I was able to reach out.  I am glad I could value the poor of a different people.


The new year eves vigil mass I attended was in a small village called Detti in the middle of the bush. No roof, fallen walls, no light. Total darkness all around, even though we started the mass as early as 7:00 pm.


It was good to see another world in a community you drive to via a bush bumpy path for up to 70-100 km. No hospital, no market, no water but for little streams which are almost dried out due to dry season.


I was well welcomed as I could pick and say a little in their language. I greeted them in Church in their native language.  The morning after New Year mass in another community called Jamgbunu, the women came to visit me specially with a basin of groundnuts.  They live by their farm produce and bush meat.  It was such a good experience to see them still happy and healthy and worshiping God. They only have one catholic church there with a young priest doing his best.


I also did a lot of home to home visitation. Wonderful people there.  It was certainly a different New Year celebration for me.  I resume work officially today. Tomorrow and next we will have our usual retreat to begin the year.


The different communities I visited shown in the pictures are Detti, Jamgbunu and Karlahi.

Rev. Sr. Clare Emeruom, HVM “

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