Nigeria

Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary in Nigeria

HVM sisters in Abuja

HVM sisters outside convent at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria in Abuja in 2011. (Photo by Patricia Lefevere, National Catholic Reporter)

In 2001, Sr. Barbara Dakoske and Sr. Elizabeth Harris moved to Nigeria from Detroit at the invitation of John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, and began ministry of the Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria parish in Abuja.  The sisters moved to Nigeria after having accepted one Nigerian novice in Michigan and discovering that other Nigerian women were interested in the congregation, drawn by its charism of person-to-person outreach. Under the leadership of Msgr. Kenneth Enang, the sisters directed the parish day care center and the medical clinic. In 2002, they were joined by three other women, beginning formation of the HVM religious congregation in Nigeria.  The congregation continues to grow.

There are now 21 Nigerian Home Visitor Sisters and 15 Nigerian Home Visitor Associates.  The sisters are blessed to serve ministries in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, and in nearby Gwagwalada, and in Ichama, Benue State, and in more remote outstation areas.  Ministries include service as teachers, school administrators, catechetical leaders and youth ministers.  HVM sisters created and direct a Women’s Empowerment Center where women learn how to run a life-enhancing microbusiness from home.  Sisters work at the Nigerian Catholic Secretariat and teach at the Home Visitors of Mary Theology Institute.

In March 2012, Sisters Home Visitors of Mary published a catechetical text book for Nigerian youth that introduces a new method of teaching doctrine based on Scripture and the actual life experiences of Nigerian children coupled with Catholic Catechism.  The book has been very well received everywhere it has been introduced!  A contribution of $10.00 US will provide this book to a young student in Nigeria.

Archbishop John Cardinal Onoiyekan wrote:

I find OUR CATHOLIC FAITH: CATECHISM OF BASIC BELIEFS a good material for catechesis in our county for any diocese or parish.   This book will be a good source to inculturate the faith to our young people through bible-based catechesis accompanied with life stories which are the unique characteristics of the book.  This book is a much needed and appreciated addition to the work of handing on the faith.

Sr. Lydia works with student on knitting machine at Sr. Mary Schutz Empowerment Center

Sr. Lydia works with student on knitting machine at Sr. Mary Schutz Womens’ Empowerment Center

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Sr. Clare (center) and Sr. Lydia (right) while doing home visits

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Sr. Vivian (center) and Sr. Jennifer (left) visiting Fulani neighbors near Gwagwalada

Day care center at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria parrish

Day care center at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria parrish

 

 

 

 

 

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