REGIONAL CHAPTER 2024

At every interval of three (3) years, each unit of the congregation of Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ holds a chapter. A meeting requiring the presence of all members of the particular unit.  During this gathering, an honest review of our lives lived in the past three (3) years is made, as well as a look at how we have carried out our mission and the progress we are making. During chapter too, members have the obligation to elect a leadership team who will pilot the affairs of the region for the next three (3) years. On the 19th through the 23rd of February, 2024 we had our regional chapter with the theme “See I am doing a new thing” excerpted from Isaiah 43:19. the well discerned theme which was carefully selected by Sr. Kelechi and her team, fostered active interactions and participation during the chapter. The sisters in the region showed a great sense of readiness and ownership of the chapter event. We were blessed with the presence of the general Leadership, represented by Sisters Judith Diltz and Betty Alexander.  Every sister both young and old made meaningful imputes and suggestions on how to move the region forward as we envisage all round sustainability in the nearest future. 

We can say that the spirit of God was with us during this time, as the chapter was indeed a solemn celebration.  The simple but very creative and captivating liturgies that ushered us into, as well as ended each day of the chapter, made visible God’s presence among us. Together, and as inspired by the Holy Spirit we resolved in this new beginning, to intentionally live community in communion, to participate in the healing process already began in the region, and to accompany one another in our journey to wholeness.  Guided by our general superior Sr. Judith Diltz, the general Vicar Sr. Betty Alexander and the chapter facilitator Sr. Olivia Umoh DC, the sisters of the region elected a new leadership team who will serve the region for the next three (3) years. Sr. Kelechi Ifoegbu was re-elected as the regional superior, Sr. Chinasa Egeh as the Vicar, Sr. MaryAnn Osaroejii re-elected as councillor and Sr. Irene Alonge as Councillor.   Together, the sisters also came up with the following Mission and Vision Statements:

 VISION STATEMENT:

Having encountered God and one another in our second regional chapter, we the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ feel renewed to courageously move into the future, we envision a region where sisters are united and every sister feels a deep sense of belonging to contribute her giftedness.

MISSION STATEMENT:

We the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ in Nigeria region Renewed by the spirit of our second regional chapter commit to:

Engage in attentive listening, forgive readily, embrace healing, live in genuine love, seeking the good of one another and bearing witness in the world.

These Statements are to give a sense of direction and area of focus to the newly elected regional leadership team, as well as all the sisters in the Nigerian region.


We are happy to share some development in the Widows’ Program in Mgbele in the South East. There the group is steadily growing, and the sisters help the poor women as much as they can. With the help of Frauenmissionswerk, the widows could regularly be given food stuff, and they also received medical care and medicine when they needed it. Right now, the situation is getting worse again. We help as much as we can and thank you for supporting us.


August 2020: A Dream came true. On August 15th, the 6th mission house in Nigeria could be opened – in Azhin Kasa, where our sisters have been teaching since 2008 but never could live there. They had to travel to and from, also using the school bus to bring the students from the villages and take them back in the afternoon, and in that way they missed a lot of community life. So now the sisters teaching in Azhin Kasa also will live there and form community themselves. That is a very happy event.


June 2020: We know from our own countries how Corona Pandemic works and how bad the consequences are, whether people get sick or not. If a person who earns money day by day, is forbidden to leave home, then the whole family will go hungry. Widows are always in danger of extreme poverty in countries like Nigeria. If there is no market, no small items can be sold and so no food can be bought.

The German mission foundation “Women for women”, donated a special amount for our sisters in Nigeria to care for the widows. The sisters bought food items for the widows in all missions. Besides giving out food, there was a medical check-up mainly for high blood pressure, and medication was given out when needed. A great help for all. We are grateful – and the widows rejoice with the sisters.


After long waiting and many applications finally the building of a new convent in Azhin Kasa, Niger State, has been brought up so that we can see it. It is meant to house the sister teachers who so far, since 2008, spent many hours every school day in the school bus collecting and taking back the children before they finally got to Garam and their home convent. With the new convent which hopefully soon can be opened, there can be real community life for the sisters. We are very happy that through the generous donation by a former sister teacher, this building could be put up. 


On March 28th we could celebrate the first profession of three of our novices: Sr. Faith, Sr. Nwadinma and Sr. Osinachi. Owing to the outbreak of the Pandemic, only very few family members could attend. But it was a joyful day for all and we thank God for it.



For a long time sisters had been waiting for this new building in Azhin Khasa. It has reached the first step in the construction now. There is still a lot to do, but the hope exists that the sisters teaching there, soon will be able to live next to the school. Now they have to leave Garam before 6 a.m. with the first school bus and only return after 6 p.m. The generous donation of a benefactor in Germany made that possible. We are very grateful.

Finally, after many quite hard times, we could start the project to work against female genital mutilation in Nigeria in October. A team of 30 women and 30 young men have started their training, so that they can then go into the villages belonging to one county in the South-East to talk to the village meetings, the men and the women to make them see how harmful and dangerous this tradition is, and to monitor that the so-called “cutting” is no longer done.


The number of students in Ifon Ilobu is growing steadily and Srs. Salem and Benedicta can work quite well  in our newest and small school.


During the General Chapter in May 2019 our new General Leadership was elected. For Nigeria, we are especially happy with Srs. Annemarie and Jacqueline, since both of them know African conditions. We wish the whole team God’s richest blessings. They will begin their office August 3rd, 2019.

A new letter to the benefactors of our mission is being mailed at the beginning of July 2019. You can download it here



January 2019
From the beginning, we have a mobile clinic in Ibokun besides the domestic school in this convent. Sr. Irene is working there as a nurse and now often goes to a camp in this little town far down in the Nigerian southwest. Refugees from the north, who had to flee after their villages have been burnt by Boko Haram, get no help from anyone except the Catholic church. The priest goes there to look after the people, and Sr. Irene goes there to care for the sick. She just found a pregnant woman in a very bad state and took her to hospital, hoping that she can get help. The refugees need about everything: food, clothes, shelter – and above all a loving and welcoming heart.