October 2017: Children grow fast, and they grow out of their clothing even faster. The same was true for almost all our children at the Angel Guardian Home in Mgbele. When the sisters returned from their meeting in Germany, they could bring new Sunday dresses along. Here some of the girls show the new things, admiring each other.
In the new mission in the southwest of Nigeria, in Ibokun, not far from Ifetedo, the sisters are very busy. The institute for catering and domestic work offers an education for mainly poor young women, girls and some boys. They are eager to learn.For some it is even difficult to pay the small amount for the food stuff they work with. That is why the sisters have started a place to offer self-made snacks for sale so that the students can live free of monetary problems. A donation from Germany helped to start that new venture.
September 2017: While in Germany for an international leadership meeting, Sr. Scholastica had the chance to visit the head office of the Papal Institute for Women working for Mission – and she got the wonderful present of several vestments for the convents in Nigeria.
Like every year, in August our children from the orphanage spend some time in the main house in Garam, enjoying the change and the intensive care they get from the sisters in formation.
While they are gone, the house can be repainted. A donation from the Catholic Secretariat in Lagos helped so that it can be done very well.
On June 24th, 2017, three postulants were accepted into novitiate, the most important year for initial formation. This is also the time when the young members get their name in religious life and novitiate habit. The first year has to be spent in the formation house without outside studies or responsibilities.
In March already, three other aspirants were accepted into postulancy.
One of the main crops in Nigeria, especially in the South, is Cassava – in India also known as Tapioca. This is a plant, about 2 m high, with a long stem in the earth. When harvested, the stem -about the size of an arm from hand to elbow – has to be peeled immediately and watered since there is a lot of acid in the plant. After about three days of watering, the stem has to be cut small, dried and ground, and then roasted – hot work under the African sun. The powder will keep up to a year when stored in a dry place. It just needs hot water and the mush will be eaten with Nigerian soup, or just meat and vegetables, or even just with sugar and water. It is called Fufu in the South.
On June 17th, 2017, for the first time six of our sisters will profess their final vows together in Minna, the capital of Niger State, one of the Scharia-States in Nigeria. So far seven sisters took final vows, first four, then one in Nigeria, also two in Germany. With the final vows of six of our sisters who entered in 2006 resp. 2007, the congregation gains an important number of finally professed sisters. The invitation card shows all the other details, and we ask for prayers for our congregation.
On May 18th, 2017, Sr. Emmanuela found a pregnant woman in miserable condition outside a church when she was on her way back from Ondo town. She took the woman to a maternity nearby and helped her to be admitted. After the baby was born, the mother did not have any clothes for the child, so Sr. Emmanuela wrapped the baby in her veil and took the family to the convent in Ifetedo where they are now being helped.
Finally we could also open a widows’ project in Ifetedo, Osun State. Our sisters got a self-help-group of widows together, in the parish, to support the women in this difficult phase of their lives. They form a group in the Catholic parish and get small credits to build up life-support for themselves – and often for grandchildren. Financially, the project is being supported by Missio Aachen.
In our mission in Nigeria, an important event took place in April, 2017. The General Superior, Sr. Gonzalo, came to attend the third chapter held in the Pro-Region. The present leadership group was confirmed in office for a second term, with the addition of a fourth member. Now the team consists of Sr. Scholastica Okorie, Pro-Regional; Sr. Kelechi Ifeogbu, Vicaress; Sr.Agatha Onwudi, Councillor and Sr. Eliza Oguzie, Councillor.
On March 18th, 2017, five novices could profess their first vows in the presence of Sr. Gonzalo, General Superior, and Sr. Shirley, General Councillor. We are happy that there are again some new professed members in a country in which the need is getting bigger and bigger.
At the beginning of March 2017, we are happy to start two new projects for Widows after the good success of our first project in Garam. Now both in Mgbele and in Ifetedo, the same kind of project is starting, supporting
the poor widows who need help to have a chance of a life after the death of their husbands. The Papal Society of Women for Mission in Germany is supporting both new projects.
On February 22nd, 2017, the Bishop of Osogbo, Most Rev. Bishop John Oyejola, officially opened Mother Teresa Catering and Hospitality School in Ibokun. He gave the sisters a house as a convent. It is a diocesan school, our sisters will work there and earn a salary.
Sr. Christiana and Emelda will teach; Sr. Viola will take over an already existing clinic. We are very happy to have a 2nd house in Osun State.
It was again possible for our sisters at the end of February to give vocation talks in a Catholic Secondary School in Ibokun, Osun State. The students were very interested and listened well.
January, 2017: Perpetua, a student in the nursery school in Azhin Kasa, is being treated for rickets and slowly is showing improvement. We are very happy for her.