Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles

Missionary Sisters of our Lady of Apostles


Founded, Date/Place May 1876, Lyons, France
Founder Venerable Fr. Augustine Planque, SMA
Canonical Status Pontifical, 17th June, 1904
Motto Cum Maria Matre Jesu (CMMJ)
Charism Mission of Evangelization particularly in Africa
Mission Statement going beyond the boundaries of country and religion to bring the Good News of the Reign of God to the poorest persons we feel called to respond in a special way to those who have never heard God's word. The promotion of woman and the marginalized takes priority in our apostolates. Drawing strength and inspiration from our Cenacle spirituality, we are signs of HOPE for all peoples to whom we are sent.
Purpose To know and love God so as to make God known and loved


Sr. Assumpta Mordi, OLA
Provincial Superior: Sr. Assumpta Mordi, OLA

Our Lady of Apostles Provincialate
P. O. Box 10, Ikeja-Maryland
Lagos State

Mobile: 0803-329-2778

Email: assumptaola@yahoo.com

Our Apostolate

The Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles
Was founded in Lyons, France in MAY, 1876. Pressured by the need for women to reach African homes and the several unsuccessful attempts to find a willing group of women Religious VENERABLE FR. AUGUSTINE PLANQUE was compelled to found the Congregation. He started off with 18 young women from different nationalities. International and Intercultural from the onset, a group of French and Irish women formed the nucleus of the new foundation.

The Congregation has a Charism of Mission of Evangelization. Founded principally for primary evangelization particularly in Africa, OLA Sisters are called to a life of dedication to the formation and empowerment of women and children. Venerable Fr. Planque wanted the Sisters to "know and love God so as to make him known and loved".

The Spirituality of the Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles is Apostolic and is anchored on the CENACLE. Mindful of our motto "Cum Maria Matre Jesu" - With Mary the Mother of Jesus (Acts1:14) OLAs persevere in prayer and apostolic action, always attentive to the Spirit of Pentecost. In simplicity and with deep faith, the fortitude of the Apostles and a family Spirit, OLAs seek the will of God. Our Founder - Venerable Fr. Augustine Planque, SMA: He was born on 25 July 1826 at Chemy in Northern France and grew up in a hard-working, Catholic family filled with strong faith. At the age of thirteen, he went to live at Lille with his maternal grand Aunt who helped him further his education and who had a profound influence on his life. A deeply religious woman, she taught him how to meditate daily on the "Our Father" and Stations of the Cross - prayers that remained his favorites for the rest of his life. Ordained Priest on 21 December 1850, he was appointed to teach philosophy in the Seminary at Arras, where he spent five years.

Becoming an SMA - Happy though he was teaching, Fr. Augustine yearned for the life of a missionary in rural areas of Africa. The opportunity presented itself when Monsignor Melchior de Marion Bresillac, founder of the Society of African Missions (SMA) advertised that he wanted to found a Society for the evangelization of the most abandoned countries of Africa. Fr. Planque offered his services and was readily accepted by de Bresillac. He arrived in Lyons in November, 1856 just prior to the official launch of the Society of African Missions on 8 December of that year. Two years later, de Bresillac with his first missionary party set sail for Freetown, Sierra Leone. Within weeks of landing at Freetown, they died of Yellow Fever.

First Superior General of the SMAs - The tragic news reached Lyons in August 1859 overwhelming Fr. Planque with "incredible sadness". Advised by the local Archbishop to abandon any further development of the Society, he recalled the advice of de Bresillac before he left: "if the sea and its rocks were to make this year my last, you would be there to see that the work did not get shipwrecked too". Sustained by his deep faith and courage, convinced of his belief in the mission work, and strengthened by the blessing of Pope Pius IX - "Blessed be God the work will live." During his years as Superior General (1859-1907) Mission territories were opened in Benin (1861), Nigeria (1863), Algeria (1865), Ghana (1879), Egypt (1874), South Africa (1874), Ivory Coast (1895) Liberia (1906). He founded the Missionary Sisters of our Lady of Apostles (OLA) in 1876.

Challenges:
Fr. Planque faced the challenge of administering two Institutes with the weight of the search for the resources needed for those in training and for those in Africa. In the 1870s France experienced a wave of anti-clericalism and most congregations were suppressed by law. But Fr. Planque saved both institutes by underlining the "civilizing" character of missionary work. Supported and encouraged by his friend, Bishop Fava of Grenoble, he worked through the suffering and difficulties and finally the situation became more agreeable. Father Augustine Planque, SMA died on 21 August, 1907 at the age of 81 years. He was buried on the hill of Fourviere. In 1927 the remains of Venerable Fr. Planque was brought to the SMA Seminary in Cours Gambetta, Lyons where they are to this day.

OLA Apostolic Activities (Apostolates)
Wherever the Sisters went, they responded to the most pressing needs, usually by setting up schools, clinics and hospitals. Visits to villages, to homes and to prisons were also a very important aspect of the mission. Following in the spirit of the Founder, OLA Sisters live mission as seen by Fr Planque: "there is only one mission - Christ's. There is only one way of accomplishing it - that of the Apostles empowered by the Spirit who would never cease urging them to travel the world." As ardent and simple followers, OLAs are prepared to risk all, even life itself, to spread the Kingdom. "You have been chosen by God to continue in your own way the work Jesus Christ confided to His Apostles. Could any task please Him more?" (Venerable Fr. Planque). The OLAs continue to witness to Christ through Primary Evangelization, in rural and urban areas, Interreligious dialogue and Ecumenism, Education at all levels, Rural and Urban health care, Care of trafficked persons, Care of widows, orphans and refugees, Care of HIV/AIDS Patients, Care of the aged and physically challenged, Spiritual Counselling/Counselling, Missionary and Vocation Animation Promotion, Formation of candidates for the Priesthood and the Religious life and Administration.

The First Group of OLA Sisters arrived Lagos (Nigeria) in 1878.

Contributions to the Church in Nigeria:
OLA Sisters have contributed and are still contributing to the growth of the Church in Nigeria through their efforts and involvement in the Pastoral, Social and Cultural Activities. They contribute specially to the spiritual growth of the Church in Nigeria through their efforts and involvement in the Pastoral life of any Parish they find themselves. They teach Catechism, work with the youth, the women, engage in Marriage Counselling and are involved in the lay apostolate societies in the Church e.g Legion of Mary, Sacred Heart, Catholic Women Organization, Confraternity of the Christian Mothers, Vincent De Paul etc

As the pioneer Sisters in Nigeria, they acquired vast land in different parts of the country and set up apostolates which served and continues to serve a multitude of people and have also left the Church a great heritage. It is pertinent to mention that the name "Maryland" in Lagos was given by an OLA. Having after some difficulty acquired the massive parcel of land for educational purpose, she placed it under the patronage of Our Lady "Maryland" and that earned the whole area the name.

Through their home to home visitation the OLA Sisters established contacts and catechized people. They championed the formation of Catholic girls who laid the foundation for Catholic homes. They trained and prepared girls for Catholic families in different home crafts centers where they were taught home keeping and were prepared for the sacraments. They pioneered the education of girls by establishing so many primary and secondary schools, Teacher Training Colleges, Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, and Social Centers, these served as vehicles of evangelization. Some of the schools and hospitals they founded are St. Mary's Convent Primary School, Broad Street, Lagos; Our Lady of Apostles Convent School, Asaba; St. Agnes Training College Yaba, St. Teresa's College, Ibadan; Sacred Heart Training College, Ubiaja; St Maria Goretti College, Benin City; Queen of Apostles Secondary School, Kaduna; Our Lady of Apostles Secondary School, Akwanga; Our Lady of Apostles Hospital, Jos to mention a few.

In education, OLAs have ands till contribute to the holistic development of the human person. Guidance and Counseling in Nigeria is traced to the initiative of early OLA sisters who began it gradually in St. Teresa's College, Ibadan by giving students career guidance. With humility we can joyfully acknowledge that many prominent Nigerians; men and women are beneficiaries of OLA formation and education.

OLAs have contributed and still contribute to the formation of Priests and Religious teaching in Major Seminaries, the Institute For Formators and giving seminars and workshops to different Institutes. OLAs have served the Church in many National and Diocesan Establishments and Committees. OLAs contribute to Interreligious dialogue by consciously getting involved in dialogue of life with our Muslim brothers and Sisters and more directly an OLA is the initiatorof Women Interfaith Movement.

As pioneer Sisters, the OLAs received and housed many other Religious Congregations on their arrival to Nigeria and accompanied them as they settled down. To facilitate this from North to South, OLAs bequeathed and handed over apostolates and houses to them. In different parts of Africa, the Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles accompanied the formation of indigenous Religious Congregations. Concretely in Nigeria they accompanied the Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus Congregation (EHJ) Lagos and the Our Lady of Fatima Sisters (OLF) Jos.

Where OLAs are in the World:
As a Missionary Congregation, the Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles send and receive missionaries from different parts of the world. Presently, we have Nigerian OLA Sisters working in other countries of the world and we also have OLA Sisters of other nationalities on mission in Nigeria. OLAs are present in twenty Countries - Togo, Benin Republic, Ghana, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Botswana, Chad, Egypt, Niger Republic, Algeria, Lebanon, Argentina, Canada, England, Holland, Ireland, Italy, France and Nigeria.

OLA GENERALATE is located in Rome. Suore Di Nostra Degli Apostoli, Casa Generalizia, Via Giuseppe Ghislieri,15 00152 ROMA.

Where OLAs are in Nigeria:
We are in Lagos, Edo, Delta, Oyo, Ogun, Niger, Kaduna Plateau, Bauchi States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Our Provincialate is located in Maryland,
Lagos. P.O. Box 10 Ikeja, Lagos.
Website: www.olasistersnigeria.org
Email: olanigeriaprovince@yahoo.com

Location of Our Formation Houses:
We welcome young women who have deep faith in God and great love of God and are willing to sacrifice their lives in the service of their brothers and Sisters to our OLA Postulancy,
P. O. Box 2170, Agbor- Delta State.
E-mail: olapostulateng@yahoo.com
and late to our OLA Novitiate,
P. O. Box 1132, Agodi- Ibadan.
Email: olanovitiate@yahoo.com

Sisters in Perpetual Vows

  1. Sr. Agnes Hassan
  2. Sr. Mary Anthony Ogunkorode
  3. Sr. Roseleen da-Silva
  4. Sr. Maria Ekpomhan
  5. Sr. Carmelita Emuze
  6. Sr. Fidelia Anumba
  7. Sr. Nuala Edozien
  8. Sr. Rosita Nobis
  9. Sr. Magdalen Emuobome
  10. Sr. Justina Afamefuna
  11. Sr. Francisca Osih
  12. Sr. Edel Mowah
  13. Sr. Elizabeth Erhunmwunsee
  14. Sr. Assumpta Mordi
  15. Sr. Patricia Oguejiofor
  16. Sr. Esther Edeko
  17. Sr. Gladys Chikere
  18. Sr. Patricia Anyanwu
  19. Sr. Justina Obamwonyi
  20. Sr. Virginia Edochie
  21. Sr. Josephine Enenmo
  22. Sr. Martina Mmagu
  23. Sr. Anne Falola
  24. Sr. Josephine Obi
  25. Sr. Dorothy Ezike
  26. Sr. Gladys Osagie
  27. Sr. Patricia Okwegba
  28. Sr. Celestina Nevoh
  29. Sr. Benedicta Amaihwe
  30. Sr. Juliet Aruya
  31. Sr. Monica Onwunali
  32. Sr. Cordelia Ogene
  33. Sr. Lucia Otusanya
  34. Sr. Celestina Agwu
  35. Sr. Dorothy Ihumezie
  36. Sr. Veronica Onyeanisi
  37. Sr. Paulina Gaiya
  38. Sr. Lucy Esedebe
  39. Sr. Martha Agbedo
  40. Sr. Victoria Zirra
  41. Sr. Monica Mafiana
  42. Sr. Bridget Okonye
  43. Sr. Fidelia Onyejuluwa
  44. Sr. Agnes Umudo
  45. Sr. Winifred Diagboya
  46. Sr. Monica Ghibi
  47. Sr. Joy-Gertrude Okonkwo
  48. Sr. Comfort Ogbanje
  49. Sr. Philomena Adah
  50. Sr. Antoinette Adene
  1. Sr. Roselene Legunsen
  2. Sr. Veronica Odunlami
  3. Sr. Cecilia Adebanjo
  4. Sr. Emmanuella Ohumaegbulem
  5. Sr. Felicia Gyang
  6. Sr. Alice Chifong
  7. Sr. Rita Dung
  8. Sr. Margaret Uhwache
  9. Sr. Lydia Audu
  10. Sr. Lucy Anani
  11. Sr. Anthonia Suoware
  12. Sr. Faustina Annan
  13. Sr. Catherine Esiekpe
  14. Sr. Patricia Iwunze
  15. Sr. Mercy Osuji
  16. Sr. Maryann Dedewo
  17. Sr. Vivian Dore
  18. Sr. Philomena Oghenejabor
  19. Sr. Josephine Ogbonna
  20. Sr. Francisca Karunwi
  21. Sr. Cynthia Nwadike
  22. Sr. Agnes Adepoju
  23. Sr. Lelia Barikpe
  24. Sr. Valentina Adeyemo
  25. Sr. Stella Enenmo
  26. Sr. Victoria Ogbu
  27. Sr. Charity Ifere
  28. Sr. Moriah Jacob
  29. Sr. Jacinta Onye
  30. Sr. Mary Usifoh
  31. Sr. Celestina Ikpeni
  32. Sr. Esther Ibekwe
  33. Sr. Felicia Mesu
  34. Sr. Juliet Ifediba
  35. Sr. Christabel Mashuka
  36. Sr. Patience Ezimigbo
  37. Sr. Lauretta Obonyilo
  38. Sr. Blessing Umeloh
  39. Sr. Helen Nwoko
  40. Sr. Mary Ede
  41. Sr. Faith Ogbeide
  42. Sr. Anthonia Patrick
  43. Sr. Mary Ukoete
  44. Sr. Theresa Ezewelukwa
  45. Sr. Maureen Akaolisa
  46. Sr. Francisca Iyorah
  47. Sr. Margaret Okudaje
  48. Sr. Grace Awhansu
  49. Sr. Elizabeth Alabi
  50. Sr. Anastasia Ebere

Number of Sisters in Temporary Vows – 18

Necrology

  1. Sr. Helen Anyasi - 25th September 2000
  2. Sr. Esther Mamman - 12th July 2003
  3. Sr. Agnes Bojuwoye - 15th May 2004
  1. Sr. Dorcas Adimah (Novice)- 4th May 2009
  2. Sr. Beatrice Okoye 9th January 2012