Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, Gasau

Augustinian Sisters of the Mercy of Jesus


Founded, Date/Place 1973, Gusau, Sokoto Diocese
Founder Dominicans sisters of Great Bend, Kansas, USA.
Canonical Status Diocesan right, April 19, 2007
Motto Veritas - 'Truth'
Charism Preaching
Mission Statement Called to complete truth, to share the fruits of these contemplation with others to be a Christian presence in our society and to witness the freedom of the children of God.
Purpose Christian presence and Evangelization in Northern Nigeria


Sr. Christiana Akpah OSA
Prioress: Sr. Jacinta Nwaohiri, OP

Dominican Sisters,
P. O. Box 62, Gusau,
Zamfara State,

Mobile: 0703-356-6934,

Email: prioressgusau@yahoo.com

Our Apostolate

Preamble
The establishment of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena in Nigeria, West Africa, is situated within the history of the founding Congregation of Dominican Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Great Bend, Kansas, USA, (now Dominican Sisters of Peace). St. Dominic (1170- 1221) in founding the world - wide Dominican Order of Preacher s in the thirteenth century called his followers to share in the mission of Jesus by responding to the needs of the people of God in all locations, cultures and eras. The unique charism which he brought to the Church is an apostolic life rooted in contemplation. This is the vision which continues to inspire our Congregation today, to prayer and study, to preaching Truth through life, words and works.

The Great Bend Dominican Sisters trace their origin to the Second Order Dominican Sisters founded in Ratisbon (Regensburg) Germany, in 1233, under the leadership of Blessed Jordan of Saxony, successor of St. Dominic. Sisters from this Community of the Holy Cross came to Brooklyn, New York, as missionaries in 1853. By 1860 this daughter community in NewYork was viable and was declared independent of the Ratisbon community. In 1902, Mother Antonina Fischer left Brooklyn to found an independent Congregation in Kansas in answer to the twentieth century needs for health care and education there. The Congregation was officially affiliated with the Dominican Order in 1924. In 1954, it became a Congregation of papal right.

In thanksgiving for their fifty years of existence in Kansas, the Dominican Sisters of Great Bend, Kansas, USA, came to Sokoto Diocese, Nigeria, West Africa, in 1956 at the invitation of the Dominican Fathers of St. Albert Province, Chicago, USA, who had been working in the area since 1951. The first Sisters began teaching in a primary school in Gusau (now Zamfara State). Later, as more Sisters joined them, a dispensary and maternity hospital were opened with clinics in very rural places. In 1960, a general hospital was opened in Yelwa-Yauri (now Kebbi State). In 1964, a Women's Christian Training Centre was opened in Malumfashi (now Katsina State). From these three centres, Gusau, Malumfashi and Yelwa-Yauri, the Sisters carried out rural health training, and dispensaries as well as adult literacy courses for women. Since this is predominantly a Moslem area, part of the Sisters' apostolate was also to be a Christian presence among the people.

The Beginning of the Indigenous Dominican Congregation:
As early as 1963, young women interested in becoming Dominicans approached the Sisters. A small school for aspirants was opened on the convent grounds in Gusau in 1964. In 1965, a secondary school was established in Amakohia in the Eastern region of the country as this was considered an area where most Catholics lived. In 1966, the Civil war began, resulting in the closure of the school and the Sisters who taught them fleeing the country. The school was taken over by the then East Central State Government. During this time, the Sisters in the northern area continued with their apostolates of teaching, nursing and primary evangelization.

In 1970, an evaluatory study was done to determine the feasibility of establishing a community of indigenous Dominican Sisters in the northern area. From the beginning, it was evident that in this predominantly Moslem region the number of vocations would be small, and the majority of young women joining would be from other parts of the country. But, young women expressed a desire to live a Dominican religious life and were willing to accept a missionary vocation even within their own country. A Nigerian Dominican Congregation in Sokoto Diocese would also help maintain a Christian presence and work with the indigenous Christians in the area. The Great Bend Dominican Sisters subsequently discerned that an indigenous community of Dominican Sisters could better carry on the work they had begun and help in building the Church especially in northern Nigeria.

Until 1997, the Great Bend Dominican Sisters continued to provide leadership and formation personnel to the Nigerian community. In September of that year, the Nigerian community known as Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena held its First General Chapter and elected her own leadership team. On November 1, 1997, the official transfer of leadership from the Great Bend Sisters to the Nigerian community took place with the installation of the new indigenous leadership team.

From its beginnings in the Diocese of Sokoto the Congregation has expanded to other dioceses within and outside Nigeria and the Sisters are engaged in a variety of apostolates. Currently, professed members are ministering in Gusau, Malumfashi, Funtua, and Sokoto in Sokoto Diocese, Naka in Makurdi Diocese, Gwagwalada in the Archdiocese of Abuja, Agbor in the Diocese of Issele-Uku, Yelwa- Yauri and Zuru in the Vicariate of Kontagora, and Doyina in Konongo- Mampong Diocese in Ghana, Chicago, USA.

Apostolates
The Congregation is involved in the following apostolates:

• Social work and women's empowerment programmes
• Rural development
• Education
• Health
• Pastoral ministry involving grassroots evangelization

Sisters in Perpetual Vows

  1. Sr. Josephine Otta, OP
  2. Sr. Ann An-Iko, OP
  3. Sr. Stella Udeh, OP
  4. Sr. Perpetual Chime, OP
  5. Sr. Esther Alau, OP
  6. Sr. Patricia Idoko, OP
  7. Sr. Catherine Okolocha, OP
  8. Sr. Biola Elemowu, OP
  9. Sr. Franka Igweilo, OP
  10. Sr. Anthonia Utojiuba, OP
  11. Sr. Catherine Ezeh, OP
  12. Sr. Mary Ekwe, OP
  13. Sr. Susan Ogbole, OP
  14. Sr. Laeticia Okafor, OP
  15. Sr. Anne Okafor, OP
  16. Sr. Emmanuela Okafor, OP
  17. Sr. Juliana Ekwoanya, OP
  18. Sr. Juliana Idoko, OP
  19. Sr. Jacinta Nwaohiri, OP
  20. Sr. Cecillia Madu, OP
  21. Sr. Justina Nnajiofor, OP
  22. Sr. Augusta Nyong, OP
  23. Sr. Agnes Daniel, OP
  24. Sr. Patience Oledinma, OP
  25. Sr. Regina Onyegbule, OP
  26. Sr. Judith Okoroji, OP
  27. Sr. Magdalene Okorie, OP
  28. Sr. Agatha Nenge, OP
  1. Sr. Regina Anyaorah, OP
  2. Sr. Faustina Jimoh, OP
  3. Sr. Theresa Adewuyi, OP
  4. Sr. Esther Upaa, OP
  5. Sr. Veronica Mbachu, OP
  6. Sr. Benedette Okafor, OP
  7. Sr. Callista Agbokwor, OP
  8. Sr. Josephine Sodje, OP
  9. Sr. Elizabeth Okepechi, OP
  10. Sr. Martina Eneh, OP
  11. Sr. Patricia Daaor, OP
  12. Sr. Nancy Gregory, OP
  13. Sr. Majella Dogonyaro, OP
  14. Sr. Winifred D. Garba, OP
  15. Sr. Edith Amaechi, OP
  16. Sr. Bridget Yabo, OP
  17. Sr. Eduth Osuala, OP
  18. Sr. Maryann Omeke, OP
  19. Sr. Maria Wakdok, OP
  20. Sr. Ruth Dogmo, OP
  21. Sr. Celestina Anyabara, OP
  22. Sr. Esther Okwor, OP
  23. Sr. Blessing Ugwu, OP
  24. Sr. Sylvaline Obiezughara, OP
  25. Sr. Comfort Okoro, OP
  26. Sr. Theresa Onyeanisi, OP
  27. Sr. Martha Offor, OP
  28. Sr. Regina N. Odum, OP

Number of Sisters in Temporary Vows – 18

Necrology

  1. Sr. Beatrice Ugwu, OP
  2. Sr. Lynda Giwa, OP
  3. Sr. Benedette Ekenechukwu, OP
  1. Sr. Helen Ekwueme, OP
  2. Sr. Joan Ofuokwu, OP
  3. Sr. Christiana Umeadi, OP 31st March 2017