To Know And Love God So As To Make God Known And Lovedlogo

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

image of superior

Provincial Superior: Sr. Celestina Nevoh, OLA
Our Lady of Apostles Provincialate
P. O. Box 10, Ikeja-Maryland, Lagos State
Mobile: 0903-359-4153

Our Apostolate

The Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles was founded in Lyon, 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, SMA 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 favourites 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 Lyon 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 Lyon 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.

Fr. Planque,SMA 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, Lyon where they are to this day.

OLA Apostolic Activities (Apostolates)
Wherever the Sisters went, they responded to the most dire 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, promotion of women, Justice and Peace,, care of the Earth, Social Work, Interfaith Dialogue, Education, Health, Pastoral, Spiritual Counselling, response to Human trafficking.

Education at all levels, Rural and Urban health care, Care of trafficked persons, Care of widows, orphans and refugees, and Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, Missionary Childhood and child safeguarding coordinators, Care of HIV/AIDS Patients, Care of the aged and physically challenged, Spiritual Counselling/ Guidance and Counselling, Missionary and Vocation Animation Promotion, Formation of candidates for the Priesthood and the Religious life, Administration and Inter-religious dialogue and Ecumenism, Collaborators with NGO’s, and SMAs.

The First Group Of OLA Sisters Arrived In 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. After having some difficulty in acquiring the massive parcel of land for educational purposes, she placed it under the patronage of Our Lady “Mary’s land” and that earned the whole area the name.

Through their home to home visitations, 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 Centres 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 Centres, 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 and still contribute to the holistic development of the human person. Guidance and Counselling 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 Inter-religious dialogue by consciously getting involved in dialogue of life with our Muslim brothers and Sisters, and more directly an OLA Sr Kathleen McGarvey is the initiator of Women Interfaith Council (WIC) in Kaduna State.

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 – Algeria, Argentina, Benin Republic, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Canada, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Egypt, France, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Liberia, Niger Republic, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Togo.

Where OLAs Are In Nigeria:
We are in Lagos, Bayelsa, Edo, Delta, Oyo, Ogun, Niger, Kaduna Plateau, Bauchi States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

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

OLA Provincialate is located in Maryland, Lagos.
OLA Provincialate,
P.O. Box 10 Ikeja, Lagos.


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 Formation Houses

OLA Postulate,
P. O. Box 2170, Agbor- Delta State.

OLA Novitiate,
P. O. Box 1132, Agodi- Ibadan.

Sisters Of 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 Umodu
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
51. Sr. Roselene Legunsen
52. Sr. Veronica Odunlami
53. Sr. Cecilia Adebanjo
54. Sr. Emmanuella Ohumaegbulem
55. Sr. Felicia Gyang
56. Sr. Alice Chifong
57. Sr. Rita Dung
58. Sr. Margaret Uhwache

59. Sr. Lydia Audu
60. Sr. Lucy Anani
61. Sr. Anthonia Suoware
62. Sr. Faustina Annan
63. Sr. Catherine Esiekpe
64. Sr. Patricia Iwunze
65. Sr. Mercy Osuji
66. Sr. Maryann Dedewo
67. Sr. Vivian Dore
68. Sr. Philomena Oghenejabor
69. Sr. Josephine Ogbonna
70. Sr. Francisca Karunwi
71. Sr. Cynthia Nwadike
72. Sr. Agnes Adepoju
73. Sr. Lelia Barikpe
74. Sr. Valentina Adeyemo
75. Sr. Stella Enenmo
76. Sr. Victoria Ogbu
77. Sr. Charity Ifere
78. Sr. Moriah Jacob
79. Sr. Jacinta Onye
80. Sr. Mary Usifoh
81. Sr. Celestina Ikpeni
82. Sr. Esther Ibekwe
83. Sr. Felicia Mesu
84. Sr. Juliet Ifediba
85. Sr. Christabel Mashuka
86. Sr. Patience Ezimigbo
87. Sr. Lauretta Obonyilo

88. Sr. Blessing Umeloh
89. Sr. Helen Nwoko
90. Sr. Mary Ede
91. Sr. Faith Ogbeide
92. Sr. Anthonia Patrick
93. Sr. Mary Ukoete
94. Sr. Theresa Ezewelukwa
95. Sr. Maureen Akaolisa
96. Sr. Francisca Iyorah
97. Sr. Margaret Okudaje
98. Sr. Grace Awhansu
99. Sr. Elizabeth Alabi
100. Sr. Anastasia Ebere
101. Sr. Zita Adigwe
102. Sr. Veronica Nwaozuzu
103. Sr. Esther Vambe
104. Sr. Loveth Madubuattah
105. Sr. Immaculata Onyenakasa
106. Sr. Anastasia Inyiama
107. Sr. Agnes Micah
108. Sr. Elizabeth Oforlea
109. Sr Rita Edhebru
110. Sr. Gloria Obaje
111. Sr. Cynthia Nwakamma
112. Sr. Gloria Onyebuchi
113. Sr. Theresa Udechukwu
114. Sr. Roseline Uvieghara
115. Sr. Blessing Amodu
116. Sr. Fidelia Chukwumah

Number of Sisters in Temporary Vows – 28


1. Sr. Helen Anyasi – 25th September 2000
2. Sr. Esther Mamman – 12th July 2003
3. Sr. Agnes Bojuwoye – 15th May 2004
4. Sr. Beatrice Okoye – 9th January 2012
5. Sr. Susan Ameh – 6th Jan 2020