BRIEF HISTORY OF CONGREGATION OF DAUGHTERS OF MARY MOTHER OF MERCY, (DMMM)
The Congregation of the Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy (DMMM) is a Religious Institute of active apostolate that is specially dedicated and named after Mary Mother of Mercy. Our Lady mirrors the mystery of God's mercy in her concern and sensitivity which she shows to all who are in need and call to her for help.
The Objective of the DMMM Congregation is to extol God's infinite tenderness in the face of human weakness and human misery of all kinds. Looking up to Christ as its model, the members imitate the Incarnate Son of God who demonstrated God's mercy by his compassion towards the poor, the downtrodden, and the rejected of human society. For in whatever manner of form that human distress is manifested, Christ is there to relieve their miserable conditions and the Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy have undertaken to go there with him.
The DMMM Congregation was founded on 29th December, 1961 by His Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Anthony Gogo Nwedo C.S.Sp, the First Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia. His motivating drive was to build up the missionary territory of the Local Church he was entrusted with, through the exemplary lives of the members; as well as through their devoted service to the works of the apostolate. Its members take and live the three public Vows of obedience, chastity and poverty. It started as a Pious Union with 29 young maidens when they were received at St. Xavier College, Bende. With the increased in number of aspirants, the young community moved to Nbawsi, where the Mother House of the Congregation was built. In 1963, it became necessary to give the aspirants the initial formation to religious life. Providence sent the Sisters of St. Peter Claver from Rome, who generously undertook to train the first group of eight aspirants. They started their pre-novitiate formation at the convent of the Sisters of St. Peter Claver in Ibadan. On 8th December, 1964, six of these aspirants were received in the Novitiate House of the Congregation in Rome. These Foundation members listed below came back to Nigeria and on 8th December, 1966, they made their First Profession at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Afara Umuahia, Abia State.
1. Sr. Mary Joseph Therese Iwenofu of Blessed Memory
2. Sr. Mary Anthony Josefa Igboka
3. Sr. Mercy Nezieanya of Blessed Memory
4. Sr. Maria Concepta Okparaji of Blessed Memory
5. Sr. Mary Assumpta Nwulu
6. Sr. Maria Aloysius Onyenehide.
DMMM Congregation was canonically erected as an Institute of Diocesan Right on January 17, 1962 by the Founder himself, Most Rev. Dr. Anthony Gogo Nwedo C.S.Sp, now of blessed memory. On the recommendation of his successor, Most Rev. Dr. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, it was recognized as an Institute of Pontifical Right by the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life by the Decree of February 2, 1994.
As an animating factor, the Spirituality of the Congregation is based on the five virtues of: Charity, Humility, Prayer, Penance and Abandonment to the will of God. The members endeavour to live out these virtues in their communities and the various apostolates they are engaged in: the orphanages, schools, hospitals, homes, social services and other pastoral engagements. In that way, they are able to achieve the aim of the Congregation, which is "the sanctification of the members by the observance of the evangelical counsels and the salvation of souls". They constitute themselves into a Spiritual Powerhouse, "making their very life a sign of the love of God for the world.”
The Charism of DMMM Congregation - "bearing witness to the mercy of God" is based on the merciful love of God towards his people especially the poor. Imitating this divine attribute of God, the Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy bear witness to his merciful love for his creatures with acts of compassion, forgiveness and kindness. They are embodiments of God's mercy by their thoughts, words and behaviour among themselves and towards those they encounter.
DMMM Sisters show mercy as compassion by loving and caring for the poor and the under-privileged in hospitals, schools, homes, orphanages, centres, etc. They live out mercy as forgiveness by excusing one another's faults; seeking and accepting reconciliation from those who have wronged them; promoting peace and harmony in whatever field of apostolate they are engaged in. They practice mercy as kindness by offering Christ-like hospitality to all who cross their paths, being tender hearted towards one another, sharing each other's joys and sorrows and giving fraternal correction to one another.
The DMMM Congregation since inception has grown from strength to strength as it follows the footsteps of Christ, the Merciful Saviour. Over the years, the Congregation has celebrated seven General Chapters. In August 2015, the following were elected to pilot the affairs of the Congregation for the next six years:
|Very Rev. Mother Mary Angeleen Umezuruike, DMMM||Superior General|
|Rev. Sr. Mary Therese Leo Ikwuegbu, DMMM||Vicar General|
|Rev. Sr. Marie Prisca Colette Ezenwa, DMMM||Councillor|
|Rev. Sr. Mary Catherine Nweke, DMMM||Councillor|
|Rev. Sr. Maria Amabilis Onuoha, DMMM||Councillor|
In December 2011, the DMMM Congregation celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its foundation. Last year, we celebrated our 7th General Chapter. The Foundation Members of our Noble Congregation celebrated the Golden Jubilee of their First Religious Profession of Vows on 20th August, 2016, a remarkable day that the DMMM Congregation commemorated her first joint celebrations of Silver and Golden Jubilee of First Religious Profession of her members. By divine providence the Universal Church in 2017 celebrated the Centenary of the Apparition of our Lady to the three little shepherd of Fatima, ortugal in 1917. A year we celebrated and renewed our pledge of commitment to our Lady whose patronage and assistance we rely on as a religious family. In the spirit of this exceptional celebration, 11 members of our Institute made First Religious Profession of Vows on 6th May, 2017 and on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 7 Sisters made their Perpetual Profession; and 40 Sisters celebrated the Silver Jubilee of their First Religious Profession of Vows. Like the mustard seed, the DMMM Congregation has grown and spread its branches to continents of Africa, Europe and the United States of America. Presently, there are over a nine hundred professed Sisters, 27 novices and 22 postulants.
TThe Daughters in imitation of Christ, the Merciful Saviour and Mary our Mother of Mercy continue to witness in unity as they positively cater for the poor and needy in different countries of the world. Our task is to continue the work of evangelization through witnessing in unity to the mercy of God in places where we have not yet established our presence. We have a rich record of highly qualified Personnel for different types of apostolate that we engage in, and in our specific areas of needs. We are grateful to God for all his blessings on our Sisters and our apostolate in the various Local Churches they serve. We pray for God's continued graces in all our endeavours and for the maternal protection of our Mother of Mercy on our members and benefactors.
To God be the Glory!
Rev. Sr. Maris Martin Raphael Akpan
Secretary General, DMMM
“Ecce Ancilla Domini…Fiat’’
"I am the Handmaid of the Lord... let what you said be done to me" (LK. 1:38).
To work for the glory of God, the honour of the ever Blessed Virgin Mary, for the sanctification of its members and the salvation of souls.
THE SPIRIT OF THE CONGREGATION
The Spirit of our Congregation is that of Charity, Humility, Penance and Abandonment to the will of God. It is a dynamic growth of the spirit of Christ as expressed in the Gospel. We strive to imitate Christ in order to be His faithful interpreters by our very lives.
To bear witness to the Mercy of God, by following the footsteps of Christ, the merciful Saviour and Mary our Mother of Mercy. This Mercy is expressed as compassion, forgiveness and kindness.