Saturday December 7th, 2019, Written Entrance Examination for the 2020/2021 Aspirants (External Candidates) at Bishop Nwedo Memorial Boys High School, Ossah. Time: 10.00am


HISTORY OF THE SONS OF MARY MOTHER OF MERCYCONGREGATION

FOUNDATION STAGE:

The Society of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy (as it was then called) was founded by Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo, C.S.Sp of blessed memory on the 25th October, 1970 in Umuahia – Nigeria. As the first residential Bishop in West Africa whose vast Diocese was more of Protestant as well as Traditional Religious worshippers, Bishop Anthony G. Nwedo, C.S.Sp, needed Religious men who would evangelize and work as Catechists in different parts of the diocese (now comprising Umuahia, Okigwe and Aba dioceses).

The foundation members were mainly young boys as well as young men some of whom fought during the Nigeria/Biafra war. Majority of them had only elementary six education.

TEMPORARY HOME

The present Cathedral Administrator's house in Mater Dei Cathedral, Umuahia served as temporary home for the foundation members. The house was originally built as school administrator's house. By then the present Cathedral had not been built. The new members were housed at the domestic quarters while the Priest Formator – Rev. Fr. Francis Amaechi Akwue, C.S.Sp who arrived Umuahia on Saturday, 18th of September, 1971 to start the Religious Formation of foundation members, lived at the school administrator's house (now Cathedral Administrator's house).

The names of the foundation members were: Brothers Matthew Nwoko (Paschal), Innocent Ajuonu, Boniface Dike, Theodore Kaonyuloaso, Theddeus Amakulo, Anthony Nwosu (Ihemekwala), Mark Dike and Simon Egoezubelu. All of them did not arrive on the 25th of October, 1970. Paschal was the first to arrive on that day while Simon was the last among the first set to be admitted in August 1971.

As a member of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans), our Father Founder, Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo, C.S.Sp, employed the services of the Holy Ghost Fathers to be the formators of the nascent Religious Family.

FORMATORS OF THE FOUNDATION MEMBERS

Rev Fr. Francis Amechi Akwue, C.S.SP was the formator of the foundation members from 1971- 1975. He was both the postulant and Novice Master of the young Religious Society. At this stage of her history, no one was sure what this Association of men called Society of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy was going to be. The initial intention of our Father Founder was to form Religious Brothers who would be of help in teaching catechism in his diocese.

SECOND SET OF FOUNDATION MEMBERS

The second set of the foundation members started to join the first set at their temporary home in Umuahia in early January 1972. Bro. James Michael Okpalaonwuka was the first among the second set to arrive on the 3rd of January, 1972. By this time the first set of the foundation members were postulants and the second set were aspirants. On 20th January, 1972 three other brothers among the second set arrived at Umuahia. They included: Brothers Edwin Nwofor, Robert Ehileme and Christopher Ukatta.

Both the first and second sets of the brothers, we have hitherto mentioned, received the same spiritual formation from their formator, Rev. Fr. Francis Amechi Akwue, C.S.Sp. The present Brothers’ tailoring workshop beside Mater Dei Cathedral gate in Umuahia was their classroom. The Father Founder came occasionally to give them spiritual talks as well.

MOVEMENT TO BENDE

The foundation members stayed at Umuahia for one year and six months: from October 1970 to March 1972. Their stay in Umuahia was a temporary arrangement. The Father Founder at last decided that the Brothers should move to former Xavier Secondary School Bende (now Mercy Seminary) as their home. This was a Catholic Secondary School built by our Father Founder but was taken over forcefully by the Government after the Nigeria/Biafra war in 1970. By 1972, the population of the students at Xavier Secondary School was too small that the then East Central State Government decided to merge Xavier Secondary School, Bende to another Secondary School at Uzuakoli. As a result of this situation, Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo C.S.Sp did not waste time in recovering his school.

It has to be recalled in the history of the Sons and the Daughters that it was in this same secondary school that the foundation members of Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy Sisters were first received on the first day of their arrival to start their religious life in 1961. However, they only stayed in Bende for one week before moving to their permanent home in Mbawsi. Just like in the traditional Igbo culture, the Daughters left Obi (Bende) for the Sons to take over.

INSPECTION OF THE NEW HOUSE IN BENDE

On Friday 5th of February, 1972, our formator, Rev. Fr. Francis Akwue, C.S.Sp., exposed the Blessed Sacrament for first Friday Adoration in our temporary home in Umuahia for the Brothers and left Umuahia for Bende in the company of Bro. James Michael Okpalaonwuka to inspect the proposed new home for the young religious family. On their arrival at Xavier Secondary School, the principal and a few students were still there rounding off to move down to Uzuakoli.

Fr. Francis introduced himself to the Principal. The Principal was very pleased and received him very warmly. A short handover was done and they left. It was on the 5th of March, 1972 that the first and second sets of foundation members moved to Bende in the company of their formator - Rev. Fr. Francis Akwue, C.S.Sp.

The school compound served as Postulate as well as Novitiate houses for the brothers. The school chapel served as both brothers' chapel and out-station Church for Etiti-Ulo people. Fr. Francis Akwue, C.S.Sp was not only the Postulant and Novice master but also Parish Priest of Corpus Christi Parish Bende with out-stations extending to Okporo-Enyi, Umuhu Ezechi, Itumbuzo, Ubibia and Ntubi.

LIFE IN BENDE

On arrival to their new home at Etiti-Ulo Bende early March 1972, the Brothers dedicated themselves to prayer, home visitation around their neighbourhood and teaching of catechism to children. They had moments of instructions from their formator, Fr. Francis who schooled them on the rules of the earliest Religious Life based on the Benedictine Monastic Rules.

The major part of the Brothers' time was spent on manual labour – farming. Bende has very fertile land for farming and the period of March was the beginning of farming season. They were involved in subsistent farming, tilling and cultivation of yam, maize, cassava, etc. This was virtually their daily activity.

THIRD SET OF FOUNDATION MEMBERS

The third set of the foundation members joined the institute at Bende on the 13th of January, 1973. They were nineteen (19) in number, with Brother Livinus Uchegbu as the persevering and remaining postulant. Brother Livinus was joined by Brother Godfrey Oboshi and Bro. Ferdinand Nwaigbo in 1974. This set, who were clothed the day the second set of the foundation members made their first profession, made their first profession on the 1st day of February, 1976.

Subsequently, these newly professed were asked what they would do. Bro. Livinus and Godfrey opted for carpentry, thus marking the beginning of the broadening of the entrepreneurial dimension of our Congregation, which Bro. Theodore Kaonyeuloaso (Sacred Vestment Tailor) started, followed by Bro. Hyacinth Chikwe, that has today “grown” into tailoring and agricultural establishments.

It is worthy of note that proceeds from Bros. Livinus and Godwin carpentry enterprise was a great aid in Bro. Livinus’ feeding of the novices in his care in the early 1990s.

NEED FOR THE BROTHERS TO BE EDUCATED

The initial intention of our Father Founder as mentioned earlier was to found Religious Congregation of Brothers whose main apostolate would be to teach catechism in his diocese comprising of Umuahia, Okigwe and Aba which were under Old Umuahia diocese by then.

One Mr. Ignatius Nwachukwu, a junior seminarian who was posted on one year apostolic work to Bende suggested to our Postulant/Novice Master, Rev. Fr. Francis Akwue, C.S.Sp the urgent need to allow the brothers to do secondary school studies. By that time majority of the Brothers had only primary school education. Ignatius Nwachukwu did convince our formator who welcomed this good idea.

Fr. Francis Akwue, C.S.Sp approached the Father Founder for permission to allow the brothers to acquire secondary education. The Father Founder, Bishop Anthony G. Nwedo C.S.Sp, gave his approval. Consequently, the seminarians who were posted on one year apostolic work on completion of their secondary education, organized crash secondary school studies for the second set of the foundation members. The studies lasted between June1972 to May 1973, that is, before the second set of the foundation members entered Novitiate. Within this one year, we covered classes 1 and 2 secondary school programme/curriculum.

Earlier in May 1972, the first set of the foundation members had entered Novitiate. They did not benefit from this one year crash program. The second set covered classes one and two secondary school curriculum.

FIRST RELIGIOUS PROFESSION

The first set of foundation members made their first Religious Profession in May 1973 and the second set of the foundation members entered Novitiate the same day in St. Finbarr's Catholic Church Umuahia. With their entry into Novitiate, the second set of Brothers stopped their secondary school crash program.

After the First Religious Profession of the first set of foundation members in May 1973, arrangement for crash programme was made for them to acquire secondary school education.

MOVEMENT TO IMMACULATE CONCEPTION SEMINARY –AHIAEKE IBEKU – UMUAHIA

The first set of the foundation members moved to Immaculate Conception Seminary Ahiaeke in September 1973 to prepare for their London General Certificate of Education Examination (G.C.E). They were not opportune to acquire secondary education through crash programme like the second set of brothers. However they were registered with what was called “correspondence college” which was based in Lagos. This college prepared them to sit for London G.C.E through correspondence studies.

The Rector of Immaculate Conception Seminary, Ahiaeke, Rev. Fr. Gregory Ochiagha (now Bishop Emeritus of Orlu Diocese) co-operated with our Father Founder wonderfully by renovating one of the teachers quarters for the first set of Brothers to live and prepare for their London G.C.E. By then the second set of Brothers were engulfed in their one year intensive Novitiate formation in Bende.

The first set of Brothers used one year and three months (September 1973 to December 1974) to prepare for their London G.C.E examination. They took their examinations in November/December 1974. After their examination, they were posted to different parishes to start their apostolate of teaching catechism.

FIRST RELIGIOUS PROFESSION OF SECOND SET

The second set of Brothers made their First Religious Profession on 14th December 1974 at C.K.C. Parish, Aba.

In January 1975, they were privileged to move down to Immaculate Conception Seminary Ahiaeke to start classroom Secondary School subjects with Seminarians. However, they occupied in separate teachers' quarters where the first set of foundation members lived to prepare for their G.C.E. Examination.

The names of second set of Brothers who moved to I.C.S. for studies are: Brothers:
1. James Michael Okpalaonwuka
2. Edwin Nwofor
3. Robert Ehileme
4. Innocent Mbeledeogu and
5. Joseph Ezeani.

It was in second term of 1974/1975 academic year that they joined the seminarians in class three. Classes one and two were done at Bende through crash programme. They studied at Immaculate Conception Seminary for three years (1974/1975 – 1976/1977) and wrote their West African G.C.E. in Nov/Dec.1977.

MAJOR SEMINARY STUDIES: CHANGE OF INITIAL IDEA BY FATHER FOUNDER

The initial plan of our Father Founder already mentioned, was to found a Religious Congregation of Rev. Brothers who would be teaching Catechism in Parishes in his Diocese. However, as the situation of things unfolded, he changed his mind. By that time, he thought of sending some of the Brothers to the Major Seminary to study for the priesthood.

In September 1976, he sent three of our Brothers to Bigard Memorial Seminary, Ikot-Ekpene Philosophy Campus. The names of the three Brothers are:


1. Innocent Ajuonu
2. Anthony Nwosu (Ihemekwala) and
3. Boniface Dike

Bro. Paschal Nwoko could not join them as a result of health challenges. He took over from Fr. Francis Akwue, C.S.Sp as Novice Master for many years before he was eventually sent to study for the priesthood at the Spiritan School of Philosophy at Isienu Nsukka.

Between 1974 and 1977, the third and fourth sets of Brothers had completed their Novitiate. Two of them who had already secondary school education before joining the Congregation were also sent to Bigard Memorial Seminary Ikot-Ekpene in September 1977. The two Brothers are:
1. Bro. Michael Chukwu, and
2. Bro. Sabastian Onyeabor (who later left and joined Okigwe Diocese).

After the G.C.E. examination of the second set of Brothers in 1977, three more brothers were sent to Bigard Memorial Seminary Ikot-Ekpene on 3rd October, 1978. The third group of Brothers that were sent to Ikot-Ekpene were:
Brothers: 1. James Michael Okpalaonwuka
2. Mark Dike and
3. Bartholomew Awurum

ESTABLISHMENT OF MINOR SEMINARY FOR SONS OF MARY MOTHER OF MERCY CONGREGATION

Being aware of the need of Minor Seminary for the young religious Society, our Father Founder decided to establish a Junior Seminary at Bende where the brothers were living. The first set of students came to Bende in September 1978. Before the arrival of a diocesan priest who became the Rector of the Minor Seminary, as the Congregation by then had not ordained any priest, Bro. Edwin Nwofor was the acting Rector while Bro. Robert Ehileme was the Dean of Studies and Students’ Affairs.

The Father Founder named the Seminary: LORETTO JUNIOR SEMINARY, BENDE. Later it was changed to Mercy Junior Scholasticate Bende. Today, this same Seminary is called: MERCY SEMINARY, BENDE. Rev. Fr. Raphael Nwosu was sent as the First Rector of Mercy Seminary, Bende. Both formation house of the Brothers and the new Mercy Seminary were in the same compound at Bende.

SENDING BROTHERS TO THE HOLY GHOST PHILOSOPHY CAMPUS ISIENU NSUKKA FOR STUDIES

As a member of the Holy Ghost Congregation and wishing our Brothers to learn from the Spiritans, our Father Founder decided to be sending our Brothers for Major Seminary Formation at Holy Ghost Philosophy Campus Isienu Nsukka. The first group that was sent to Nsukka to study philosophy in 1979 included:
Brothers:
1. Simon Egozubelu (RIP)
2. Edwin Nwofor
3. Innocent Mgbeledeogu (RIP) who left as a seminarian and joined Abuja Diocese.
The second group to be sent in 1980 comprised Bothers:
1. Robert Ehileme
2. Ferdinand Nwaigbo
3. Henry Tanto

In subsequent years, our brothers were sent to Holy Ghost Philosophy Campus Isienu Nsukka for their philosophy. Bro. Paschal Nwoko, whose health had improved, was among those who were sent to Isienu at that period.

After three years of study at Bigard Philosophical Campus Ikot-Ekpene, our Brothers were sent to Bigard Enugu to continue their four years of Theological Studies. Those who finished their study of philosophy at Isienu Nsukka also joined those at Bigard Enugu for their theology.

FIRST PRIESTLY ORDINATION FOR THE SONS

History was made for the Society of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy on the 2nd of July, 1983 when two of her members were ordained priests. They were Rev. Fr. Innocent Ajuonu and Rev. Fr. Anthony Nwosu (Ihemekwala). It was a happy occasion for both our Father Founder and the members of our young religious family.

Before that time, diocesan priests from Umuahia were appointed Rectors of Mercy Seminary, Bende as well as Parish Priest of Corpus Christi Parish, Bende. With the priestly ordination of two SONS, they took over from the diocesan priests as Rector of Mercy Seminary and parish priest of Bende respectively. Rev. Fr. Innocent Ajuonu became the Rector of Mercy Seminary while Rev. Fr. Anthony Nwosu became the parish priest of Corpus Christi Parish Bende. Thus, the formation of our members, were completely taken over by the SONS.

Before this time, Rev. Fr. Francis Akwue, C.S.Sp, had left us in 1975 for further studies in the U.S.A. Bro. Paschal Nwoko, before studying for the priesthood was both postulant and Novice Master until 1984 when Rev. Fr. Michael Chukwu who took over from him, was ordained a priest.

In September 1984, our Father Founder moved our Novitiate from Bende to Ohokobe Afaraukwu Umuahia (our Old Generalate House), so as to give enough room to the Mercy Seminary which was expanding. Rev. Fr. Michael Chukwu was appointed the Novice Master.

On 20th July, 1985 Rev. James Michael Okpalaonwuuka was ordained priest at St. Finbarr's Pro-Cathedral Umuahia. He was the 4th member of the Sons to be ordained priest.

In September 1985, Rev. Frs. Innocent Ajuonu and Anthony Nwosu (Ihemekwala) were both posted out of Bende to Aba zones to be parish priests. The newly ordained Rev. Fr. James Michael Okpalaonwuka was appointed to be both, Rector of Mercy Seminary and Parish Priest of Corpus Christi, Bende.

MORE PRIESTLY ORDINATIONS FOR THE SONS

August 1986 witnessed the priestly ordination of three of our members. Those who were ordained priests were:
1. Rev. Fr. Simon Egozubelu (RIP)
2. Rev. Fr. Edwin Nwofor
3. Rev. Fr. Bartholomew Awurum (RIP)
In 1987 three more members were ordained priests. They included:
1. Rev. Fr Robert Ehileme
2. Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Nwaigbo and
3. Rev. Fr. Henry Tanto

It was a great joy to see the increased number of the Society of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy members ordained priests. After their priestly ordination in 1986, Rev. Fr. Edwin Nwofor was posted to be the First Parish priest of St. Paul's Abaukwu, Aba and Rev. Fr. Simon Egozubelu took over from Rev. Fr. Michael Chukwu as Novice Master while Fr. Michael Chukwu was posted to St. Paul's Ozuabam as the parish priest. Rev. Fr. Bartholomew Awurum was sent to Our Lady of Lourdes, Aba as assistant parish priest.

With their priestly ordination in 1987, Rev. Fr. Robert Ehileme was posted to Maria Coronata Parish Ohafia to be the parish priest. Rev. Fr. Henry Tanto was sent to Bende as assistant parish priest as well as Vice Rector of Mercy Seminary Bende. Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Nwaigbo became the Founder's Secretary in Umuahia Diocese.

This was the starting point of the growth of the Congregation of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy. However, after the priestly ordination of three of our members in 1987, there were no further ordinations, until 1992 when Rev. Fr. Paschal Nwoko was ordained. Ever since then priestly ordinations have become annual events for the Congregation.

THE CANONICAL ERECTION OF THE CONGREGATION OF SONS OF MARY MOTHER OF MERCY

From 1973, when the first set of the foundation members made their First Religious Profession, till 1988 (15 years), the members of the Congregation were on simple vows. They renewed their Religious Vows every year or every three years.

The priest members were incardinated into Umuahia Diocese in order to be eligible to be ordained deacons or priests. Subsequently, there arose the urgent need for the young Religious Congregation to be erected canonically. However, before application for erection could be sent to Rome, a certain number of the members must have made their final profession. Secondly, without canonical erection, the Congregation could be closed at anytime without recourse to Rome.

In November/December 1988, the Father Founder requested the priest members and some brothers who were not priests, but were eligible to apply for final profession. The names of priests and brothers who were eligible for perpetual profession were:
1. Bro. Paschal Nwoko (now Fr)
2. Fr. Innocent Ajuonu
3. Fr. Anthony Nwosu (Ihemekwala)
4. Bro. Theodore Kaonyyeuloaso(R.I.P)
5. Fr. Simon Egozubelu(R.I.P)
6. Fr. James Michael Okpalaonwuka
7. Fr. Edwin Nwofor
8. Fr. Robert Ehileme
9. Bro. Livinus Uchegbu
10. Bro. Godfrey Oboshi (R.I.P)
11. Fr. Ferdinand Nwaigbo
12. Fr. Henry Tanto
13. Fr. Michael Chukwu(R.I.P)
14. Fr. Bartholomew Awurum(R.I.P)
15. Bro. Hyacinth Chikwe (R.I.P)

The priests and brothers who were eligible for perpetual profession were fifteen in number. Out of that number, two persons were on study leave in Germany: Rev. Fr. James Michael Okpalaonwuka and Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Nwaigbo.

Out of the remaining thirteen members who were working in Nigeria, six members refused to apply for perpetual profession. The reason which some of them gave was that nobody was sure whether the Congregation would survive. Some of our brother priests had already made up their minds to leave the Congregation and join Umuahia Diocese. Eventually, only six members submitted application – one priest and five Rev. Brothers. Their names were:
1. Bro. Paschal Nwoko
2. Bro. Theodore Kaonyeuloaso (RIP)
3. Fr. Robert Ehileme
4. Bro. Livinus Uchegbu
5. Bro. Godfrey Oboshi (R.I.P)
6. Bro Hycienth Chikwe (R.I.P)
The above named priest and brothers made their perpetual profession of vows in the presence of our Father Founder – Bishop Anthony G. Nwedo, C.S.Sp and the people of God at Mercy Seminary Bende in December 1988.

Rev. Fr. James Michael Okpalaonwuka visited home from Germany in December 1989 and made his perpetual profession before Rev. Fr. Robert Ehileme, the acting Superior at Maria Coronata Parish Chapel, Ohafia.

In January 1989, application was filed in the Vatican (the Pontifical Office for the Religious and Secular Institute) to raise the Pious Association of the Society of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy to a Religious Congregation. This application was submitted one year before our Father Founder retired as the Bishop of Umuahia in 1990. Our Father Founder did not receive any reply before retirement in 1990.

CANONICAL ERECTION IN 1992

Upon receiving all the required recommendation letters from the dioceses where our members were studying or working, the Pontifical Office for the Religious and Secular Institute granted our request for Canonical Erection of the Pious Society of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy.

Having received the nihil obstat from the Sacred Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples Prot. 2164/92 of 11th May, 1992 and all the requirements of law having been fulfilled, His Excellency Most Rev. Lucius I. Ugorji of Umuahia Diocese on the 15th day of August, 1992 established and erected the Association formerly known as the Society of the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy as a clerical institute of Diocesan right to be known and called The Congregation of the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy.

FIRST MISSION OUTSIDE NIGERIA

Rev. Fr. Robert Ehileme was the first to be sent on foreign mission. Towards the end of 1990, he was sent on mission to Italy. He learnt Italian language and started his missionary work in 1991.

By that time, Vatican had not given any reply to the application submitted to her office. Rev. Fr. Robert Ehileme who was working in Italy and Rev. Fr. James Michael Okpalaonwuka who was a student in Germany were communicating regularly about the issue of our Canonical Erection. Rev. Fr. Robert Ehileme, then in Italy, searched and eventually discovered the Office and inquired the reason why we have not received any reply to our application.

He was given the reason, namely: that all the Bishops of the Dioceses where our members were working or studying had to write letter of recommendation to the Office but one of the Bishops had not written and that was Bishop Camillus Etukudo of Ikot-Ekpene Diocese. Having gotten the reason Rev. Fr. Robert Ehileme intimated Fr. James Michael Okpalaonwuka, who was a student in Germany, on his findings.

With this information Fr. James Michael wrote and informed the Bishop of Ikot -Ekpene about the urgency of the letter and he responded positively.

FIRST GENERAL CHAPTER 1996

With the Canonical erection of the Congregation in 1992 to the Diocesan Rite, there arose the need for the young Religious Congregation to conduct her first General Chapter. It took another four years before the General Chapter was conducted in September 1996.

Within those four years, Rev. Fr. Anthony Ihemekwele served as the acting Superior.

The first General Chapter of the Congregation took place at the un-completed Novitiate building under construction in Umule-Ohuhu. There were no doors and windows by then but both our Father Founder and the members were happy that the First General Chapter of the Congregation was conducted in a house owned by the Congregation.

The first General Chapter of the Congregation took place at the un-completed Novitiate building under construction in Umule-Ohuhu. There were no doors and windows by then but both our Father Founder and the members were happy that the First General Chapter of the Congregation was conducted in a house owned by the Congregation.

At the end of the First General Chapter, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. James Michael Okpalaonwuka, SMMM (a student far away in Germany) emerged as the first canonically elected Superior General of the Congregation. He was re-elected during the Second General Chapter in August, 2002.

With the Third General Chapter in 2008, Very Rev. Dr. George Okorie, SMMM took over the administration of the Sons Congregation as the second canonically elected Superior General of the Congregation. He was re-elected during the Fourth General Chapter in 2014. We thank God for his blessings and the progress made by the Congregation within the short period of its foundation on 25th October, 1970 to her erection on 15th August 1992 and the subsequent General Chapters of 1996, 2002, 2008 and 2014.

CONCISED HISTORY OF THE SONS OF MARY MOTHER OF MERCY CONGREGATION

Founder: Most Rev. Dr. Anthony Gogo Nwedo, CSSp
Date Founded: October 25, 1970
Canonical Status: Diocesan Right

Charism: The Congregation enjoys the Charism of bearing witness to the Mercy of God, following the footsteps of Christ the merciful Saviour and Mary, the Mother of Mercy. This Mercy is expressed in compassion, forgiveness and kindness, in the light of the example of our Divine Master Jesus Christ in the following scriptural references: Lk. 1:39, 56; Jm. 2:3; Mt. 18:21-22; Mt. 9:4.

Superior General: Very Rev. Fr. Dr. George M. Okorie, SMMM
Superior General
Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy Generalate
P. O. Box 1660, Umuahia,
Abia State
smmmgeneralate@yahoo.com

About the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy Congregation
The Congregation of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy is an indigenous male Religious Congregation founded by Most Rev. Anthony Gogo Nwedo, C. S. Sp, the first bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia, on Sunday, October 25, 1970 (on the Solemnity of Christ the King). The purpose of its foundation is to work for the glory of God, in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and for the salvation of souls. Thus, members, following the footsteps of Christ, bear witness to the infinite mercy of God through a life of compassion, forgiveness and kindness; in this way, make their lives signs of God's love for sinful world. It is a Missionary Congregation of Priests and Brothers and the first indigenous Religious Congregation for men founded in Africa by an African, for a worldwide mission.

Habit
For our habit, we use white soutane with twenty-one (21) ostensible blue buttons and put on blue cord (cinture) with tassel. The twenty-one blue buttons represent: the fourteen Stations of the Cross and the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Apostolate
The priest members of the Congregation teach in schools and minister in parishes, while members who are religious brothers make sacred vestments, teach in schools, teach doctrine in parishes and care for the sick and needy. Charism The Congregation enjoys the Charism of bearing witness to the Mercy of God, following the footsteps of Christ the Saviour and Mary our Mother of Mercy. This Mercy is expressed in compassion, forgiveness and kindness.

Spirit
The spirit of the Congregation is that of Charity, Humility, Prayer, Penance and Abandonment to the will of God.

Growth
Presently, the Congregation has a total number of 272 Professed Members. 186 priests, 6 Reverend Brothers and 91 Senior Seminarians preparing for the Sacred Priesthood. In addition, we have 12 Novices, 14 Postulants and over 200 Aspirants.

Mission Areas
Some of our members are working in Nigeria, while others work in Cameroun, Ghana, Canada, United States of America, Italy, Germany, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and United Kingdom.