HUMBLE SERVICE IN THE DIVERSITY OF HUMAN LIFE.
SISTERS OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY MOTHER OF CHRIST PHILANTHROPIC DEVELOPMENT OFFICE (PDO) BIRMINGHAM UNITED KINGDOM.
The Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Mother of Christ is a feminine Institute of Pontifical Right under the Jurisdiction of the Holy See. It was founded in Onitsha Nigeria on the 7th of October 1937 by an Irish Missionary of the Holy Ghost Congregation his grace Archbishop Charles Heerey, CSSp of a blessed memory 1890 -1967. The Congregation was founded for the greater glory of God, the sanctification of its members and services to the people of God especially the poor and the less privileged , women and children through works of apostolate in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, pastoral services, and other works of charity according to the needs of the Church and the signs of times in the Spirit of Humility and the Charism of Compassion. Faithful to our Charism and Spirit we have served the people of God in all parts of Nigeria and others following countries of Africa: Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Chad, Cameroun, Tanzania, Benin Republic and some countries of Europe: Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland and in the United States America and Canada.
In keeping with the needs of the Church and the Signs of Times, we have been engaged in different works of charity and compassion especially among the poor and the less privileged of the societies where we live and work. We have developed diverse ways of reaching out to them through: our Health Care Services, Schools especially in remote and rural areas, Pastoral Care in every dimension, Care of the Vulnerable, Scholarship Programmes and Infrastructures.
On the 8th of September 2019, The Philanthropic Development Office of the sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Mother of Christ was opened in Birmingham United Kingdom. Philanthropy is all about serving and giving with joy. It is a system of appreciation of God’s love, generosity and gifts to His children on the part of the giver and the receiver. The opening event was begun with the cerebration of the Holy Mass. Within the celebration of the Holy Mass all the governing and advisory board members too their oats of office. Immediately after the Holy Mass was the official blessing and the opening of the Philanthropic Development Office. This was followed by the launching of each of the different advocacies in collaboration with the Spring Rain Global Corporation. Indeed the following advocacies were launched:
- FORMATION AND SCHOLARSHIP
- COMMUNITY HEALTH DEVELOPMENT
- CARE OF THE VULNERABLE, DISABLED, ELDERLY AND HIV/AIDS PATIENTS
- HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
- PASTORAL CARE IN HEALTH
- PHYSICAL STRUCTURES AND EQUIPMENT UPGRADING.
All of the above and more are effective ways of reaching out to the poor and the less privileged of our societies. It is really a call to service and to reach out to others with joy. As indeed there is great joy in serving, giving and sharing. The Regional Superior of the Immaculate Heart Sister s in Europe in the person of Sr. Mary Collette Obika was call upon to give the opening remark. She began by thanking the Almighty God for gathering all of us together. She welcomed with gratitude all who were present especially the founder and the CEO of the Spring Rain Global Corporation Dr. Glenda Antionio and Rev. Fr. Gerald who had travelled all the long way from Philippian to launch the Philanthropic Development Office for us. In addition, she welcomed all the advisory board members, all our guests and all our sisters who were present at the launching events. More to this, she acknowledged the presence of the deputy mayor of Birmingham, Yvonne Marie Mosquito, the President of the advisory board Dr. Bernard Obika , some of our sisters from Italy and Germany and some sisters of other Religious Institute who were present to celebrate with us. She also acknowledged the prayerful support and encouragement of the Archbishop of Birmingham his grace Bernard Longley who apologized for not being able to be present with us. She thanked the internal management board, the director of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Mother of Christ Philanthropic Development Office Sr Sebastian Ogwuike, her deputy director Sr. Mary Priscilla Ohawuch and their team for the excellent organisation.
In conclusion, she emphasized that a close reflection at what this enterprise is all about, demonstrates a pointer to what God wants humanity to establish in the world. A world without distinctions, where everyone’s dignity is respected and cared for.
COMPASSION, COMPASSION! Let us continue to be together in this worthy course.
Sr. Mary Sebastian the director of the PDO was also called upon to explain to everybody present why we all gathered. She expressed her gratitude to God who made everything possible, to Dr. Glenda who founded and promotes the Philanthropic Development as a way of letting God’s love and gift flow among His children and to our beloved Congregation through our Rev. Mother General Mary Claude Oguh who courageously accepted the challenge to give this a trial as a means of reaching out to God’s people especially the poor and the less privileged. Philanthropy is all about serving, giving, sharing and receiving with love. Our PDO motto summarized it all “Humble service in the diversity of the human life”. In short, philanthropy calls us to give with love and to receive with love and respect. We are called to be humble servants of the poor for the glory of God and for the sanctification and salvation of souls.
Dr Glenda Antonio also explained in more detail about the philanthropy. She gladly explained that God in His Divine Providence is ever present and still provides for His children even in our present time. Most of the times, the poor cannot reach the rich and the rich cannot rich the poor. Indeed God cannot throw His gifts from up for people to catch. Even if He does the poor cannot catch them either. Philanthropy is about serving, becoming a bridge between the rich and the poor. A platform where givers give with love and freedom and receivers receive with gratitude and respect. All are helped to see both giving and receiving as means of sharing in God’s love and gifts.
Some of the action videos of the different advocacies were played. Commitment ceremony was also carried out. Some take a way souvenirs, brochures and tokens were provided by the Immaculate Heart of Mary Mother of Christ Sisters for all our guests. The day’s events were concluded with taking of pictures, refreshments and friendly interactions.