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It was a great and historic event in the life of the Marian Missionary Sisters of the poor (MMSP) on Saturday, 4th October 2014 as people in great number from different nationalities gathered at the Cathedral of St. Mary and St Helen, Brentwood Essex, United Kingdom, for the profession of the first group of sisters after the inauguration of the congregation (that got her Decree of Erection on the 9th of June 2009) on 30th October 2010 with Rev. Mother Maria Chioma Emeagi MMSP, as the founder and Superior General.
This however, ushered in the amazing journey for the formation of the 3rd religious congregation in Brentwood diocese, after the Ursuline Sisters since one hundred years ago. With the profession of this first four Rev. Sisters, the congregation progresses on the path of epoch-making. The professed are Rev Srs, Stella Maris Davies, Mary Faustina Umunnakwe, Mary Dorathy Anah and Mary Blessing Onuoha.
The Pontifical High Mass which began at 3.00pm, featured Most. Rev. Dr. Alan Williams as the chief celebrant and shepherd of the diocese of Brentwood, about 25 priests, including the Vicar General, Rt. Rev. Mgr. John Armitage, the Chancellor, Rt. Rev. Mgr. Gordon Read, who both supported the formation of the sisters, Rev. Fr. Dr. Augustine Ihedinma, Prior and Sub-Prior from the Cistercian monastery, Mount Saint Bernard Abbey, Leicestershire, where Blessed Cyprian Iwene Tansi lived and died and two ordained deacons. Uncountable Rev. sisters including the Vicar for Religious, Sr. Josephine Canny, Sr. Mary Thomas Anyanwu IHM, dignitaries and people from various nationalities especially Nigerians.
In his homily, the Bishop recounted the life of the religious and admonished those to be professed to live out in a more practical way as stated in their constitution, the spiritual quality of being compassionate to the poor, the needy and the disadvantaged of the society. He reminded them that the crucifix which every religious is invested with is a symbol of their call to imitate Christ in his suffering and death. He also asked them to practice more faithfully the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience. He concluded by praying that God bestows on them the grace to carry out the work of evangelisation to the ends of the earth.
The newly professed at the end of the mass were treated with a grand reception chaired by Mr. Pauly Abaleke amidst of a larger guest, the Bishop and priests Rev. Sisters and distinguished men and women from all works of life including His Royal Highness Eze & Ugoeze E.O. Iwuchukwu, Mbarama I of IKEMBARA, the father of the day, some benefactors including Ezinne Rose Davies, Mrs Uju Nwaiwu, Lady Ngozi Njemanze, Cmdre & Mrs E. Acholonu (RTD), Lolo Ukachi Ozuzu, Barrister Chike Onyeacho and many others who travelled from Nigeria, Belgium and other parts of the world.
The Marian Missionary Sisters of the poor is a religious congregation established to respond to the growing needs of serving and working with the socially excluded, victimized and lonely children and young people in the world,( of Matt 25:35-40). Membership is open to any young Catholic girl who is 18years and above from any nationality with right intention and desire}.