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Brief History of Congregation


History and Foundation:

The Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Love was founded by Most Rev. Dr. Godfrey Mary Paul Okoye, C.S.Sp. on 16th July, 1969, in the midst of the tragic Nigerian/Biafran civil war in Ukpor, Anambra State. In founding this Congregation, the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of the instruments he would use, led Bishop Godfrey Mary Paul Okoye, C.s.sp to gather prospective candidates for the religious life while at Port Harcourt, Ahiara, Ekwereazu and Ihioma Fr. Johnson Ojiako, as the Parish Priest of St. Joseph Catholic Church Adazi had also gathered some prospective candidates for the religious life at St. John Catholic Church Neni, one of his out-stations. Some of the members of the group were Philomena Udorah and Bernadette Obiesie. These two after some time of waiting were inspired to go in search of Fr. Johnson Ojiako who had been transferred to Ukpor, to find out what the future held for their pious society group at Neni. The Holy Spirit was surely leading, and his instruments were following blindly. Events started to unfold with Fr Ojiako meeting with Bishop GMP Okoye at Amichi. Eventually, Ukpor emerged as the Holy Spirit’s choice of location for the foundation of the Daughters of Divine Love Congregation for the greater glory and honour of God our Father Almighty, the great provider and the ever loving One.

The Daughters of Divine Love Congregation by the special grace of God is the first veritable indigenous Congregation of Women Religious in Nigeria, the fruit of the labor of the early Missionaries in West Africa. The Daughters of Divine Love Congregation is called the first veritable indigenous congregation because its foundation has no direct association with any foreign Congregation.

Prior to the formal periods of formation, some women assisted in the training of the aspirants / postulants. They include Mrs. Ann Amene, Madam Vicky Ozor and a host of others. The Novitiate formation of the Foundation members was directed by Nigerian Formators: Mother Mary Charles Anyanwu, OSB, who later became the Founderess and Abbess of Paschal Word Incarnate Monastery Amorji Nike and Sr. Patricia Alufo, OSB; who also rose to the position of an Abbess at St. Scholastica Monastery Umuoji. Sr. Mary Alphonsus Agguh, IHM also assisted in the formation. All forms of subsequent training and formation of the members of the Daughters of Divine Love Congregation have since then been directed by Nigerian Formators.

The First Religious Profession of the Congregation on 4th November, 1973 at Holy Ghost Cathedral, Ogui Enugu was a memorable event. People gathered from near and far to witness the dedication of 16 young women to God in the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Love. The Congregation has grown from a Congregation of women Religious of Diocesan Rights to an International Congregation of Pontifical Rights in 1991.  The members of the first group are: Mother Mary Angela Uwalaka, Sr. Mary Chibueze Aligbe, Sr. Maria Eberechukwu Anosike, Sr. Mary Gregory Ezeibanu, Sr. Maria Kelechukwu Ibole, Sr. Mary Caroline Igbokwe, Sr. Maria Ogochukwu Manu, Mother Maria Ifechukwu Udorah, Sr. Maria Ifunanyachukwu Okwara, Sr. Maria Chukwunonyelum Agguh, Sr. Mary Pauline Nwajiaku, Sr. Maria Uchechukwu Chukwu, Sr. Maria Nnaemeka Nzekwe, Sr. Maria Rapuluchukwu Nsika, Sr. Maria Chinwe Etigbue and Sr. Maria Chukwuma Onyekwelu. 

After the death of the Father Founder in 1977, Mother Maria Ifechukwu Udorah became the first Superior General of the Congregation (1977-1980).

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