Our Father founder, Late Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo, CSSp., in 1961, founded the Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy (DMMM) Congregation that through the prayers and penance of its members, Divine graces and blessings would be obtained for the success and spiritual growth of the diocesan ministry.

DMMM History

Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo CSSP was ordained on 17th May, 1959 as the first bishop of the newly created Catholic Diocese of Umuahia. At this time, Umuahia and all its neighboring towns were backward and undeveloped with very few Primary and Secondary schools. The areas were also predominantly Protestant. He needed help in running and developing the new diocese. Faced with this challenges, he borrowed a leaf from Bishop Shanaha, the then Bishop of Onitsha Diocese who, when faced with similar challenges, overcame it by building Catholic schools as tools for evangelization and development. Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo, in like manner, initiated the building of schools, colleges, hospitals and orphanages, but he was unable to answer one question: 'Who would run these institutions?'

He tried to invite a religious congregation from overseas to help the newly created diocese, but none was available. He then asked Propaganda Fide to help him find such a religious congregation that could help him but they replied, "Why not start your own?". Initially he thought it was going to be an impossible venture but as time went on, the idea developed and he began to gather young girls as prospective candidates who later became pioneers of the congregation.

When the Secretary General of Propaganda Fide, Archbishop Pietro Sigismondi, sent him the “NORMA” for erecting a religious society he then realized that there was no reason to wait any longer. On 29th December, 1961 the first 18 young girls gathered around him in Corpus Christi Mission, Etitiulo, Bende. Another eleven young girls later joined them. These 29 young girls stayed two weeks in Bende and on the January 17, 1962 (the feast of St. Anthony of Egypt) they moved to the uncompleted Mercy Secondary School, Nbawsi, he was building for them. Thus, the Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy (DMMM) congregation started with these twenty-nine young girls, now pioneers of the congregation.

For their formation, the Congregation of the Sisters of Peter Claver in Rome undertook to train the first group of eight aspirants whom the Father Founder judged were ready for a more serious religious formation. They were sent to the convent of the St. Peter Claver Sisters in Ibadan where they had their Pre-Novitiate training. After their Pre-Novitiate training, they went to Rome and were clothed as Novices at the Novitiate house of St. Peter Claver Sisters on 8th December, 1964. They came back to Nigeria in June 1966, and on December 8, 1966 six of them made their first religious profession.

The congregation started as a Pious Union in December 1961 and was canonically erected as an Institute of Diocesan Right by the Founder on 17th January, 1962. On the recommendation of his successor, Most Rev. Dr. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, on February 2, 1994, the Congregation was raised to an Institute of Pontifical Right by the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic life.

Our Founder

Our founder: Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo

Our Father founder, late Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo, CSSp., was born to the Families of Joseph Mary Nwedo Nzeribe and Monica Ubelife Nwedo (both of blessed memory), around 1912 in Oguta in Owerri Archdiocese of Imo State, Nigeria, West Africa. He completed his primary and secondary education in 1928. After the completion of his high school education in 1938, he proceeded to the Seminary for his priestly formation. On July 29, 1945 he was ordained a Catholic Priest. His zeal for the consecrated and religious life became so great that in 1950 he entered the Holy Ghost Fathers’ Novitiate in Kilshane, Ireland and had his Religious Profession in 1951. On May 17, 1959, he was ordained the first Bishop of Umuahia Catholic diocese.

As a bishop of a new diocese he was faced with challenges of an undeveloped Ecclesiastical territory, and he built Catholic schools as a means of evangelization to tackle those challenges. In addition, he needed a spiritual power house, that is, a religious society by which the prayers and penance of its members would obtain Divine graces and blessings necessary for the success of the ministry and the spiritual growth of the diocese. As a result, in 1961, he founded the Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy (DMMM) congregation, and in 1970 founded the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy (SMMM) congregation.

As the Bishop of Umuahia, he worked zealously for the evangelization of God’s people of Umuahia. The creation of two dioceses from the Umuahia diocese, namely Okigwe diocese and Aba diocese, is evidence of his hard work and untiring spirit. He retired in 1990 and on February 12, 2000 he left to answer the heavenly call.

SMMMM (Sons) and DMMM (Daughters)

Our Advent

Our sisters came to the United States in 1992 on the invitation of the then Local Ordinary, Archbishop Edward McCarthy, the Archbishop of Miami, Florida. In response to this invitation our then Superior General, Late Rev. Mother Mary Paul Offiah sent twelve sisters who we symbolically called 'the twelve apostles'. The sisters are Sr. Chidi Nwanya, Sr. Nkechinyere Njoku, Sr. De Lourdes Dike, Sr. Camillus Ononuju, Late Sr. Evangeline Nnorom, Sr. Ogechi Nzurike, Sr. Daniel Ike, Sr. Magdalene Mkpo, Sr. Regina Osondu, Sr. Ngozidilichukwu Ohaeri, Sr. Stella Chinalum Ikeadighi and Sr. Chiazokam Ezeorah.

In 1994, Bishop Jude Speyrer, the first Bishop Emeritus of Lake Charles, Louisiana, the late Msgr. Irving DeBlanc, and Msgr. Joseph Bourque visited Umuahia Diocese in Nigeria. In 1995, Msgr. Irving DeBlanc invited our sisters to the Lake Charles diocese where our mission is to work with the sick, the poor, the needy, and particularly with the elderly.

In December 2008, under the leadership of Rev. Mother M. Pauline Eboh, the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy sisters were invited to the Diocese of Saint Paul in Alberta, Canada, by His Excellency, Bishop Joseph Luc-André Bouchard, to minister to the retired priests of the diocese. The sisters in this first group are Sr. Chikamnele Okorie, Sr. Josephine Chidumebi Okafor and Sr. Chichorom Ekpeke.

Through the efforts of these sisters, more sisters were sent and, like a mustard seed, the group grew and has now spread to more than thirty (30) dioceses in the United States and Canada. Our mission to the United States gave birth to DMMM USA-Canada Region, and our order is recognized as a non-profit religious organization in various states in the United States.

With the help of God, we have grown and expanded into a force to be reckoned with. We are grateful to God for the many favors we have received from Him as a Congregation and pray that He will continue to bless our apostolic and missionary activities. Amen.

DMMM Mothers and Daughters