OLA Vocation
Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles, Nigeria Province


The congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles was founded in May 1876 in Lyon, France by Fr. Augustin Planque, SMA. As the Superior General of his society with priests working in west Africa, he saw the need for missionary sisters to preach the gospel to the African women and children. From 1856, Fr. Planque approached about 15 congregations to work in Africa without the desired result. in 1867, he got some Franciscan sisters from France who collaborated with him and sent the first group of sisters to west Africa in 1868. But this collaboration did not continue for long. So with permission from Rome, he founded the OLA Sisters. The congregation started with nineteen young women from different countries. Due to the difficulty in getting a novice mistress from another  female congregation, Fr. Planque had to train the novices himself. He had to divide his time between the SMA fathers and the OLA sisters. The sisters were sent on mission immediately after their novitiate training. Eventually, he recalled a sister from the mission to take charge of the novitiate. He placed the sisters under the protection of Our Lady, Queen of Apostles in the cenacle. The motto of the congregation is "with Mary the Mother of Jesus". this was chosen by the first superior General, Mother Augustine Planque, the niece of Fr. Augustin Planque. With Mary the Mother of Jesus, the sisters would persevere in prayer with other women and the Apostles.


The Charism of the OLA congregation is MISSION. We were founded for the purpose of mission - to go and spread the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ. From the beginning of the congregation, the OLA sisters have lived and worked as missionaries in different countries of the world. The early death of those who came to Africa did not stop the others from joining the congregation. The weather was harsh for them; the condition on the mission was very tough and almost all the sisters died at a very young age. But since the spread of the gospel must continue, sisters were sent on mission to Africa.

We are misssionaries - we are sent to work anywhere within and outside our country. We are also international - we are from different countries and we live together. We live and work anywhere we are needed to proclaim the gospel. Today about 700 OLA sisters work as missionaries in about 19 countries of the world. We live and work as missionaries in Algeria, Argentina, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Canada, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, France, Ghana, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania and Togo.


The first sisters were engaged in all kinds of work such as teaching, nursing, home visitation, Catechesis, the promotion and education of women and young girls, parish work and so on. They offered every kind of service of which they were capable and where there is need. Today we are engaged in teaching, nursing, catechesis, youth ministry, youth development, Justice Peace and Integrity of creation (JPIC) and social work with women and children. Our priorities are spreading the gospel where it has not taken root; and working with women, young girls and children for their upliftment. We are however open to new challenges as the need arises.


In 1878, the OLA Sisters arrived in Lagos, thus becoming the first group of Religious Women in Nigeria. The first convent and first Girls' school (St. Mary's private school) was built in Braod Street, Lagos in 1878. The first hospital in Nigeria was also built by the sisters in Abeokuta (Sacred Heart Hospital, Lantoro) in 1885. Both are still standing till date. The OLA sisters did a lot in the area of education and Health care. They established so many schools in different parts of Nigeria. And also built hospitals and clinics. Today, OLA sisters live and work in the urban and rural areas of Nigeria in Bauchi, Delta, Edo, FCT Abuja, Plateau, Kaduna, Lagos, Niger, Ogun and Oyo states.

We invite young girls with a deep faith and love for God and humanity to come and join us in order to continue this great mission of proclaiming God's love to all people.

Have you ever reflected on God's choice of Vocation for you? Have you ever pondered in your heart the invitation of Christ to be his witness here on earth?

If you feel his choice for you is to serve God as an OLA Sister, then you need the following information:

- You should be a baptized Catholic with a strong desire to serve God as a missionary.

- You must have completed your SSCE with a minimum of five credits including English Language.  Other higher qualifications are also welcome.

- You must be matured and aged between 18 and 30.

- You must be an aspirant with us for at least one year.

The process of becoming an OLA sister is as follows:

  • Two years of postulancy training.
  • Two years of Novitiate training.
  • Six to nine years of temporary vow.

For further Information, contact the following addresses below.


Loving Father, while your apostles were praying together with Mary the Mother of Jesus, you sent them your Holy Spirit. Open the hearts of all people to that same Spirit so that they may come to know your great love for them. Help young people to respond to the call to follow you closely in the Priesthood or Religious Life, we ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

For further information contact:

O.L.A. Convent, Maryland,
P.O.Box 10, Ikeja, Lagos.
Tel: +2347052690164


O.L.A. Novitiate,
P.O. BOX 1132, Agodi Gate P.O.
Ibadan, Oyo State.
Tel: +2348150326423


O.L.A. Postulancy
Marymount Convent,
P.O.Box 2170, Agbor
Delta State.
Tel: +2348062949107


O.L.A. Convent, Zawan
P.O. Box 32, Bukuru
Plateau State.

O.L.A. convent
P.O. box 8270,
FCT, Abuja

O.L.A. Convent,
St. Ann's
P.O. Box 88, Kaduna
Kaduna State.


:: OLA Worldwide ::
Our History in Nigeria
Founded in 1876 by Fr. Augustine Planque SMA, the mission of the O.L.A. Sisters is to continue the work of evangelization which the Apostles received from the Lord. With the zeal for mission, O.L.A. Sisters arrived Nigeria in the year 1878 thus, becoming the first group of women Religious in Nigeria.
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Blue region represents States in Nigeria where OLA Convents exist.
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