Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles, Nigeria Province
Founded in 1876 by Fr. Augustine Planque's, SMA, the mission of the O.L.A. Sisters is to continue the work of evangelization which the Apostles received from the Lord. This the sisters do with particular interest in evangelization in Africa. With the zeal for mission, O.L.A. Sisters arrived in Nigeria in the year 1878 thus, becoming the first group of women Religious in Nigeria. On arrival, they settled in Lagos. There, the sisters started St. Mary’s Primary school and from there, they spread their Christian influence throughout the metropolis of Lagos and beyond. In 1886, three sisters went from Lagos to start the first house in the interior at Abeokuta where the SMA Fathers had been since 1873.
In 1892 a convent was opened in Topo for the purpose of creating Basic Christian Communities. Topo was then a ten hours journey from Lagos by canoe. In 1896, a mission was started in Oyo- the capital of the then Yoruba kingdom. The O.L.A. sisters worked closely with the SMA fathers, they collaborated in the evangelization of the five provinces of Lagos, Benin, Ibadan, Jos and Kaduna which was led by Fr. Francesco Borghero, SMA. In 1908, when SMA fathers through Fr. Marion Bresillac insisted on building a local community and clergy, the OLA sisters assisted in the formation of the young through teaching and counseling. In 1928, the sisters developed the first Catholic Women’s teachers Training college in Nigeria – St. Agnes, Yaba and then Maryland. In 1943, the sisters helped in the formation of the first indigenous religious congregation – the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus Sisters for the Archdiocese of Lagos. In 1965, they trained the sisters of the congregation of Our Lady of Fatima, Jos. The nature of the Institute of Our Lady of Apostles is missionary. Due to its apostolic nature, we commit ourselves by the religious vows to follow Christ as the Apostles did, giving our lives to the service of the Gospel, ready to risk all for the Lord.