HISTORY OF THE PROVINCE
A Brief History of the Nigeria Province
“A journey of a thousand miles,” they say, begins “with one step”. The same is true of the journey of the Nigeria Province. The first step was the spark of an inspiration by the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the then Superior General, Sr. Marciana O’Keffee and the former Irish Provincial Superior, Sr. Catherine O’Farell.
The Irish Province was comprised of Ireland, Nigeria and Ghana. When Nigeria manifested the signs and seeds of readiness in terms of numerical strength, administrative maturity and potential economic/financial viability, the congregation decided to initiate her into the corridor of autonomy by creating the REGION OF NIGERIA. Accordingly, Sr. Rosita Nobis was appointed the Regional Superior on the 26th November 1986. Sr. Maura Hayes (R.I.P) was the Assistant Regional, Sr. Mary Anthony Ogunkorode was a member of the Regional Council who helped the Regional Superior in the administration and animation of the Region. The OLA convent, airport road, Benin City served as a temporary Regional Head Quarters which later shifted to OLA convent, Maryland, Lagos.
The region consisted of 20 communities which were grouped into four geographical entities called Areas – namely; Lagos, Ibadan, Bendel and Northern Areas. Each Area was directly organized by an Area Superior who was accountable to the Regional Council who in turn was accountable to the Irish Provincial. The Region had the numerical strength of about 80 sisters.
The highlights of urgent concerns and focus among other agendas were vocation drive, Animation, Formation, Education, Infrastructure, Income generating projects and the construction of the Provincialate building.
Thus, the Regional era set into motion the machinery that ushered in the glorious dawn of the birth of the Nigerian Province on the 5th of May, 1990. At the first Nigeria Provincial Chapter at the Eucharistic Heart Conference Centre, Ikeja, Lagos, Sr. Mary Anthony was elected as the first Provincial Superior.
The Province has twenty communities with a numerical strength of over 100 professed sisters. The Provincialate, is located in Maryland in the Archdiocese of Lagos. The formation houses are located at Agbor (Postulancy) in Delta State and at Ibadan (Novitiate) in Oyo State.
The OLA Sisters of the Nigeria Province firmly believe in our founder’s aims and objectives namely;
- Evangelization particularly in Africa
- Working for education and training of women and children
- To work in collaboration or alongside the SMA Fathers.
OLA Sisters are found in the urban and rural areas of Nigeria and they are involved in education, health care and Pastoral ministry – teaching of Catechism, home visitation, hospital visitation, youth development, Justice Development and Peace Commission, urban apostolate such as prison visitation and working for and with prisoners, care of destitute, care of street children, HIV/AIDS enlightenment and prevention programmes, counseling and caring for people living with AIDS.
Nigerian OLA sisters are on mission to other counties proclaiming the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ. There are Sisters on mission in Tanzania, Ghana, Argentina, Niger Republic, Chad, Ivory Coast, Togo, Italy, France and Lebanon.