Sister Helen Onyiuke, MSHR
  • 81 years old
  • Date of birth: Aug 1, 1936
  • Place of birth:
    Nimo, Anambra State, Nigeria
  • Date of passing: Feb 22, 2018
  • Place of passing:
    FCT Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria
Let the memory of Sister Helen be with us forever

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Sister Helen Onyiuke, MSHR, 81, born on August 1, 1936 who passed away on February 22, 2018. We will remember her forever.

Burial Programme for Sister Helen Onyiuke

Mass was celebrated for her at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja at 8 am Monday 26th February, 2018 by Bishop Anselm Umoren, MSP, Auxiliary Bishop of Abuja.

The body has been brought to Eastern Medical Mortuary, Enugu.

Vigil Mass
Date & time: Monday 26th March, 2018,5pm.

Burial Mass Date & time:
Tuesday 27th March, 2018,10 am by Bishop G. Onah, Bishop of Nsukka Diocese.

Holy Rosary Retreat and Conference Centre (Beside Queen of the Rosary Secondary School),Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.

May Our dear Sister Helen rest in peace.

Sister Stella Nwosu, MSHR (Regional Leader, Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary Regional House, Enugu)

For inquiries or to make contact with a member of Sister Helen's congregation, send a message to this Email address:

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by ifeyinwa muoegbunam on 21st March 2018

    There is no experience of pain in life that is as heart rending and deep, as the death of a beloved.
    Unfortunately, life has made it that as many as we receive the gift of friends, associates and lovely
    people; just exactly so will be the enormity of our pain at the forceful separation that death imposes.
    Today, the death of Sr. Helen challenges us with such unimaginable sorrow.
    It was not easy to swallow the news of your death, Sr. Helen, because of what you stood for, what
    you lived and died for. It was in your life the words of William James is properly understood, when
    he wrote that “the great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” And we can say
    that you spent your life on earth for eternal life. Your actual death is to us a birthday for you into
    eternal life. May heaven open hands today and add to the number of the holy men and women in
    God’s heavenly home.

    Your life is ended but you live on in the hearts of all Nimo religious, priests, seminarians and
    aspirants. You were indeed an Icon of Joy, Peace and Kindness. Any time you learnt that a sister,
    seminarian or priest is from Nimo, you would never fail to start exhorting and advising the person
    on the need to maintain the good qualities and legacies for which Nimo religious and priests are
    known, namely: holiness and good works. Because of this you became an exemplar for all, old and
    young alike. That, without any exaggeration gave you the mother figure over all Nimo priests,
    religious and seminarians, more than the very fact that you are providentially the second Nimo
    daughter to embrace the religious life and live it with great thankfulness and joy. At every meeting,
    we looked forward to your kind words and most especially your usual way of calling us ‘Umu m’
    which means ‘my children.’ But now, we will miss that gentle voice of yours forever, and it is really
    tear-arousing. You loved Jesus Christ, you gave your entire life and energy for his good news and
    works, and you died in active love and service for the Church and humanity. Your death confirms
    what D. H. Lawrence said, that “death is the only pure, beautiful conclusion of a great passion.”

    At this point, we wish to apologize to you now at your grave side, because we believe that you are
    living-on in the bosom of God whom you loved so well. We are deeply sorry for not showing
    enough solidarity to you as an association during your Golden Jubilee celebration which you
    lamented terribly, unknown to us that you were spending the last days in our midst. We were still
    planning to initiate a move for this apology before your sudden death struck. On this day, we expect
    your blessings and maternal forgiveness.

    A Russian proverb rightly said, that death is for the ripped and not the aged. It is against this
    backdrop that we are consoled that your death is nothing less than the full time of your lifetime. God
    called you to himself because it is time for you to go home. St. Ambrose says that the foolish fear
    death as the worst of evils, the wise desire it as a rest after labours and the end of ills. You were a
    sign of that joy that only God gives, a paragon of peace and an ambassador of kindness. We miss
    you so much and we will always miss you. But we are consoled by the words of Psalm 116:15 that
    “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.”
  Good bye Sr. Helen.
    Good bye our luminary.
    Good night our pride
    Rest in the Lord, until we meet to part no more!

    (Okafor JohnMark on behalf of all the members of REVAN)"

This tribute was added by Too Okpalenwe on 19th March 2018

"I want to pay a special tribute to my Aunt, Mum, Sister and special friend Rev Sr Helen Onyuike MSHR. Its been a year and 3 months you visited us in our country home. its been a 9 months we spoke on phone.That visit was so special because it changed my Life. Your advice is God sent, Your Love and kindness is life changing. As a missionary Sister, you changed a lot of people and families, You did your bid to heal the world. I can go on and on and on. One thing is certain, you left an indelible mark. You live a fulfil life.  Only God Knows why. Sr Helen Jee nke Oma, were rue mgbe anyi na gi ga-ezukota. May your gentle Soul rest in Perfect Peace. Amen."

This tribute was added by Ngozi Okpalaenwe on 19th March 2018

"Oh sr. Helen you are gone. Death is real. Death has taking you to heaven. we shall meet there to part no more. we will continue to miss you here on earth.  The Family of Okpalaenwe will miss you. You never miss any opportunity to talk to the young ones especially the new families. You always finish every talk and advise with prayers. Your last visit in 2017 will remain a memorable in our hearts."

This tribute was added by Stanley Oboh on 19th March 2018


The population of SAINTS in Heaven have increased by one. That is the only way we can express our experience of the personality and candor of Rev Sr. Helen Onyiuke.

Sister Helen as we called her in-short was a dream Mother, a friend and spiritual trustee that one was lucky to be associated with.

She had this charm and homeliness that radiates around her that makes one cherish her presence. She would always take interest in your personal well-being and that of every family member the way a grandmother attends to her grandchildren.

Sister Helen was very active as she identified with various societies and communities in the Church and all adopted her as Patroness and Spiritual Adviser. She always endeavors to personally attend their meetings to play the desired role.

Rev Sr. Helen will be dearly missed but we are consoled because we firmly believe she has joined the Saints in Heaven.

Mr. and Mrs. John E. Obiahu and Family."

This tribute was added by Ngozi Mbaka on 19th March 2018

Your passing has brought me to realize yet again how little I understand life. What a mystery. You had the divine privilege of attaining the biblical age but I had hardly associated you with death. For me, you were very young at heart, full of life very energetic more than countless numbers of decades younger. You bought me drugs, planned diet and health regime for my family and others. You were a woman of all virtues in all Ramifications that everyone both old and young looked up to. I am sad but at the same time happy because I am without doubt that you’ve gone to meet our creator who purified and sanctified you before receiving you in his kingdom.
The church has lost a rare gem but heaven rejoices as you step in. I am consoled by your good life and legacy indelible in heart.
Peace Perfect Peace !!
SR Helen


This tribute was added by ifeyinwa muoegbunam on 19th March 2018

Ma Hehe, as I fondly called you, your death took me unawares. What pained me most is that I didn’t hear your voice before you bowed out. I heard you were sick and I called immediately some other person picked. Meaning you could no longer pick calls. I suspected that the sickness was a very serious one and I started praying for God’s intervention and begged God to keep you so that we will finish burring Sr Callista Chukwu. The next thing we heard was that you were going for surgery and that we should pray for its success. We stormed the heavens with prayers here in the novitiate. We accompanied you with both communal and private prayers. We were happy when we heard that the surgery was successful the next day. I was happy and hoped that I could talk to you when you recover fully. The next shocking and unbelievable news was that you are no more. I wailed and denied the reality of your death in my room.

Ma Hehe, I am not mourning over your death because you were immortal because l am aware that mortality is the characteristic feature of every living organism but your death was very soon to me.  You looked old from human point of view but very young at heart. Every younger person is ‘‘nwa gi’’. I knew you as a cheerful and joyful person always. You mingled very well with both old and young people. You never discriminated. You loved inclusively and that is the essence of our life as religious. I thank God that I encountered you as a good and exemplary religious and this has made a very deep impression in my life.

Last year August l spent one week with the first year novices in your community in Abuja during their annual holiday. You did everything within your reach to make us comfortable and to enjoy our stay. You planned with me on the interesting places to visit by the novices to and organized for the driver who was very familiar with the environment to take us round. One of the days, I complained that I was having stomach upset you gave me Moringa power to drink which I took religiously and I felt relieved after some time.
Ma Hehe, another holiday is coming in August this year, who will be there for me and the novices? Who will selflessly attend to our needs when we come around? Who will organize for the places for our outing and a reliable driver that will carry us?  It is still like a dream and it is very hard tobelieve that you are no more. I will surely miss some of your funny expressions like; nwatiti (just a little), ofe nkea wee sochasia(this soup is very delicious), Jesus and Moringa etc.

Your depature has really created a very big vacuum in my life especially in your community Wuse. My last interaction with you was last year November during our regional meeting at Nsukka. After lunch one of the days, we all walked up to the new house for a brief rest. On arrival, you realised that you forgot the key to your room in the refectory of the old building. As I came very close, you begged me in your usual and kind manner‘‘nwam biko jee wetere m key mu na window refectory’’ (my child please can you go back and collect my key at the refectory window. I hurried back and got it for you but little did I know that was your last errand to me and my last interaction with you.

Ma Hehe, we love and cherish you but God loves you most. He snatched you away from this sinful and corrupt world at this ripe time. I believe that you are resting now in the bosom of the Lord. Pray for us your sisters to remain faithful daughters of Shanahan. Greet pa Shanahan till we meet to part no more.You will remain ever green in our hearts.Goodbye! Until we meet in the land where we will never grow old.

Adieu, Sr Helen! Fare well Mama Hehe! Good night a great missionary! Ijeoma!a faithful daughter of Shanahan.

Celestina Chiaku (MSHR)"

This tribute was added by ifeyinwa muoegbunam on 19th March 2018

My beloved Elena Nwa Mama as I fondly called you. I was shocked when I received the news of your death, it is really hard to believe that you are no more. I really and truly miss you but I resign totally to God’s will. When I reflect on the outcome of the life you lived here on earth, I feel consoled that you are resting in the bosom of the Lord to whom you are consecrated by vows. You passionately loved your “Jesu” as you always called him and you made honest effort to put his teachings in practice, as he said if you love me keep my words.

You were such a sweet and cheerful person and this dispositions remained with you both in good and difficult times. When I called you this January when you were still at Nimo, you said to me “I makwa na nwanne gi anwusia”. And I said No! My sister is not dying.  You joyfully narrated to me how you just recovered from pneumonia and I said. You mean you suffered pneumonia in Nimo?  And I further said-Nimo / pneumonia! And both of us had a good laugh. You told me all that happened during your family celebrations and the sisters that attended and how I missed all of it and we rejoiced together. Little did I know that it was my last discussion with you. My communication with you when I heard of your sickness was only indirectly, it was not possible to hear that joyful voice again no matter how I tried.

The first experience that made me to really admire you as a woman of virtue was the first regional meeting I ever attended with you in MSHR Southern Nigeria. You came back from a seemingly challenging mission and when it was mentioned. You came out and said “Sisters when you have difficult experiences please transcend them and continue your life”. That was very inspiring to me and I said it to you immediately after the meeting and you told me that you believe in forgiveness. I had also seen you easily letting go of hurt in the spirit of Bishop Shanahan whom you promised to imitate on the day you said your yes to God. You have such a childlike Spirit Helena nwannem and Jesus said that the kingdom of God is for people like you. I know that our loving God will forgive you your own shortcomings as you readily forgave those that trespassed against you
When I was telling someone about the poorest of the poor in Ugbene 2 at Enugu. You overheard me and immediately you declared your interest in them and started sending foodstuffs and some of your clothing’s to them. You told me that you were clearing your room and getting ready for Jesus. I am sure Jesus would have said to you by now, when I was hungry you gave me to eat and when I was naked you clothed me.

You understood that religious life is about self emptying in the spirit of Christ and so you made a lot of sacrifices to give joy and life to all who came in contact with you. I can’t forget your coming all the way to Cameroon for my Final profession. When you arrived Cameroon, you whispered into my ear “I had opportunity to come by air but I refused so that whatever treatment they will give me as an elder the people coming by land will enjoy it with me”. Those who travelled with you truly enjoyed your company and still talk about it today. You contributed in making my profession a very joyful one. It struck me very deeply that though you had no energy to speak when you were in the hospital, you still remembered the burial of Sr Patricia Nkwo’s mother and asked Sr Mary who was looking after you to call me and get Sr Patty’s number so that you can speak with her. You were not able to make that call but God will reward you for being selfless unto death. There are uncountable testimonies about you from many people in this regard.

During our last April regional meeting, you asked me to come to your room so that I would join you to   prepare the liturgy for the funeral mass of your senior brother Greg. We did, but I never imagined that we shall be talking about your own funeral liturgy at this time, because you were so full of life, but God had already destined it. During the liturgy preparation two of us were for Jn:6, {I am the bread of life-and I will raise him up on the last day}, There is no doubt, Jesus has raised you up and given you a place in the company of his Saints
I am very proud of you as the first Holy Rosary sister from Nimo and the second Sister from the entire Nimo town. You really fought the good fight and kept the faith. As a missionary you did not keep the faith to yourself, you advised so many people including priests and religious to be true to the commitment they have made to the lord. And that was one of the reasons why you called everyone “nwam”. You instructed many in virtue and so you are definitely shining like stars for all eternity. It pained your heart when people deviate from the faith.
When I went home to Nimo few years back, many people were telling me that my sister Helen cried publicly in the church. When I inquired why you had to cry, I was told that you narrated a story for them about how Nimo could not be penetrated during the Biafran war because the Nigerian soldiers taught that the whole town was a sea because God made our town look like a sea for them. According to you people who heard the story began to call our beloved town “Holy Nimo”, you wept because the reverse is the case now. Many young people have deviated from God to Idol worship. Please now that you are with God bring that intention to him so that those young people will be reconnected to God and will rediscover the joy in loving God and serving him alone.

You were a very happy missionary and now you have the fullness of happiness as our founder said. “Our happiness here on earth is only the shadow of the reality which God had in store for us in heaven. Where it will last for all eternity. Heaven with the actual vision and possession of God”.  
I trust that now, you are beaming with smiles having beheld the splendor of God.  You were a very active person and at the same time you lived like a good servant who was always waiting for the arrival of his master or rather you lived like the wise virgins. You had told me several times since 2015 that you were ready to see Jesus and in your death bed you changed your name to “uchechukwu”. You are blessed; you are not to be pitied at all.

May we whom you left behind model our lives in the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, may we not gain the whole world and lose what is most important which is seeing our own names written in the book of life when our lives here on earth is ended.

Adieu Elena Nwa Mama
From Ifeyinwa Muoegbunam (MSHR)"

This tribute was added by Christie Obinatu on 18th March 2018

"My mummy St Hellen, you are a great woman of love to every one who come across  you.when I had you are at the intensive unit of the hospital I prayed that God should  relieve your pains.I was not thinking of death. I  got a shock when I heard that you passed on.what a great loss.Each time I close my eyes I see you  calling me to ask for one thing or the other in that tune of love and kindness. I  learned a lot from you. I will miss your advice,kind and gentle word,.you gave me an advice that helped me to solve a big problem that weighed me down for days.I can talk about you endlessly. You are a good woman with a good  heart I  call you  mummy for you are a mother figure for me and a spiritual mother.You are my role model and you changed  my life.I thank God for the opportunity he gave me to come across  you.Rest In Peace Dear Mummy. ADEU ADEU ADEU.CHRISTIE OBINATU"

This tribute was added by Ngozi Onyiuke-Achebe on 17th March 2018

"Dear Sister Helen,
I am writing to you from the depths of a heavy heart. I cannot believe that you are not here with us.
As January concluded, Sr. Hilda had informed me of your ill health which deeply saddened me.

I spoke to you during Christmas of last year in Nimo, and you sounded well but to my dismay I received a sorrowful message from Sr. Hilda in which she informed me of your ailing health.
When we spoke, I encouraged you to persevere through this hardship because I believed that you will return to normalcy. Your response was that “the will of God will be done” and that you were “Ready”.  Both statements I could not easily accept because your loss would not only be a devastation to the entire Tabansi clan but add to the many losses the Onyiuke family has experienced. Although I was expressing to you my unwillingness of your departure, yet you seemed rather content and that you have allowed the Lord to take control. So, this is it?

Sister Helen was instrumental to my formative years.  Her humbling presence was therapeutic to many, she had a genuine smile, and her disciplinary values were empowering.  There was never a dull moment when one is with her.  Due to her motherly nature, she was very protective.  When not around, she frequently sent her fellow nuns to ensure of our wellbeing.  She is a guardian angel to the Onyiuke family, a chord that bonds us spiritually and otherwise.  Although my darling aunt, marriage counsellor and confidante, Sister Helen is a true friend that you can rely on and means the world to me.  

She is not only caring but loving, young at heart, empathetic, ever ready to help and advocates for anyone in need.  Needless to mention how warm, calm and humble in her interactions with people.  I will miss her soothing and healing voice that quells conflict as it arises. Not only is Sister Helen my friend, she is loved by many, but our Lord loves her more. Adieu Sister’m and fare thee well, you will be greatly missed, and your guiding light will forever shine! ☹
Your loving niece,
Ngozi Onyiuke Achebe"

This tribute was added by Stellamaris (Uchem) Nwaiwu on 15th March 2018

"A Tribute to Rev Sister Helen Onyiuke

The moment I was thinking about Sister Helen, a text message came from my Sister Rose Uchem that Sister Helen had passed away. Since then, it's been all tears. (Anyamili ekwerom akwusi). It has taken me some time to be able to write this tribute.

Sister Helen had a special relationship with my family. This began as Sister Rose Uchem, my sister, entered into the novitiate when Sister Helen was the novice mistress. She solved a sensitive problem in my family. She was a problem solver. My father would have preferred Sister Rose to be working and helping the family, and to get married instead of becoming a sister. Sister Helen stepped in immediately and tried to solve the problem. She handed me over to her late brother and his wife - Papa Greg and Mama Angie Onyiuke - where l lived with them together with their children. They provided for me lavishly and treated me like their own daughter. I appreciate all their love, kindness, medical attention, education and everything they offered me. I will forever remain grateful.

Sister Helen knew the problems of the poor people. Sister, you were selfless in all your actions with humanity. You were full of praise, full of encouragement; you embraced all people. You had a rare quality and embodiment which every human being should emulate. You occupied and still occupy a big space in my life. You were very generous. You were a kind person, with a big heart. You offered great help, assistance and support to Holy Rosary families and you responded very quickly to their needs.

Sister Helen, you are a great woman! You are a living saint!
Sister Helen, l am proud of you. Your life is a legacy to the world. You are irreplaceable. A very active person with simplicity of heart, you reached out to people. You did not discriminate between the rich and the poor people. Sister, you were never negative, antagonistic, nor showed off your family wealth and greatness. Instead, you mobilized your wealthy family and involved them in your missionary work to provide for the needy. Your presence did not make people uncomfortable. Rather, it gladdened the heart. I felt very happy and fulfilled whenever l saw you or heard your voice.

For providing me with a future, I cherish you! I honour your caring attitude, humility, love, and kindness. You will forever be missed and remembered. Sister, with hot painful tears, l say, thank you so much! May God grant you eternal rest. Amen.

With love and gratitude,
From Mrs Stellamaris (Uchem) Nwaiwu"

This tribute was added by Egosonwa Okafor on 15th March 2018


The news about the departure of Princess Sister Helen Onyiuke came as a rude shock to us. Death was the farther east thing on one's mind when with Princess Sister Helen.

She always had a cheerful disposition and showed real interest in other people's well being. She was a person's person. Ever smiling and chatty.

We met Princess Sister Helen during the course of our Daughter, Chukwudumebi's marriage to her nephew, Johnny Onyiuke. Since then our relationship had remained cordial and warm. She had a likable disposition. Young at heart and fitted in perfectly in any circle she found herself in. Her pet name for me was "MAMA". Sister Helen was very kind and generous. Always sharing whatever came her way with people. She was happiest when she was giving to people thereby confirming the Biblical saying that "There is joy in giving".

We will miss Princess Sister Helen but we will not mourn like those who have no hope; cos those who died in Christ are not really dead for they will rise again. Princess Sister Helen has gone to a better place to be with her maker and her Sibblings.

Adieu Princess Sister Helen,
May the gentle Soul Princess Sister Helen Onyiuke MSHR and the Souls of all the faithful departed continue to rest in perfect peace. Amen.

Lady Egosonwa Okafor, Prof Ilochi A. Okafor SAN and Family."

This tribute was added by EMMANUEL ASIKASON on 15th March 2018

"Till now, I cannot come to terms with the fact that you are no more. The pains I feel when I saw it happened gave me a terrible shock, I wish it was just a dream but sadly its real. Your death took everything away from me but I remembered you said to me “Emma, be praying and do all I have thought you that your ways shall be open”.

One of the days during the period you were ill in the hospital you noticed the looks on my face saying “I don’t like the look on your face, be strong and give me positive energy” turning to sister Mary she said “Emma thought that anything will happen to me” with a smile on her face.

The love I have for your will always remained in my heart, a part of you has grown in me, you first loved and care for me. You showered me love unconditionally and immeasurable even in you sick bed. Even in your sick bed obtaining my visa was part of your worries. Your golden and kind heart towards others will always remain indelible.

My success story in life will never be complete without you. It’s been you all these years, I know you will be happy knowing what the Sisters and those who love you have done for me onbehalf of you.

I will keep the two rules you thought me, you will forever remain in my heart. I know you are in heaven, I will always ask for your intercessions.


This tribute was added by Sister Rose Uchem, MSHR on 15th March 2018

"The Regional Leader, Holy Rosary Sisters, Independence Layout, Enugu.
Dear Sister,
It is with heavy hearts but yet an unwavering resolve to “praise God in all situation” that we the Congregation of Missionary Daughters of Divine Presence write to commiserate with you on the death of your member, our sister, friend and mother, Rev.Sr. Helen Onyuke.
We admire her amiable qualities and commitment to the service of God and humanity. According to Thomas Campbell, “To live in the hearts of those we love is not die”.
She still occupied and will continue to occupy a place in our hearts. As we collectively mourn her demise, we take solace in the fact that she lived a good and fulfilled life, may this be our consolation and courage to uphold her in our prayers. We sincerely pray God Almighty to grant her eternal rest.
Rev. Mother Mary Caritas Unachukwu, For the Congregation"

This tribute was added by Ngozi Okoli on 15th March 2018

Ma Helen as you were fondly called. Your leaving us was a real blow. I could not believe that it is true on that 22nd of February 2018 when the news came. I was dazed for a moment even though I have following up with phone calls to know how you are were.  

Sister Helen, you are an Icon, a rare gem. It is difficult to describe you because your attributes are numerous. I will only write in part because we see in part.

When I visited Nigeria in 2017, I returned to Ireland through Abuja specifically to condole with you for your death of your brother Greg. We had lovely and thought provoking discussions. You took very good care of me and made sure I got all I needed to be ready. You also arranged for the taxi that brought me to the airport.  I appreciated all this memory.

The story of your visit to Ireland in 2015 with Sisters Catherine Asomugha and Cecilia Ezeh, when you came for the Golden Jubilee Celebration of Religious life still hovers around in Brookville where you spent most of the time and of course in whole Region. It was a heart warming  encounter. All the sisters in Brookville shared the lovely memories of you during the visit, most importantly that everyone counts for you. Your aliveness was irresistible. You stopped in the shops to greet people for the first time and chatted with them as if you had known them for a long time. This is a peculiar gift you had.  We had such a good time that I really missed you when you left for Nigeria. Some sisters in Nigeria called to thank me because you told them how I took good care of the three of you. You appreciate little things.

During that visit and during my visit to Abuja in 2017, you continued to make arrangement to see that the Igbo people acknowledge the effort and dedication of the Missionaries (the Holy Ghost Fathers and Holy Rosary Sisters) in saving our people during the war. You effort came near its fruition when a delegate scheduled to visit Ireland in 2017. You called me and some other person to ask if we will receive him. Unfortunately the visit did not hold. We hope that in some way someday this dream of yours will be a reality.

Will the Holy Rosary Retreat and Conference Centre forget you? We were together in the team when you were the programme Director, Sister Florence Enechukwu was the Administrator and I was the Caterer. You were a household word. We had fun with Mr IK Ozumba the Centre driver about how you usually forgot a very important document you needed for the journey at Centre and then you embark on a journey. You would have reached Ogbede or Ukana before you would remember and say to IK “Elozogokwom ife”. We always laughed when the car drove in 20 or 30 minutes after departure and asked, what did you forget today?  You laughed too! And said “amarokwam ife na eme m”. You were human.

During our meetings we disagreed sometimes, and agreed at other times, but we got on well. You did not keep malice. You transcended your experiences.

When I took over as the Centre Administrator you will still there. I will not forget your support for me and the Team. We saw the need to implement a sensitisation programme and awareness campaign against human trafficking and child labour. The new Team did not know where to go for help. You brought me to your niece who was the then Executive Secretary for the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), Mrs Nduaguba. With her help we were able to secure funding from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). The programme was a huge success and gave the courage to plan other programmes.

As a member of the Centre Board, you actively engaged in the assignments that advanced the development of the Centre. Nothing was demeaning as a responsibility as far as it will enhance the Congregation’s Mission. You were a Holy Rosary to the Core.
Where would we have been today with the Centre security without your help? It is difficult to enumerate all that happened.
Who will believe your age? You died standing. Your total dedication, forgiving spirit, youthfulness and commitment are inspiration for me and indeed for many.
You will surely live in our hearts.
As it has pleased the Lord to take you, may our good God grant you eternal rest.
Adieu Ma He!
Adieu Sister Helen! We love you and miss you.

Ngozi Okoli MSHR
Dublin, Ireland."

This tribute was added by Holy Rosary School on 15th March 2018


This is the most painful tribute I am writing from your home where you lived. It is difficult for me to believe that you are gone.

I never conceived that God will ever call you soon into eternity. I was of the opinion that you will live  forever because you were active and full of life and never sick. Your sudden departure has created a very big gap which cannot be filled. Nobody will be like Sr. Helen again.

Sr. Helen, you were full of ideas and counselled many. Your love knows no bound, you spoke Igbo to everyone forgetting that not everyone with you understands the language. Everyone was your "Nwam" no matter what race, age, creed or nationality. you cut cross boarders and you spoke Igbo to everyone and never minded whether you were understood or not.

You were a woman of compassion, always ready to forgive, kind and generous to all. Mama Helena, you were never selfish and always ready to share with everyone. You gave food to everyone who came your way and you helped those who were needy. You had special love for the poor and you always try to help them.

As a mother, you were also a doctor to all and was nicknamed "Mma Moringa". Various fond names that people address you were:

"Helena Onyiuke"
"Mama He He"
"Helena Nwa mama..."
"Mother Superior"
"Mama Holy Rosary"

Helena Nwa mama ooooo Rest in Perfect Peace.

Sr. Hilda Mahiteh Tucker (MSHR)"

This tribute was added by Holy Rosary School on 15th March 2018


Sr Helen, you are our dearest mother and grandmother to our Learners. your space will never be filled by anyone. you always come to the school encourage the Educators and Learners. you are always full with new ideas.

Many parents brought their children to this school because you told them to do so and many entrusted their children in our care because of you. Nne oh! it's hard to believe you are gone. our big consolation is that "the Lord gave the Lord takes away..."Job 1:21..." if we take happiness from God's hand, must we not take sorrow too?" Job 2:10. Rest In Peace.

Eternal rest grant unto Sr. Helen oh Lord and let your perpetual light shine upon her, may she rest in peace."

This tribute was added by Theresa Mbonu on 14th March 2018

Dear Sister Helen,
We feel sad that we the ladies that attended Holy Rosary and other of our Mother Mary's colleges are re-grouping only after you left us. You had time without number asked us to re-group and keep the association alive, but we were never able to do so, until now. Please forgive us. We pray that Almighty God receive your humble and beautiful soul into that Kingdom you had always told us about. Amen. Adieu Sister Adieu Mama.
Rosarians, Abuja Chapter."

This tribute was added by Theresa Mbonu on 14th March 2018

"Adieu Adieu Adieu from Family of Dr. & Mrs. M.C MBONU
My Dear Mummy,
I never knew this is how you would leave us. It was like a melo drama in which i imagined would soon end, but you made the choice of joining your God and our God. He sure would admit you into His presence for all you have been for us all, especially my family. May your gentle & joyful soul rest in peace. Amen.

Mrs. Tessy Oby Mbonu
On behalf of Mbonu Family"

This tribute was added by mbongwa saraphina gugu on 12th March 2018

"This tribute was added by Sister Gugu S  Mbongwa, MSHR on the 12th March 2018.
What a shock to hear that mama Helen is gone to the Lord. I had to phone to find out  whether it was true that Mama Helen has passed on.I had to accept the sad news.I didn't know that speaking to mama Helen in January before leaving for South Africa that , that was her final sweet talk with me. She didn't stop by talking but gave me a beautiful dress and told me that she wants me to dress beautifully all the time. She encouraged me to get a degree in Biblical Studies and I did at Cedara in Natal South Africa. I leant a lot from her always generous. She always invited me to Nimo for Christmas break this started a long time while her brother (Dr. John )was alive. She told me I'm part of the family if the family did not see around December time she will call me to find out where I was.
I was looking forward to share about the new President of South Africa Cyril Ramaposa from Venda where she worked very hard to empower women whose husbands were working in Johannesburg at the mines. The people in Northern Province are still singing her praises you can imagine how shuttered they were when they heard about her passing on. "Mama Helen who will fill the gap you left in my heart ?" Dalu Mama "Hamba kahle" Fare you well till we meet again good bye! I'll miss you Ngiyabonga Sister Gugu S Mbongwa."

This tribute was added by mbongwa saraphina gugu on 11th March 2018

"Mama Helen what a shock to hear that mama Helen has gone to the Lord! I had to make enquiries to confirm whether it was true. I only spoke to you in January before leaving for South Africa. I did not know that you were giving me a final speech. You did not stop by giving a final speech but, you also gave me a beautiful dress and told me you want me to dress well. You encouraged me to get my degree in Religious Studies when I met you in 1997 in Venda and I did.You were so happy to hear that Cyri Ramaposa was the new president of South Africa. I was looking forward to share with you about Venda Northern Province of South Africa where the people are still singing your praises. You can imagine how shattered they were when they heard the sad news about your passing on. Fare you well Mama Helen! "Hamba kahle" Who will fill your gap in my heart. Dalu Sr Gugu Mbongwa MSHR."

This tribute was added by Samaba Sakungo on 11th March 2018

"Sister Helen,

"You have left a lot of memories in my life. As I write this tribute, I feel the gap that has been created in my life. I will continue to remember you. When I was a novice, the twelve of us spent our holidays in your community, Wuse Abuja. Your Warm Welcome and inner joy of that day affirms it that you are a SAINT. You did not look at the big number that come to the community, but you looked at the heart of each novice at that time. I samba remember you very well when You said, "My dear sisters, You are most welcome. Feel at Home. This is your home. After you have eaten your food, start organizing yourselves on how you will make this place as a home. Remember putting food  as your first thing on your plan then sleeping and resting should follow. Eat well and rest plenty".

Sister Helen this was how I learnt on what it means to be a responsible sister even as a visitor in a community.

Sister Helen, I remember when you used to come in the kitchen. You were had working. I learnt a treasure that you have left with me as gift. Each day you used to carry your beautiful hand bag. In the hand bag, you carry only your phone, handkerchief and your room key. One day you were cooking while having your hand bag on your shoulders. I made a joke that you were cooking while having your beautiful hand bag. We all laughed. Your response was a SAINTLY ONE. You Said, "My dear sisters, When I was trained to become a sister in those days in Ireland, we were taught to be responsible in everything. Carrying a hand bag in the kitchen while cooking is a good sign. It shows that you are attentive and responsible with what you are doing. You are not scattered but united with God".

Sister Helen, each moment, you always called for unity. I will continue to remember you for this special gift that God gave you.  You were a  mentor in my life. Thank you too for such a wonderful sister to our congregation. You were a gift to every person that came your way.

May you rest in Peace. Amen."

This tribute was added by Ejiofor Onyiuke on 11th March 2018

"Lagos: 11th March 2018

As I sat with Sister Helen on the Balcony of Mediatrix  of All Graces (her home in Nimo) on the morning of the 28th of December 2017, her usual smile signified that as always, she was happy to be home.

She was happy to be seated there watching everyone in such a happy mood, the children running up and down, the adults getting ready for one thing or the other. She would lean close to me to listen to what I was saying and then she would get distracted with the children playing, she would smile and point at my last son Chinwendu and say, “he is such a happy child”. She is so happy because God answered her prayers for Chinwendu when he was very sick.

Sister Helen was happy to be amongst people all the time, she was happy to be useful to people so so often, to a point (especially at our younger age), we thought it annoying. Why must she visit everyone we thought! Sister “I na ezukwa Ike bikonu”.

But she was particularly happy to be home, seated on that balcony and I could tell. She wanted to spend that little holiday with her family that she loved so deeply and yet have her Companions (Sister Hilda and all the other lovely sisters) around her, sharing her happy time. She wanted it all!!

Sometimes I marvel at how  incredibly lucky I am to have such a warm and caring person as my Aunty. She provided constant reassurance of Gods love for all of us.  Now she is gone!!! and we shall miss her terribly, especially because we didn’t get a chance to say “Sister Ije Oma” (bye-bye).

But we are consoled because now she will be with our Lord Jesus Christ and happy people. As we pray God to grant her eternal rest and let perpetual light shine upon her, we are comforted that her prayers for us are now closer to God, only that she cannot tell us how happy she is to be with Him.

We thank God for a life well spent. Adieu Sister, till we meet again.

Your Nephew
Ejiofor Onyiuke"

This tribute was added by Ejiofor Onyiuke on 11th March 2018

"Lagos: 11th March 2018

As I sat with Sister Helen on the Balcony of Mediatrix  of All Graces (her home in Nimo) on the morning of the 28th of December 2017, her usual smile signified that as always, she was happy to be home.

She was happy to be seated there watching everyone in such a happy mood, the children running up and down, the adults getting ready for one thing or the other. She would lean close to me to listen to what I was saying and then she would get distracted with the children playing, she would smile and point at my last son Chinwendu and say, “he is such a happy child”. She is so happy because God answered her prayers for Chinwendu when he was very sick.

Sister Helen was happy to be amongst people all the time, she was happy to be useful to people so so often, to a point (especially at our younger age), we thought it annoying. Why must she visit everyone we thought! Sister “I na ezukwa Ike bikonu”.

But she was particularly happy to be home, seated on that balcony and I could tell. She wanted to spend that little holiday with her family that she loved so deeply and yet have her Companions (Sister Hilda and all the other lovely Sisters) around her, sharing her happy time. She wanted it all!!

Sometimes I marvel at how  incredibly lucky I am to have such a warm and caring person as my Aunty. She provided constant reassurance of Gods love for all of us.  Now she is gone!!! and we shall miss her terribly, especially because we didn’t get a chance to say “Sister Ije Oma” (bye-bye).

But we are consoled because now she will be with our Lord Jesus Christ and all happy people. As we pray God to grant her eternal rest and let perpetual light shine upon her, we are comforted that her prayers for us are now closer to God, only that she cannot tell us how happy she is to be with Him.

We thank God for a life well spent. Adieu Sister, till we meet again.

Your Nephew
Ejiofor Onyiuke"

This tribute was added by Julie Oguekemma on 10th March 2018


Is it really true you are gone? We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually each one of have to travell the same road, but not this way mama Hee Hee, as we fondly called you. It happened very fast. I find it difficult to believe that you are gone. I was opprtuned to live you as a community member. To you everybody was ‘nwam’ including your elder brother Greg. I once asked you on one occasion whether Greg was also ‘nwam’, and I got my expected answer ‘ụmụaka a rapụnụ m aka.’ You have a large heart that embraced everybody. You loved seeing people around you and making sure they were okay.  I was teasing you one day that when eventually you would come to the ‘Mission House’ which also serves as our retirement house, that people passing your room would be tip toeing because your response on hearing any foot step near your room would be ‘ọdụ onye na-aga, bịarị nwa m’, unknown to me that you would end up your journey in Abuja. Mama Hee Hee, to say we will miss you is an under statement. You were a mother to the cure. ‘Nne ọra nine’

One important lesson I learnt from you mama Hee Hee that will ever remain with me is letting go, never to hold unto anythig especially hurt. You were ever ready to say ‘I am sorry’ no matter who was involved. You indeed had a golden heart., a very generous heart. It is hard to see you go but God called back and like an obedient and faithful child you answered. Anyi agaghị eje ọgụ be ndị mmụọ. We only have to say goodbye, sleep on; enjoy a well deserved rest in the bosom of our Lord. Jee nke ọma!
Julie Oguekemma"

This tribute was added by Virginia Okeke on 10th March 2018

"Our beloved Sr. Helen, May the Light of Christ which guided your life here on earth lead you to God's presence where you will enjoy for ever the fullness of life. Adieu our Big Sister !"

This tribute was added by Rosemary Egbulefu on 10th March 2018

"Sr Helen, mama Hehee as we fondly called you. It is very difficult for me to believe that you have left us to the great beyond. Mama Helen, my heart is broken to just think that my phone discussion with you on the 12th of January was the last interaction with you on this our earthly dwelling. Oh Jesus, this is difficult and painful.
Sister l know that since after your thirty day retreat you had always said to me "nwa Omerebere I  think think I have finished my bit on earth, I am now waiting on His Majesty to call me home and I am ready". Each time you said that to me my reply was uche Chukwu ga eme. Sometimes His will can be difficult to accept like your death at this time.
I want to thank you sister Helen for the great sister and mother you were to many people especially to your Holy Rosary family. You were a wonderful and God fearing formator and a wise spiritual mentor. You were generous even to a fault. You had a big and all embracing heart. Forgiveness, charity, and cheerfulness and simplicity of a child were the robes you wore. Your smiles were very therapeutic especially when the roads seem cloudy. Your encouragement at such times will never be forgotten and I thank you sweet sister.
Mama Hee Hee our annual regional meetings will really be something else without you. The unique contributions you make and your balming presence will be greatly missed. We love you sister Helen and you knew that fact. My consolation is that we now have a saint with God in Heaven praying for us so that we can live out the legacies you left behind for us.
Sister laa nke oma. May your beautiful soul continue to rest with God in Heaven until we meet to part no more."

This tribute was added by CHRIS MBAMALU on 9th March 2018

"This Tribute is from the Catholic Men Organisation, Holy Rosary Parish, Wuse, Abuja, Nigeria
"It was a sad day for members of the CMO Holy Rosary Parish Wuse, when news filtered in that you had passed on, on Thursday, 12th February, 2018. We had been monitoring your movement in and out of the hospital since early February this year and missed your company at our first meeting of the year on the 10/02/18. We were however delighted to visit you on your sick bed on Monday 12/02/18, for what has become our last fellowship with you.
Sweet Mother - Sr Helen, you became a permanent feature of CMO and CWO meetings in our Parish from 2012/13. You took the challenge of addressing every CMO meeting on issues which showed your love and respect for the family setting and how to make the "DOMESTIC CHURCH"bedrock for the transmission of the Catholic Faith. You were concerned about how fathers performed their roles as models for the children. You were courageous to speak and condemn faithless actions in the home. You believed that every man/father should be a person of INTEGRITY and FORTHRIGHT BEHAVIOR  and transmit these as legacies to their children. You sincerely desired the best for all families. These were the some of the virtues you preached and practiced. For these efforts which you gave freely and with motherly love we say THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
Now you are gone. There cannot be another Sr Helen. We shall cherish your memories amd always recall your gingerly steps in and out of our meeting venue - St Kizito's Hall. Though you are gone, you shall live on in our hearts and in GOD'S KINGDOM that you worked tirelessly to propagate for over five decades of religious life. Adieu Our Beloved Rev Sr Helen . GOD BLESS YOUR SOUL. REST IN PEACE AMEN.
CHRIS C. MBAMALU                                       NELSON C. OKOKON
   Chairman                                                            Secretary

This tribute was added by CHRIS MBAMALU on 9th March 2018

"This tribute was added by the Catholic Men Organisation (CMO) Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Wuse, Abuja

"It was a sad day for all members of the CMO Holy Rosary Parish, Wuse Abuja when news filtered in that you had passed on, on Thursday, 22nd February, 2018. We had been monitoring your movements in and out of hospital since early February and missed your company at our first meeting of  2018 on 10th February, 2018. We were delighted to visit you on your sick bed on Monday, 12th February, 2018, for what has become our last fellowship with you.
Sweet Mother - Sr Helen, you became a permanent feature of CMO and CWO meetings in our Parish from 2012/13. You took the challenge of addressing every CMO meeting on issues which showed you intense love and respect for the family setting and how to make the "Domestic Church" bedrock for the transmission of the Catholic Faith. You were concerned about how fathers acted out their roles as models for the children. You were courageous to speak and condemn faithless actions in the home. You believed that every man/father should be a person of INTEGRITY and FORTHRIGHT BEHAVIOUR and transmit these as legacies to their children. These were the virtues you preached and practiced. For these efforts which you gave freely and with motherly love we say THANK YOU; THANK YOU.
Now you are gone. There cannot be another Sr. Helen. You were unique. We shall forever cherish your memories and always recall with pride your gingerly steps in and out of our meeting venue - St Kizito's Hall, Civic Centre. Though you are gone, you shall live forever in our hearts and in GOD'S KINGDOM that your worked tirelessly to propagate for over five decades of Religious Life. ADIEU Our Beloved Sr. Helen. GOD BLESS YOUR SOUL. REST IN PEACE, AMEN.
CHRIS MBAMALU                                         NELSON C. OKOKON
   CHAIRMAN                                                         SECRETARY
For CMO HRCC Wuse Abuja, Nigeria""

This tribute was added by Carol Nwazojie on 8th March 2018

"The Sad Exit of an Icon

Rev. Sister Helen Onyiuke of Holy Rosary Congregation was my mentor, mother, teacher and counselor. Indeed, words fail me, emotions elude me as I try to describe who Sister Helen was to me.

From my childhood, Sister Helen was very fond of me. I lived with her for a short while and I must say it was such a pleasant time I had  with her. Sister Helen later taught me in Standard Two at Holy Rosary Primary School, Nimo. Afterwards, I gained admission into Holy Rosary Secondary School and to my greatest surprise I met Sister Helen there as the Senior Prefect of the College. She insisted I must be assigned to her school house (St. Bernadette) so that she could oversee my daily school activities.

Our closeness never ceased even when I got married. My husband, Ben, easily related with her because of her caring demeanor, while my children never relented in inquiring about how Sister Helen fared. Emeka my son always extolled the qualities of Sister Helen and often told me how he and his family were being pampered by her.

It is very unfortunate Sister Helen has left us all to be with the Lord. Indeed, we have lost a precious one, a jewel of inestimable value, a lover of all. I feel very sad. Adieu great one, Adieu our very caring and loving Sister Helen.
Ka anyi dibenu!!!
Je nkeoma Sister Helen.

Dame Carol Nwazojie"

This tribute was added by Basilia Uzoahia on 8th March 2018

"A Tribute To My Spiritual Mother.
"When Beggars die there are no comets seen;/
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes. " (Julius Caesar act 2scene2, 30/31). This is so apt, given my experiences before the sad news reached me and left me broken . I agree with Alfred Lord Tennyson who opined that death is "One clarion call". Yes this call will certainly bring you to your maker face to face .Sr Helen will not need introduction to st Peter He knows very well I've reminded him .
O death , death, death, you are an unfair player. How cruel can you be ?
Sr Helen so well beloved ! My mother, my sister, my confidant and friend.. Sr where are you  without a word to me ?  Is this true ? I can't call you ? This is so difficult to accept. I will cling tightly to my believe in the Communion of saints and continued to talk to you whenever I want.
Sr Helen, your charisma earned me a YES from my dad who was until you visited my home in the company of sr Catherine Asomugha an " OLYMPUS" as far as the debate about my religious vocation was trending .
Thank you sister for teaching me so much without the classroom You were so humble,caring, loving, and generous. You had an understanding that was heavenly.
Sr You were the first senior prefect of my alma mater . I was looking forward to presenting you in the forth coming anniversary of the school as I proudly did during the golden jubilee of the school in 2009.
Adieu Sr, we shall miss you here ,but hope to meet you there on the resurrection morning.. I love you sr Helen .It was a privilege and am glad you knew I did ..You will be in my heart as long as I live Let's pray for each other May your sweet and gentle soul rest in peace Amen Sr Basi Ada Uzoahia HHCJ."

This tribute was added by ADA ADIBE on 7th March 2018


Oh death where is your sting! It is so sad that I will never see you again my dear Sr Helen. Since it is your creator, our maker that needed you more than myself, I will not question him.
I am grateful to God for giving you to me at the very early stage of my Religious life as a Community member. You were a mother, a sister and a friend to me despite the gap both in age and in Religious life. I treasure all those moments of companionship, encouragement, support, corrections, prayers, praise and sacrifice as their memories linger on. When I was transfered to Gwagwalada Community, you told the Sisters, “I will take Ada to Gwagwalada myself” and you did. So, how can I forget all your love and care! I miss you “Mami Hee-Hee”! My family also miss you, “mama Sister”! You were so proud of me that you would like me to accompany you for any function or for a task.
You were so simple and humble that you did not find it difficult to affirm, appreciate goodness, genuinely accept complements from others, undertake duties some might feel it’s for younger ones and to admit your mistakes.  
Thank you dear Sr Helen for allowing me share in your life!
Thank you Mami Hee-Hee for all your prayers and good wishes for me!
Thank you our loving God for the gift of Sr Helen Onyiuke to us!
Since you have taken her from us, may you grant her eternal joy and peace through Christ our Lord and our resurrection, Amen!"

This tribute was added by Ndeche Pauline on 7th March 2018

"Whenever death strikes, it leaves in its wake,trails of sorrow and anguish among the living. Such grief is often very deep specially the deceased is such a loving caring and a saintly woman like my dear Sr Helen.(Ochiliozua).

My dear sister you were a religious to the core. Holiness of life is indeed your main aim in life and this you preached to all those you came in contact with. Whatever that concerned other people always captured your attention and you did not spare any effort in rendering any ready assistance. It is only the all-knowing God that knows why you had to leave at this time. We cannot question Gold's wisdom. Our consolation remains in the fact that you led a life worthy of your calling.

Sr Helen jee nke oma and rest in the Lord.
Pau-Pau Nwamu"

This tribute was added by Felicity Nwaokeleme on 7th March 2018

What a loss of an illustrious and accomplished daughter of Papa Shanahan, in the person of Late Rev. Sr. Helen Onyiuke. Sr. was an embodiment of goodness and religious decorum. She touched many lives with her exemplary live both in Nigeria and beyond. I pray the Lord Jesus who called her to Himself, to grant you the salvation He earned for you by His suffering.
Sr. Helen, my little encounter with you showed me how humble and humane you were. You taught me how to run poultry farm and prepare feeds of chickens during my candidacy at Kaduna when you visited us.  In addition, you interrupted your early morning sleep to bid me farewee to Kenya after my first home leave in Nigeria as a Sister. In the process of coming out from your in Independence Layout Enugu, you fell down; but you bravely put up a beautiful smile in the midst of pains to wish me safe journey. You did what a loving Mother could do in that circumstance and I remain eternally grateful to you..
Sr; You are a noble soul and your departure has created a vacuum in the MSHR family. I love "Mama" but God loves you most and that is why He has called back to Himself. Pray for us that we may emulate some of your virtues and live and work as true daughters of Bishop Shanahan our founder.

Requiescat in Pace"

This tribute was added by Emeka Nwazojie on 7th March 2018

As I seat and write this tribute my heart trembles with tears because it is still hard to believe that Sister Helen Onyiuke AKA Big mummy is gone.   It  came so unexpectedly;  Just  a couple of  months ago, sister  spoke to me about  her late brother who passed away  a year earlier; she had reiterated how close  he was to her. It is very sad to say the least. I have to pick up courage to write this tribute. This is because she would not have wanted me to tremble in despair and sadness.  Sister, had always known me ever since I was a toddler, as she always reiterates during most of our discussions Di ka Nnaya.  After my sojourn overseas, I relocated to Abuja in Nigeria. My relationship with Sister was renewed and rekindled by my mum Mrs. Caroline Nwazojie during one of her courtesy visits to the city of Abuja.    Irrespective of the fact that she was one of the spiritual directors/teacher’s during my mum’s youth history, she took me under her wings as my guardian in Abuja. She transcended the love she had for my mum to myself.  Such compassion tremendously admired.
Once I   had secured a job and got married, Sister, strengthened her care and concern for my family as a whole.  She always wanted me to be a very successful individual in all ramifications of life.   During any of my visits to her convent, she never hesitated to tell me how proud she was of me in terms of maturity, religious life and marriage. She adored my son very much whom she had conversations on issues; I still cannot comprehend. That is Big Mummy for you. Always having time for every one irrespective of age.  As much as I would like to say that her relationship with my family was quite warm, I quiver on her to break the news of her demise to my son. He is a very inquisitive, and fond of her. May the good lord give me the wisdom to do so?  Mother’s wisdom and care was one attribute that   I greatly appreciated. During my visits to the convent, her concern about my welfare was one to be desired. She practically immersed herself into my ordeal and made my challenges hers. Despite the fact that she was a Reverend Sister, she always had a way of finding solutions to my problems.   She did it directly or indirectly.   For  instance anytime I have a  challenge in securing   good  employee for my firm , she always went  the extra mile of thoroughly scrutinizing potential candidates  on my behalf before handing  them over  for employment.   As a young man raising a family, issues affiliated with day care, nurturing and values is prevalent in our modern society. Sister never hesitated to   assists in that regard. Sister was so distinct in her affairs and approach to issues that her reaction and feedback always inspired you to strive for greater heights. This was clearly exhibited in her reaction when I told her that I was recently appointed as a visiting lecturer in a University. She gasped for joy and said’ “this will put you on the map”. Such inspirational  quotes would be profoundly missed.

Sister (Big Mummy) warmth and love    rubbed off on the other reverend sisters in the convent. Her Kindness and warmth made the Sisters, Security personnel, House help and other occupants of the convent see me as part of the family.    Everyone literally bestowed that kindness and free spirit associated with sister on my household   the other Reverend Sisters became my sisters as well.  I felt quite humbled  during one of my visits to the convent when one of the Reverend Sister’s  directed the House help to call sister saying “ Go and Tell Sister Helen that her son has come”  Amazingly enough the  Security Guard stressed on it as well saying “Go call Sister im pikcing done come”. Unvbelievable.

This part of my tribute is the one that is better said than written. This is because it is health related. In the month of December 2017, I never got a chance to see Sister as often as much as I wanted to do. This is as a result of my work schedule. It is still very vividly clear in my mind; on that faithful day during the yuletide season she called and said in her usual tone “nwam, come and take the chin chin I prepared for you it is on the table in the convent living room. I would be going to the East.  When I get back I will see you”. Even though, I eventually saw her before her proposed trip that was the last time I saw Sister Helen in her usual jovial, animated and energetic state. In the month of January 2018, I went   over to the Convent to wish Sister Helen Happy New Year.  Even though I was told that she had returned from her trip I was not able to see her because she had been diagnosed with Pneumonia. As a result of the development she needed rest. Eventually when I saw her I noticed that she was a bit frail but still full of   vigor. Irrespective of that fact I believed she was on her way to full recovery. My anxiety and concern began to take a different turn when I discovered that she had been admitted to Dr Hassan Hospital.  During my conversation with Sister at Dr Hassan hospital I got a better perspective of her ailment. Even though I was visibly sad, she kept on telling me  to continue praying for her  I asked mummy what I can do to , she would say Nwam tiyem na ekpele.( Keep me in your prayers). She would look at me and say Nwam I am at peace. It is at this point in time that my fears got confirmed.  Even though several medical text were carried out by the doctors at Dr Hassan’s Hospital to diagnose the true situation of her ailment, her condition took a turn for its worse with breathing challenges and continuous vomiting. As much as   I tried to do my part by booking mass and saying special prayers for her, Sister Hilda   told me that she had been transferred to the National Hospital Abuja.  During my visit to the National Hospital I noticed that her condition had deteriorated; Doctors, Revered Sisters and family members tried to do all they could to resuscitate her   but   she eventually gave up the Ghost. Sister Helen is definitely in Heaven.  Your life, attitude, character and good works would always be   one of emulation of all mankind. Sister, your are dearly missed and loved by your son (Picking) Emeka Emmanuel Nwazojie."

This tribute was added by Cabrini Onyiuke on 7th March 2018

"My dear Aunty Sister Helen, your love for God transcends beyond all understanding that at an early age you dedicated your life towards serving him by joining the holy Rosary Missionary sisters. Though a missionary you were it really never kept you away from the one family you loved most your very own Onyiuke family. This assertion is evident in your presence in every single activity held by the Onyiuke family. Sister Helen I will not forget the day I opened my front door far away in Scotland Dundee and there you were. If that gesture alone is not love I wonder what is. The truth Sister is that I almost fainted wondering what I had done to deserve your saintly visit. I now know what it was. Love. I will miss you a great deal. Adieu
Love your Nephew
Cabrini Onyiuke"

This tribute was added by Stanley Oboh on 7th March 2018


The women of this Parish (Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Wuse – Abuja) came in contact with Rev Sr. Helen and the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary Congregation as far back as 1987 in the course of their missionary work in the Parish.

Sr. Helen had worked closely with the CWO as our Spiritual Adviser and had not relented in her work with the women even at her old age. She was there for us all ensuring that we are grounded in the doctrines of the Church which should reflect in our homes as mothers. She had been in the vanguard of women empowerment and had encouraged us on a regular basis to support and pray for our families.

At our monthly meetings, Sr. Helen had never stopped reminding us of the need for us to be spiritually ready as the time of departure is not known to us. Her emphasis on the need for peaceful and harmonious existence with one another would not be easily forgotten.

To the women of this Parish, the pain resulting from this departure, will linger for a long time. It would be difficult for us to find a replacement who would act as a mother, Spiritual Adviser, a prayer warrior and a mentor to all the women of Holy Rosary Parish as Sr. Helen was. Her relationship with us did not end at the CWO level; it also extended to our individual family levels.

To us, Sr. Helen fell into the category of those described in the compilation of C.S Lewis Journal from a letter to Sarah (a goddaughter) 3 April 1949 that there are only three kinds of things anyone need ever do; (1) Things we ought to do (2) Things we’ve got to do and (3) Things we like doing. Sr. Helen fulfilled all these three and we are consoled by the fact that she left nothing undone which she ought to have done.

Adieu, our epitome of humility, dedication, motivation and exemplary mother.
May your gentle soul rest in the bossom of the Lord.

Mrs. A.M OGBELU                                        Mrs. CHINYERE UKAOHA
     President                                                          Secretary"

This tribute was added by wendy Ebele on 6th March 2018

"You had no child of your own yet you lived the life of a dearly loved mother of all. Thanks for lighring up our world like the candle you truelly were.  Certainly we will miss but the deep joy in us that you are surely resting wirh our Lord is our only consolation. Adieu our mother and great woman of faith till we meet to part no more."

This tribute was added by Christiana Ajagu on 6th March 2018

"In summary, I thank God for the gift of Sr. Helen to her family, our congregation (MSHR) and the whole world. I'm also grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to live and work with Sr. Helen in Wuse convent, Abuja.  
Sr. Helen was a very kind hearted person, cheerful, loving, caring, compassionate, patient and sociable. There’s no dull moment with her. She knows how to persevere and would not take no for an answer. She called everyone my child (nwa m) and really cared very much. I received a lot of encouragement, inspiration and support from her and I am grateful.
Sr. Helen, you touched so many lives and helped many people to find peace in serving God. You left us quickly and I am still in shock but God knows the best for each person. I believe and pray that God will surely reward you abundantly for all your good deeds. Adieu woman of faith till we meet again."

This tribute was added by Regina Eya on 6th March 2018

Prof. (Mrs. ) Regina Eya and family.

I have lost a friend. I shall never see Sr. Helen again in this life.  Indeed there is a void. And  yes I shed a tear. I wish she had stayed a little longer.  But I have behind that pain of loss, the strange joy of knowing that Sr. Helen has gone to heaven and remains the friend she was to me on earth, even more.
From the days at Queen of the Rosary Secondary School Nsukka  where my family came in contact with Sr. Helen in the 80s till she died Sr. Helen remained a true friend to my children, my husband and me. She prepared some of my children for their first Holy Communion. She followed the progress of all of them through University. Then we moved to Enugu and Sr. Helen followed us to all the addresses we moved into at different times asking after our welfare, sharing in our joys and our sorrows as they came.
Sr. Helen’s body language was always cheerfulness, calmness and genuine interest in the person she was talking to with concerned eyes.  She was always smiling, calm, relaxed,  comforting, young at heart and so understanding that she would always make you feel that all was well, and indeed if you listened to her all things actually turned well. She had time for everybody in spite of the enormous work she was doing as  a Missionary Sister of the Holy Rosary. I never saw anger in her face.  She was at home with the rich and the poor, the young and the old; in fact Sr. Helen was all things to all people and I dare say she saved quite a number of which I am proud to be one.  You would always see in Sr. Helen the love and light of Christ.
As she talked about spiritual matters she paid attention to the material too. Only a few weeks ago when she came to Enugu she found me sick with a headache and sent her driver back to the convent at Independence Layout to get me a bottle of Moringa oil. She said to me “just rub this on your temples and you will be alright”, and it worked. The night I got the sad news I came down with a headache and reached out for Sr. Helen’s Moringa Oil and applied to my temples and honestly the headache left me. Now I shall guard it jealously!
Sr. Helen’s departure must leave thousands devastated, but the love she has sown in all those souls is a consolation. Our loss is heaven’s gain.  In fact as I pray for her I am already praying to her.
Dear Sr. Helen, I miss you terribly, but I know you will always care for me and so I beg you to look after me and my family from heaven even as I dutifully pray that you rest in eternal bliss, for your work should follow you. May God whom you  served so diligently reward you ever more bountifully in His heavenly kingdom. Amen.
Regina Eya"

This tribute was added by Stanley Oboh on 6th March 2018


Rev Sister Helen Onyiuke was a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary Congregation working at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Wuse Zone 2 Abuja. She died at the age of 82.

By its nature, death leaves a vacuum in our lives and such lacuna is more pronounced in the case of a loved and dear one. Rev Sister Helen Onyiuke left behind a rich legacy of commitment to spiritual development of our parishioners with uncommon diligence. As a parish community, we remember with nostalgia her kind and soothing words any time she had an opportunity to contribute during our meetings and Parish events. We shall miss her peaceful disposition, humility, motherly care, love and encouragement. These attributes among many others endeared her to many people.

Indeed, she touched our lives and flew away but we take solace with the fact that she lived a fulfilled life. She dedicated her energy, time and resources to the service of God and humanity. She was charitable and impacted positively on many lives.

Nevertheless, we are strengthened by the words of Mae West “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough”. She carved her name in hearts.

While we struggle to overcome the emotional weight of her demise, we have firm hope in the resurrection and pray that the good Lord will grant her mercy and rest in heaven. Sister Helen is gone but will never be forgotten.

We appreciate the love, care and support showered on her by her family, her congregation, the Parish Priest, Rev Fr. Sam Tumba, the Associate Priests- Fr. Elias Goewam, Fr. Tom Ave Afeyodion and Fr. Naset O. Nwodo and indeed the entire Holy Rosary Parish community during the challenging moments of her life. We certainly share in your grief and pray the Almighty Father to grant us all the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul rest in peace. Amen
Adieu Sister Helen Onyiuke

Holy Rosary Catholic Church,
Wuse Zone 2, Abuja
March 2018."

This tribute was added by Nneka Maduka on 6th March 2018

Mama Hehe ,as you were fondly called by some of us, it is hard to believe you are no more and it is difficult to let you go.
You never segregated between young and old, for you everyone counts. You are an encouragement to me. Your childlike heart knows no bound. When I came to the community in December  to tell you that I would be leaving Abuja, you said to me "Nwam jisikwa ike", God will see you through. I will come to your office whenever I come down".I was looking forward for the day I will proudly introduce you to the staff of CIDJAP.  Now you came down lifeless,  what a world!
All the same, as your remains lies in the morgue close to my office, I still feel your presence around. Thank you so much sister for your motherly advice,  free moringa treatments and all your encouragement to me.
I miss you but I'm consoled that you are with God interceeding for us.  Rest On Great One,  Rest On Mama Hehe, RIP Nwanne Mmadu.
Nneka Maduka MSHR"

This tribute was added by Sister Rose Uchem, MSHR on 6th March 2018

-By Fr. Romanus Ochemba CSSP

Dearest Sister of all Sisters, Sr. Helen Onyiuke, I remember the powerful influence you had on us during our studies in Isienu. To think that I cannot chat with you again and gain from your wise counsel is sad. However God’s will is paramount.
Rest in perfect peace. I owe you masses and prayers.
Fr. Romanus Ochemba CSSP
C.K.C. Awka"

This tribute was added by Sister Rose Uchem, MSHR on 6th March 2018

-By Sister Mary Evangeline Odili, MDDP

Why do I weep? Why do I rail on death?
At 10:35a.m, Thursday, 22nd February came the thunderbolt
News spread to stamp the reality of my fate
Life henceforth without Sr. Helen –a jolt.

O Helen! Good natured lady bigness
Borne out of your being born a princess
Ever carrying yourself with human dignity
Never shirking from your religious duty.

Availability, your Christlike trait must be told
By the poor, the rich, the young and the old
Oh! What a loss to collective humanity
Death, you are bereft forever of discerning integrity.

Helen! Your presence in itself commanded strength
Your wise counsels like spotlights hit the right solutions
Your fearless actions transmitted compelling courage
Blind death; you wallow blindly in blindness.

To kill Sr. Helen whose structure was energizingly fat
Whose heart was accommodatingly large
Whose charity was indiscriminately lavished
Whose friendship was indescribably dependable

Am I not luckily blessed to have boarded the same ship
That floated us together in long elevating friendship
Exploring, sharing zeal and joy for sanctity?
Death! I tell you this separation is not for infinity
Dear God, you have taken Sr. Helen from me, keep her
Dear Helen, you are in unending Divine Presence. Stay there
Until your ever ready arms kept apart in the coffin
Come together around me in welcome, in the offing.

Poor Death! Wait for your own death on Easter Sunday
No more will your indiscriminate dart hit Sr. Helen
Neither can your short hands stretch high enough to reach her any day
Sr. Helen has extricated herself from you forever.


This tribute was added by irene Emokah on 6th March 2018

Yes, it was like a play thing when this started. It has now dawned on me that Death is really the thief that it has been known to be. Alas for both young and old it is sudden for all ages.
Sister it is true that you had made beyond three scores and ten but you couldn’t imagine how devastated I was when I reasoned that you are gone even though to a better place. However for fear of not sounding selfish or incurring God’s anger I quickly wiped my tears and I praised God for the life of service and love which you had lived-working in the Lords vine-yard for 50 years was not a joke.
Your life radiated love and charity to everyone that came your way, you were never tired of helping out anyone in need. You were strong and generous and many wondered at your age, where all the energy came from; because even the young were not your match.
You always called me “Adammadu” and I always felt great when so addressed.
Thanks for all the love you showed to me and others. And like St. Paul you have fought the good fight and you have finished the race and now you look forward to a bounteous reward. We love you but Good Lord loves you most. Moreover, to be in the heart of those you loved is not to die. Your legacy lives on. I’m rest assured that you are in the Lords bosom enjoying a most deserved sleep. Adieu dear Aunt!!!  Adieu!!!  Goodnight.

Your Niece
Fidelia Ugoh."

This tribute was added by Sister Rose Uchem, MSHR on 6th March 2018

-By Sr. Susanmary Otuonye, MSHR.

'Erina,' I find it hard to get you off my mind since I heard the shocking news of your death. It was so unexpected. I began to think of when I saw you last. So it means I will not sing and dance your name again with you: "Erina Nwa Mama, ihe gi asogbuo muo, onye nkwari."  Helen, you were a happy person in yourself, and shared it around.

Everybody was your child. "Oo Nwa!" I remember talking to Bishop Godfrey Onah once about you and he said that when they were in the seminary, you used to treat them like your children. "O n'amu anyi ka nwa."

When you were Novice Mistress at Nsukka, and we were living together in the community, we worked hand in hand. When I was in Ireland, you visited my parents. My sick father kept calling me all the time you were with them. When you came back, you told Sr Joseph Therese that my father needed to see me before he died. So Joseph Therese and yourself sent a message to Ireland to let me come home to see my father. The Sisters in Ireland came where I was studying and arranged for me to go home to Nigeria to see my parents and I stayed for some time and went back to Ireland. That was the last time I saw both of my parents. My father died shortly after that and my mother died two years after. If it were not for your kindness and thoughtfulness, Sr Helen, I would not have been able to see my parents for the last time; and I was not home for the burial of either of them.

I miss you so much, Helen but I cannot change God's plan. Adieu until we meet again to part no more."

This tribute was added by Gabriel Agbim on 6th March 2018

"A Tribute to Rev. Sister Helen Onyiuke

Rev. Sister Helen was born into the family of Chief Michael Onyiuke, who promoted Catholicism in Nimo. The fact that Sister Helen was born into a family that had a high esteem for Christian values helped lay a strong moral foundation in her life as a young ambitious girl. It is noteworthy that the way of life and good deeds of the early Rev. Sisters who came from Ireland to St. Patrick Church, Cool Camp, Enugu, was part of the dominant factors that later influenced her choice of becoming a Rev. Sister.

To my recollection, Rev. Sister Helen was one of the major agents of spiritual and material progress in the Holy Rosary Congregation. She was recognized by late Bishop A.K Obiefuna as a “goal getter” following her successful solicitations for promoting material and spiritual progress in the congregation she served at Nsuka.

Until her demise, she and her late sister, Princess Margret Agbim, had a very cordial bond. She was very much fond of Princess Margret. In fact, on the 4th of January, 2018, she and her fellow Rev. Sisters attended the remembrance ceremony of my late wife, Princess Margret Abgim, at Saint Kevin’s Catholic Church in Nimo. Little did I know that Rev. Sister Helen was going to leave this wicked world to her heavenly abode forty eight days after her sister’s memorial service.

Helen, I am glad you accepted Christ as your personal Savior, and I am certain that you are now with your late sisters in heaven. My family and I pray that we will all accompany you there someday. We love you very much. You will forever be in our hearts. May your soul rest in perfect peace.

Sir, Gabriel N. Agbim(KC)"

This tribute was added by Etta Onyiuke-Azih on 5th March 2018


I would never believe that one day I will have cause to write this tribute. To me it is tasking and mentally draining. As Christians we take consolation in this inevitable fact of life's journey. There are so many things to remember you for and I wish to draw reference from just one area. ....Mother Teresa of Calcuta " Spread love every where you go. Let no one ever come to you with out leaving happier. Intense love does not measure , it gives. The miracle is not that we do this work of charity but we are happy to do it ". These quotes were what you lived for Sister Helen. You found faith in charity and self-denial to make all around you, all that you come in contact with and all that come in contact with you were happy. My loving, kind and amiable Aunty. I recall my early secondary school days at Holy Faith Convent Glasnevin, Dublin, at a tender age of 16, alone and homesick. You immediately assumed the role of a Mother. Although you pampered me a great deal but at the same time very strict. During the summer vacation ,you took me to Kilishandra the then Mother house of the Holy Rosary Sisters, that in a way exposed me to all the Reverend Sisters and to the virtues of nearly being one. Though your family is found in different convents all over the world, the place of your immediate family was very important to you. Your nieces, nephews and cousins meant the world to you. You were a Rev.Sister of humble demeanour, an unequalled benefactor, who went the extra mile to provide comfort and succour to the needy and the less privileged. You made sure you instilled in us the fear of God. I am very deeply pained by your passage but, I am consoled by the fact that you lived your life in Christ. You touched every life positively and in your last days, you felt fulfilled and had nothing to regret.
Adieu my serene Aunty, you will forever be remembered. Addio la mia serena Zia. Buona Notte.
Your loving niece Etta Onyiuke-Azih"

This tribute was added by irene Emokah on 5th March 2018

"Nwa m, as you fondly called me. I will miss you dearly my loving and ever cheerful grand aunty. When I visited you in the hospital, you were still sounding strong and we chatted as usual.
As I was preparing for my second visit, I got the news of your passing. You helped many spiritually, emotionally and otherwise especially the poor and needy.
I'm rest assured that you're resting in the bosom of our Lord.
Rest in peace Sister Helen.
Your grand niece,
Nneka Emokah ( nee Ugoh )"

This tribute was added by Ogueji Maria on 4th March 2018

"Che-e-i-i!  Ewo-o-oh!! our dearest mother, Sr. Helen! You disappeared so fast, at a very short notice and the news set a chill down my spine. What a great loss of a great mother. You had no biological child but your children are uncountable.You tenderly cuddled each, young or old as "nwam"  Indeed, you were born a mother and a mother you were to the core till the Lord called you home.  
      As our Novice Mistress, you wonderfully blended three of us "trinity"
and your greatest desire was that we would grow in maturity; rooted in Christ and be filled with passion for His mission. We did not have to go far to get the sense of what were trying to inculcate in us for you were our admirable model. Mama, Sr. Helen, thank you so much for all you were for us.
     Dearest mother, as you answer God's call beyond, I wish you a very joyful entrance into that eternal home where one day we all will meet to part no more. May your soul rest in perfect peace. Amen"

This tribute was added by Philomena Ezeh on 4th March 2018

"Tribute to our dearest Novice Directress, Sister Helen Onyiuke

This day 4th March 40 years ago, you witnessed the Religious Profession of your first ever set of Novices of which I was one. The news of your death still hovers like a mirage, but it is a reality that I have to embrace. Fond memories of you elude expression in paper and pen. Your freeing and trusting presence as a Formator was liberating and inspiring. Your enthusiasm and joy in the Religious Life Vocation were of themselves a formative environment. You not only said often "be yourself", but you lived that way, reaching and touching hearts in a deeply human and spiritual way. You welcomed challenging questions during our classes with you, knowing that we were searching for a deeper truth and closeness with God, Jesus. You taught, not with eloquent philosophy, but with spiritual and practical convictions.

You have gone to meet God, Jesus, face to face, the name that was always on your lips, in your heart; the Reality that imbued you with great love, large-hearted generosity and kindness towards all that crossed your path while with us on this earth. Now in the presence  of the Trinity and Mary Our Mother, as you gaze on all whose lives you touched in so many ways, and who are still on this temporary side of Reality, continue to keep us in prayer and loving care. You live on in loving

This tribute was added by Sister Rose Uchem, MSHR on 4th March 2018

By Sr Therese Odunukwe, MSHR.

Sr. Helen, Nwamama, Ezinne, a great  missionary,  the news of your sudden departure from this world  is shocking, hard to believe  and very painful indeed!  Our consolation is  that  the rich legacy of your life of inspiration  will continue to live with us. Your encounter and deep relationship with the person of Jesus which  left a big transforming mark on you  made you identify so much with His life.    

I will always remember you for your large heartedness.  A heart full of love that embraced all, joyful, generous, full of fun and  always
ready to forgive. Everyone, young and old was for you " Nwam"!  Thank you for touching my life especially  within the short and precious time I passed  through you as my novice directress.I learnt a lot from you  and will  remain ever grateful to you.

Now doubt you are now in the full presence of God. I could imagine how you would have embraced Him with extended  hands and open heart as you embraced us here!

Your family of Onyiuke,  your Holy Rosary family and  the thousands of people  whose lives you touched  will continue to love and appreciate you with deep gratitude.

A glorious goodbye dear Nwamama till we meet to part no more.  Pray for us.  And  enjoy  your rest in the bosom of the Lord.  Amen.

Therese Odunukwe,MSHR,"

This tribute was added by Agbasielo Dorothy Ngozi on 4th March 2018

"Sr Helen Onyiuke, you were the track, the road, the star, the light, the indicator, the hands etc that led me into the congregation of the  MSHR from my residence home No 4 Ulasi street Housing Estate Abakpa Nike Enugu through my Paternal Uncle  and his wife Col & Mrs E.M. Udeaja in 1983. Since then you have been a mother, a model, a mentor, a coacher, a spiritual director,  you empowered a lot during my novitiate formation under you, you were always calling me nwam or Dora.You remember the holiday we were going to spend together 2017 with Hilda in Abuja. I am going to miss you. Praying for you RIP till we meet in heaven."

This tribute was added by Uzor Nwajiugo on 3rd March 2018

"It was with sadness that I received the news of your passing unto eternal glory. You have lived a selfless and God centered life. It is with confidence that I say... You are resting in the bosom of our Mighty God.

This tribute was added by Catherine Uzoma on 1st March 2018

"This is very a shocking news. Sister Helen was a very amiable, jovial person and mixed up very freely with people of all age groups . This rare attribute  made her evangelization activities easily welcomed . My husband and i remain indebted to Sister Helen for the role she played in our lives. Our journey of Christianity is incomplete without her. I do know that she touched many lives within and outside her congregation.She left foot prints for her sisters all those that knew her to cherish and emulate.This is a great loss to Congregation of Holy Rosary Sisters and to the catholic church. She has finished the race and gone to recieve her crowning glory. May her soul rest in peace. Amen.
Lady Catherine Adaugo Uzoma."

This tribute was added by Nkechi Anyaeji on 1st March 2018

"Tribute to Sis Helen Onyiuke

I recall with pain the very last time I spoke with you on the phone. You told me about your failing health, and asked me to put you in prayers.  I obliged. Later that week, I got an SMS that you were hospitalized. I stopped by the hospital, but couldn’t see you as I was told you were resting.  Two days later, I checked in on you again at the hospital but got the same message that you were resting. I didn’t get to see or speak with you again until I received an SMS of your shocking demise.

Sr Onyiuke … greatly admired, kind-hearted, caring, selfless and generous to a fault. You introduced me to moringa family and healthy living tutorials. My husband, our children and I will forever cherish all your fond memories, especially the packs of healthy chin-chin you graciously sent us every Christmas.

Sr Onyiuke was, and remains greatly admired for her devotion to God and service to humanity. She was among the first golden Jubilarians of the Holy Rosary Sisters Congregation in Nigeria and Africa.

While we are mourning, Heaven – the abode of God Almighty – is in festive mood, rejoicing over the home coming of Sr Onyiuke.  

Dame Nkechi Anyaeji, DSG, LSM"

This tribute was added by Connie Onwuagha on 1st March 2018

"My darling auntie Sr Helen the Last of the fine Princesses of 'MASTER'-Chief Michael Muoyekwu ONYIUKE son ofANU-ANACHUAMOKWA OF NIMO in Njikoka Local Government in Anambra State.The news of your demise came as a great shock that disorganised me mentally. Our 'ROCK'.You made things happen.Never did we experience a moment of sadness with you.Sr Helen you were so remarkable that you asso ciated with the high and the lowly and never segregated,as you treated every one alike.Your humility had no comparison as you laboured for all and sundry just to put smiles on their faces. Adieu my lovely aunty we would miss you greatly. May your Gentle  soul rest in perfect peace Amen.your niece Connie onwuagha."

This tribute was added by christine eneanya on 28th February 2018

My dearest Aunty, Sr. Helen, you shot away from us like the shooting star across the sky. And we stood watching to catch a glimpse of you, but alas you were truly gone, gone to be with your Maker. It is well!
Sr. Helen had a charm about her that draws you to her. Her charisma was unparalleled. With her you felt loved. She drew the best out of you. She put herself out so completely that you may be happy. The last of her numerous siblings, she was there for them in their moments of need, in their final moments. All without exception. She gave of her time and even from the resource which she never really had.
She made it a habit of visiting her Big Sister, our Mum, Mrs Rebecca Ezekwe in Nibo as often as she could during the twelve years and more that she was confined to the wheel chair. And of course she never came empty handed. When her Sister passed on, to our greatest surprise she came with coolers of food for us, her nieces and nephews in mourning as we prepared to bury our Mum. Oh! What generosity.
She gave us an insight of a life truly dedicated to God. She lived a sincere Christian life. Her fellow Nuns congregated about her and she brought them to her family home in Nimo. She made us feel like one big happy family. She was our role model. You were a jewel.
We believe without question that you are resting with The Lord. Your memory shall remain evergreen with us. We love you dearly. We miss you sorely.
Rest in perfect peace.

Prof. ifeoma Eneanya (Nee Ezekwe)
Your Niece"

This tribute was added by Oluwa Kemi on 28th February 2018

"Beloved Mama Helen, as I favouritely called you. Thank you for being the bundle of joy you were. You motherly and loving visits to us in our Pauline Book Centre will be forever cherished. How I miss your big, warm hugs! Thank you for checking on us, to know how we were faring. Your encouraging words and loving care, your forgiving spirit and kind words may God grant to us whom you have left behind. May God wipe our tears and reward you with your deserved rest in his bosom."

This tribute was added by NCWR SEC on 28th February 2018

"Mama, you were a mother to me and all my sisters. I met you first after morning Mass at Holy Rosary parish, Wuse  a day after my return from Italy in 2005. Since then you took a special interest in me and encouraged me often. Our last social outing was my 50th birthday February last year at Gwarinpa. I was filled with emotions as I watched the video yesterday. What can I say?

I thank for the good life you lived and for a holy and happy death.  This is the desire of every Christian. I pray that we do not forget all that you taught us in words and in actions.  Keep resting in the peace of the Lord. Thanks Sister for who you were, what you were and what you did. Keep praying for us.  Sr. Jovita Nkem Nzeduru  SJR"

This tribute was added by Cordelia Ekechi on 28th February 2018

"Tribute To Sister Helen Onyiuke
Sister Helen.  What can we say than to say Rest In peace!
You were a Mother, Lover. Mentor, Motivator, and an Organiser.  You touched many lives by your  simple lifestyle publicly and privately. Words can never express whom you were but You succeeded in answering  your divine call as well as lived it out
Your faces are everywhere  in our albums to always remind us of you but my family will miss you dearly.
Rest in Peace our dear Sister and Mentor as we needed you here ,So also does your Creator.
Bro. and Sis. Rowland Ekechi  and family"

This tribute was added by Cordelia Ekechi on 28th February 2018

"Tribute To Sister Helen Onyiuke
Sister Helen.  What can we say than to say Rest In peace!
You were a Mother, Lover. Mentor, Motivator, and an Organiser.  You touched many lives by your  simple lifestyle publicly and privately. Words can never express whom you were but You succeeded in answering  your divine call as well as lived it out
Your faces are everywhere  in our albums to always remind us of you but my family will miss you dearly.
Rest in Peace our dear Sister and Mentor as we needed you here ,So also does your Creator.
Bro. and Sis. Rowland Ekechi  and family"

This tribute was added by Cordelia Ekechi on 28th February 2018

"Tribute To Sister Helen Onyiuke
Sister Helen.  What can we say than to say Rest In peace!
You were a Mother, Lover. Mentor, Motivator, and an Organiser.  You touched many lives by your  simple lifestyle publicly and privately. Words can never express whom you were but You succeeded in answering  your divine call as well as lived it out
Your faces are everywhere  in our albums to always remind us of you but my family will miss you dearly.
Rest in Peace our dear Sister and Mentor as we needed you here ,So also does your Creator.
Bro. and Sis. Rowland Ekechi  and family"

This tribute was added by Sr. Regina Utre on 27th February 2018

I thought it's all a dream. Perhaps I have to accept the reality that my sweet mummy is gone. You waited for me to see you at the National Hospital in Abuja. Although I feel sad and broken, but I am consoled that I saw you and I was the last person you prayed for and spoke with before going into the theatre. Oh my mummy, who will call me "ReggyNwam" again? A name many people tease me with because of you. You loved me like a biological daughter. You guided and journeyed with me spiritually- a great companion on my spiritual journey. You were always concerned about my closeness to Jesus. You wanted the best for me and always encouraged me to develop sweet and intimate relationship with Jesus. I am already missing you a lot my mummy. I love you so much but God loves you more. I am consoled that you are with Jesus, smiling and praying for me. You have touched so many lives in the cause of life's journey. You lived a life that truly inspires. Your kind nature brought succour to many. Even the pains you felt when you were on your sick bed couldn't mask the aura of kindness and joy you radiate. Memories of the good time we shared will forever be cherished. Your life was a blessing to many, your memory a treasure. Surely I lack words and would prefer not to speak, for words cannot convey the deepest emotions at a time like this. Only tears pouring down like rain has and will continue to express what I feel deep within. You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure my sweet mummy.
Receive the crown and reward from your spouse Jesus whom you loved and served so diligently. Rest on my mummy, rest on, rest on... May Heaven welcome you with a warm embrace.          SR. REGINA UTRE (OLF)"

This tribute was added by amaka nwazojie on 27th February 2018

"Rev. Sister Helen Onyiuke, Nnem Ukwu, my Mentor, a Saint, an Angel. you created a positive impact in my life and the lives of many people. I thank God for bringing you into our lives.

Jee nke oma.

Felicia Amaka Enwelu Nwazojie."

This tribute was added by amaka nwazojie on 27th February 2018

"Rev. Sister Helen Onyiuke, Nnem Ukwu, my Mentor, a Saint, an Angel. you created a positive impact in my life and the lives of many people. I thank God for bringing you into our lives.

Jee nke oma.

Felicia Amaka Enwelu Nwazojie."

This tribute was added by Al-Amin Sahabo on 27th February 2018

"Sr. Helen was a woman with beautiful heart, I was introduced to Sr. Helen by Sr. Franca Onyibor in Sept. 2018 at Abuja during our NVC mission and I only stay with her for few hours she became a wonderful friend to me, she supported me with advice with her gentle and caring nature. One of her beliefs in life was the importance of being authentic with people. Also, I always admired how she never judged or forced her opinions on anyone, but offered valuable and truthful advice that we will surely miss. I could remember when she asked me to teach her how to use google maps on her phone to my surprise she understand it and able to use it in a short period of time ....(tears) may her gentle soul rest in perfect peace."

This tribute was added by Fidelia Irohmbata on 26th February 2018

"Tribute to a woman of faith
Sr,you really fought the good fight of faith by the kind of life you chose to live. You whole heartedly served your Creator by dedicating your self completely to Him.You were such a good and humble leader in your congregation.I still cherish the encouragement and word of advise you gave me at the time of my Dad's burial.
My prayer is that God whom you have so faithfully served reward you with eternal rest in His Kingdom
Adieu Sr Helen.We shall meet to part no more
Fidel Iroh-Mbata"

This tribute was added by Marie Therese Akonobi on 26th February 2018

"Tribute To Sr Helen Onyiuke.

The last time we visited Sr Helen in Abuja in 2015 after the death of her remaining sibling- Chief Gregory Onyiuke, I did not realise I was actually predicting a possibility,  I told her , “  now that you have successfully prayed all your siblings into Heaven
considering the holy circumstances in which each of them died, do not feel that you should now also leave us, I am hoping for you also to wheel me into heaven with your prayers and inspirations.”
Sr Helen did not say a word in response to my deep seated concerns, but what she did was to rejuvenate us - my husband, my son and I by a heartfelt reception . She fed us , demonstrated to us some exercises we ought to do each day to keep our blood circulating properly. She gave us some herbal medicines and kept us laughing and cheerful all the time, the seriousness with which she counseled us on exercises, perseverance and zeal, we kept wondering how she would be more energetic and full of life than all of us.
From the word go, it was clear that God gave Sr Helen extraordinary gift of Wisdom and Faith that made her place riches and wealth where they belong to focus all her energy on the service of God in the ranks of the Holy Rosary Congregation. There she served God to her best ability as I know the sisters would recount. Sr Helen was an epitome of simplicity and love all the time. She was full of concern for the welfare of all, witness the enthusiasm with which she publicised and counselled  and administered the herbal medicines, when it came out, she believed in natural means of cure and encouraged everybody to see that we have natural herbs etc that would keep us healthy without taking too much chemicals- she almost became a “ herbalist”.She wanted all to benefit as she benefitted. Sr. Helen’s kindness and generosity to the needy was infectious;one left her company a happy person, your problems addressed, and as we mourn that our sister is no longer on earth with us , I know the Holy Rosary Sisters even feel it more because of the love she gave.One consolation we should feel is that she is in heaven because God does not fail in His promises. Her concerns for us will not die now, she will be able to plead for us to our Lady of the Holy Rosary. We thank God for this gem He sent us and pray for more of her kind.

Col.Robert & Mrs. Marie-Therese Akonobi

26 Feb 2018"

This tribute was added by Patrick Isibor on 26th February 2018

"It is with great pain and sadness that our family mourn the passing of our dear and beloved Rev. Sr. Helen Onyiuke of The Holy Rosary Sisters. A loving, caring, compassionate and devoted Catholic evangelist and missionary for the greatest part of the 81 years she lived. 

She had and will forever have a special place in our family always praying for us and our children. Her evangelist work was carried out in many parts of Nigeria. Ireland, Sierra Leone, and South Africa. She came into our family life in South Africa in 1997. We had our first child, knew not how to handle a newborn. She took permission from her superior at the convent and came to live with us for two good weeks. She did an "ömugwö" for my wife - the caring a mother gives to her daughter who has given birth to a child. At our daughter's naming ceremony, we gave her the honor to give her the Christian name. She named her Maria-Goretti after an Italian nun and saint. She has been part and parcel of our family even until her last days. A few days before she passed, we spoke with her and she asked us to keep praying for her.

To say that our family is devastated by her transition is to understate our sense of loss.

We know she lived a thoroughly devote Catholic Christian life, touching many lives wherever she was. The good Lord has called her home at a golden age. Our dearest and mother Sister Helen, we all, Patrick, Laeticia, Kelechukwu Maria-Goretti, and Chukwuemeke shall forever miss you.

Goodbye sister till we meet again."

This tribute was added by Moses Bello on 26th February 2018

"Dearest Rev. Sister, you were sent by God to help humanity which you did perfectly as any noble person can. Sister we are going to miss you because you always offer my entire family Adivice on medical care. Your chinchin that you gave us for Christmas has not finished. Adeiu Sister. May the Angel welcome you to Heaven. I pray in Jesus name. Amen. Justice Moses Bello. OFR"

This tribute was added by Chinyere Uzoka on 26th February 2018

"Tribute to  Rev. Sister  Helen  Onyiuke who died on Thursday 22nd February 2018 in Abuja.

Sister Helen was the first  Senior Prefect of Holy Rosary Secondary School, Ihioma. She was  our senior Sister, Mother and role model, in short Sister Helen was everything to her fellow Pupils in School.

Even in her old age she never stopped being a caring person.  We met at a school  function and on seeing the health challenges I faced, she introduced a health outfit to me so they can give me  treatment at home. She also used to call me  regularly  to find  out  how  I am  doing and  would sometimes visit me at home. She was with  me not too long  ago, so I was surprised when I heard she was in hospital. Due to my not being able to climb stairs,  I sent my daughter Ada  to see  her. Sister Helen  sent a Message that  I should  not worry about her. It is now heart  breaking to hear of  her death.

May her gentle Soul Rest in Peace!

By  Mrs  Chinyere  Angela  Uzoka  nee Nwosu, (1961~1965 Set, Holy Rosary Secondary  School,  Ihioma)."

This tribute was added by Marypaul Akpu on 26th February 2018

"Due to the message I received about the operation she undergo last week,I was so worried and began to call number but it wasn't reachable, until I received a message on my WhatsApp about the passing on of my lovely Rev sr. Helen onyiuke.I was so devastated and shocked. Death is so humble but it is an inevitable end , Rev sr. Helen was an epitome of kindness, oneness, and so religious. She was my mentor in religious life,though we are not from the same congregation and age difference, yet she breeds the differences with vigor and humor . she served God with one heart ,with that she normally tell we sisters that "we should always be holy as our white is pure". She is quiet hospitable and ever ready to satisfy whoever comes to her,Her unique selflessness made her to be respected by everyone who knowns her. She is always ready to give listening ears to whoever comes to her for advise,to clarify their doubt. Rev sr.Helen, you were full of life and activities when we met on the 4th of January 2018, I never expected your death,I never knew our meeting was going to be the last one,but I know we shall meet again in the blossom of the lord. I miss you dearly mother and mentor, you left a big vacuum in my life,my hope lies in the resurrection of the righteous.
Adieu my mother and mentor.
Adieu Rev sr. Helen onyiuke.
Rev sr Mary Paul akpu"

This tribute was added by Obi Jacinta on 26th February 2018

"There is no greater blessing than knowing you mama Helen. Big mama, a woman with a large heart; knowledge, full of ideas, accommodating and smiles. No dull moment with you. You had good stories to share, always disposed to teach as one shows interest. I recall and treasure the golden happy moments shared together, equally feeling so sad that you are no more with us. For life is an appointment which destiny can never end until God decides it. I look to the skies as I wipe out tears, yes we have lost an angel, a called one, but the heaven has gained one. You are the mother to all, sister, aunt, relation and friend. A woman with so many attributes, always there to listen and advice to support and encourage. Mama Helen, as you have bowed out and took your final exist into the world beyond I no doubt take consolation in the undisputed fact that your stay here on earth was a mission accomplished and most importantly you are resting in the bossom of the Lord your creator.
Sr Helen philosophy of seeing GOD in others and treating them with charity and empathy has been crystallized and constructed into a beautiful song by Mary Mkee and the Genesis thus:
.i     If you see a brother standing by the road.. With a heavy load from city so, And if you see a sister failing by the way, Just stop and say you are going the wrong way
Chorus: You 've got to try a little kindness show a little kindness Shine your light for everyone to see And if you try a little kindness Then you'll over look the blindness of narrow minded people on a narrow minded street.
ii.    Don't walk around the down and out.. Lend a helping hand instead of doubt.. And the kindness that you show everyday... Will help someone along the way.
I am gladdened by your fruitful, sincere and exemplary life. Sr and mother you have played well your part in life and my prayer is that may your humble soul through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen
Mama Helen timber and caliber will forever miss you........
Adieu our SR. Mother and our mentor!"

This tribute was added by Daniel Akut on 25th February 2018

"Dr & Mrs Akut and the children from the UK

We received the news of your passing to glory with heavy hearts. You lived your life for everybody, you were particularly a rock for us while in South Africa. You were a mother, sister and a role model for the family. Even after we moved to the UK you kept in touch giving counsel to us and the children. I will not forget the last time I tried  to speak to you on phone after your initial discharge from the hospital and you said doctor pray for me. The Lord knows better why He decided to take you at this time. We will miss you a lot as a family. May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace in Jesus name. Amen"

This tribute was added by Cecilia Okafor on 25th February 2018

"Dear friend the news of your demise touched my heart so deeply as I remembered how humorous you always be many times I met you. God knows why you should come home at this moment. As humans, we cannot question God’s authority. You were a great woman of God! Rest In Peace dear sister amen. From Chinelo Cecilia Okafor (Canada)."

This tribute was added by Christopher Nnubia on 25th February 2018


Divine Providence made it possible for me to know you, Sr. Helen Onyiuke because I had the privilege of working at Holy Rosary Parish Wuse Abuja where your community has a domicile.
On 2nd February, 2018,  I got a response to my usual daily reflections I do send to people including you: " Sr. Helen is not  too well". Definitely not sent by you but by one of your sisters. Immediately, I responded: 'What's wrong with her'? The response I got shocked me and I prayed for you. On 13th February, 2018, I sent a message to you: "God will heal you"; "Which hospital are you?" And a relieving response was received: "She is discharged.  She is at home." And I replied immediately: " Which home please?" There was no response as to which home until I read from the Mission and Dialogue WhatsApp page on 22nd FEBRUARY, 2018 that God has called you to himself. Instantly, the message I received which read " She is at home"  became very clear to me. I couldn't hold my emotion in the lecture hall that day when I heard of your demise. At this moment, I recalled all my encounter with you and I said to God be the glory.  
Yes Sr. Helen, you are at HOME now resting from your hard work here on earth. Sr. Helen, for your 52 years of religious profession and 81 years on earth, you affected people of all ages, you contributed in changing lives, you shared experiences and to me, you were an experience. Psalm 90: 10 says, "Our lives last seventy years or, eighty years for those who are strong. Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow; indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away". You were such a strong woman, even at your age, you were committed in active pastoral works for the good of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary and the Holy Rosary Catholic Church Wuse, Abuja. It was a sign of fulfillment and contentment you found in your vocation. Sr. Helen, the promoter of 'moringa', “many people will speak of your greatness, but I will sing of your LOVE for God’s many children who encountered you - thankfully, I was a beneficiary of that LOVE.” Proverbs 10: 7 says "the memory of a good person is a blessing."
Fr. Christopher or Chris Nwam as you usually called me is just saying to you, THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME. THANK YOU FOR ALL THE PIECES OF ADVICE. THANK YOU FOR BEING A LOVING MOTHER AND SISTER TO ME IN NEED AND IN DEED. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!. Sleep on Sr. Helen, good night Sr.- adieu and find peace with God even as you sleep. See you at the dawn of that day when we shall meet to part no more.
From Fr. Chris Nwa gi (Rev. Fr. Christopher Nnubia)."

This tribute was added by Chinyere Nzeduru on 25th February 2018

"Tribute to Rev. Sr. Helen Onyuke
Dear Sr. Helen,

I did not know that the beautiful evening of 21st December, 2017, was to be my last close encounter with you.

“Ada”, you fondly called, as I approached to greet you in the Church premises that evening. “Come”, you said, holding my hand and leading me to your car where you handed me a bucket full of delicious chinchin for Christmas.

Sister, you were a mother to me and to my son, on whose life your prayers and spiritual influence has continued to work. You have shown me so much love since that night I came crying to the Convent as a result of some personal parenting challenges. Your encouragement and advice have been my inspiration since that night. Your love for me blossomed and grew stronger as you got to know my mother and siblings.  

Sr. Helen, your death has left me gasping for breath but I am consoled because I know that you are now resting in the arms of Our Blessed Mother whose life you imitated while here on earth. She will surely and confidently lead you to Her Son, Our Lord, whom you served with all your strength.

Sleep on beloved Sister. You deserve your rest for you have ran a good race, yours is the crown reserved for you in the Kingdom of your father.

Adieu Sr. Helen Onyuke!

Chinyere Nzeduru (Kemsi’s mom)
Holy Rosary Parish, Wuse - Abuja"

This tribute was added by Anthonia Nnaike on 25th February 2018

"My sister, my mother, my friend and  my formator, what shall I say I miss you  so much. It is because of your encouragement, my formation under you and your trust that made me what I am today. I lack the adequate words to express my sorrow for your passing to the next world. You loved God very much and this love you shared with so many people both young and old, rich and poor alike.  You gave us your best during our novitiate years.  May God reward you with fullness of life for your motherly care and your frirndship. Farewell woman of God , farewell noble lady, farewell mother and  farewell princess. May we meet to part no more.  Antho Nnaike"

This tribute was added by Phyllis Kandibe Eya on 25th February 2018

"I love you, Sister Helen. I will remember you always. You were (are) a beautiful soul indeed, a big sister to my mom and a mother to me. Unforgettable ... that's what you are. Your strength, courage, generousity, cheerful disposition, love for all and life of service is a testament to your love for God and your earthly mission. Rest in the Father's joy, peace and love."

This tribute was added by Rita AfejukuEgbe on 25th February 2018

"Tribute to Sr Helen Onyuike.

We met while working on the Holy Rosary Secondary School, Gwagwalada project and instantly we became family and friend.

Ri-ri like you fondly called me.  You were a mother, sister and a true friend. You were there with me through the happy times, my 50th Birthday, my daughter’s wedding and most of all , through the challenging times of my undiagnosed illness. You were so supportive, always praying for me, visiting, and exploring to find remedies for my medical challenge. Sad you will not be here to see me run again but I promise you that by God’s Grace I will definitely run again. You were an extraordinary woman. So loving, caring, kind, dedicated and most of all, a very humble person.

I am glad your illness was brief and you did not have to suffer long. We love you but God loves you most. We will miss you greatly and will forever remember your warmth and smile.

Eternal Rest grant Sr Helen, Lord and let your perpetual light shine on her. May her sweet soul Rest In Peace. Amen.

Arc Rita Afejuku Egbe.
Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Wuse. Abuja."

This tribute was added by Charles NDUBISI on 25th February 2018

"Sr Helen Onyuike is the best Sr I have seen and the  best known to me. When Nimo Abuja branch was divided, she volunteered at my request to intervene. She gave her best in the intervention. She wouldn't want to see anybody in difficult situation and refuse to help. She was a model and a mentor for many. May the good Lord rest her beautiful soul."

This tribute was added by Uzoamaka Agbim-Omaliko on 25th February 2018

"To my look alike, I am honored to say a few words about my Aunt, Sister Helen Onyuike, Please for forgive me if I am lost of words in which to describe this wonderful  Lady. She was a cheerful, fun-loving lady who was full of life. Her smile could light up a room and it was infectious. She made everyone around her happy with her positive attitude, or her big smile, she was a delight to be around. I will miss your smile and positive attitude Sister Helen. She was an incredible sister and Aunt. She will be missed by a lot of people. I wish you peace and will always love you.
As always,
Meggy Last born"

This tribute was added by Veronica Nkom on 25th February 2018

"Dear Sr Helen (Kaka),
You were such a gentle and caring mother. Young at heart and very docile!  You formed and guided many people.  We believe that the choirs of angels have received you warmly. Pray for us till we meet again!"

This tribute was added by Gilbert Onwu on 25th February 2018

"We have lost a gem in Sr Helen Onyuike. We are in shock numbed and saddened by this loss.The Good Lord has seen it fit to call Sr Helen to Himself. He has plucked the fruit when it is ripe.God knows best and still it does not lessen the pain. She will be forever missed. For 21 years,  at close quarters and from afar, Sr Helen brought joy, love and sweetness as a mother, counsellor, confidante and close friend to my family:my wife Rita Mary, and children, Akunna, Ekenedilichukwu and Nkonadi. It was such a wonderful and gratuitous gift of God for our paths to have crossed with Sr Helen's in 1997/8 in South Africa. She was an indefatigable religious, full of good humour and love of God and people..Sr Helen was a beautiful human being, caring, and ever so disposed to giving a helping hand and always wanting to make life a little more pleasant for those around her. She simply wanted to pass unnoticed. As Christians and faithful of the Catholic Church, we can carry on not just the faith, hope and love Sr Helen had for her vocation in the service of our Mother the Church, but the spirit in which she lived it. May Our Lord Jesus grant her noble and gentle soul eternal rest in the bossom of Our Father in heaven. Adieu Sister"

This tribute was added by vivienne Okey-Ngene on 25th February 2018

"Tribute to Sr. Helen

Sr, I know you would tell me that one day we will all go to meet our Almighty  Father but forgive me for being a bit selfish – for wanting to hold on to you a little longer.

Your presence drew so many to our home and brought so much goodwill. Your love and kind gestures remain unequalled even to the point of telling you “Sr, O zugo”. Your time to others was also not given sparingly so much that when you asked anyone to accompany you for a brief visit it meant the whole day visiting quite a number of people and frankly we did avoid such ‘brief visits’. But that was your person, you hardly had time for yourself but was however eager to share it with others, an attitude we should all emulate.

I remember with nostalgia the times you spent with daddy (Late Dr. Johnny Onyiuke) doting on him and enjoying yourself thoroughly. On hindsight, I have come to realize that you often called in with one complainant or the other about your health when he was alive but upon his departure you became the family ‘doctor’. Young-sook surely found in you a companion especially after you moved into the “Mediatrix of All Graces”. The frequent exchange of gifts and food stuffs will be no more? and the insistence to take Moringa to keep healthy will cease? It will take some getting used to.

On the day I heard the news of your demise, I lay in bed that night thinking of how you saw all the children of Beke, your siblings Albert, Gabriel, James, Gregory, Margaret and John depart this world and held forth so strongly even though I know you missed them so much. I reminisced of how fond you were of them – called them ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ to your only sister. I thought with a smile on my lips you were at that very moment meeting your dear ones one after the other calling them the very same way. With you still in my thoughts, I recalled 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18… I shall indeed not mourn like those who do not have hope knowing that one day God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him and we shall be caught in the clouds to meet our Lord. I was consoled with this biblical verse and slowly drifted to sleep.

Sr, na do!

Vivienne Okey-Ngene (nee Onyiuke)
(Nne m as you fondly called me)"

This tribute was added by NGOZI NNAEDOZIE on 25th February 2018

"SIster Helen Onyiuke came to the Mother Earth and bestrode it like a Colosus. Shocked as i was when Njideka Onyiuke broke the news of your passing  to me on that Faithful  22nd day of February 2018 as i had prayed believing God for your healing.My  heart  was very heavy and saddened as you meant so much to me in  many ways.On January 2018 you  heared armed robbers attacked me and came to my house with your legs while i was in the police station. When you called me i was so touched and encouraged you to go  home that i will come to the your house on my way from the Station  but you refused and waited  for me so i had to rush it the Christmas Gifts of containers of Chinchin  you have sent to me and  my children for over 12 years  now  including December 2017.Sister Helen you were my Teacher from QRSS Nsukka where you taught me among other subjects Moral Instructions that actually differentiated me in my carrier and life style leading to great sucess.You were my Mother,great confidant ,Mentor ,friend and grand Mother to my children. On your golden Jubilee Celebrations in the Novitiate in Nsukka in 2015 you were very Radiant and introduced me to your community as  your Dawghter and having passed through the Queen of the Rosary secondary school  in 1977.I was happy to be associated with you in all your Missionary work building Structures,Secondary School in Abuja etc You were so industrious without an idle moment as you are finishing a projesct you are starting up another.Sister Helen you were very energetic, indefatigable, lovely,cheerful at all times,peace loving ,amiable yet very strict. I Celebrate you Sister Helen for your uniqueness. You are a Rare Gem.l will not mourn as those who have no hope and will not question the God Almighty as He knows best.He also gave you to Humanity as a great Gift.I know you are Resting in the Bossom  of the  lord. I remember how holly you are with the mind of a little child as you never held anything to heart.You always forgave and asked us to forgive but pray continualy. You always advised my children from there primary to there university  days and took them to the convent to spend time with you.You showed  special interest in there welfare and school work..They loved you so much ,listened to your words of wisdom and called you Grandma.Ebuka,Chinenyeze ,Chidinma and there Dad   mourn you Sister Helen as you are the only Gradma that visited them continuously showering your love on them and admonishing them in love.My Mentor  Sister Helen,you always  advised me on health issues and introduced Moringa etc  to me.I can't finish talking about your  numerous giftings SISTER  but im consoled that you lived long and  according to your works on earth @ achievements you were more than a100 years old.Continue to Rest peacefully in the lords Bossom  my lovely one..Adieu my Teacher,  Adieu my Mentor,Adieu my Friend,Adieu my Mother, Adieu my Mother @ Grandma  of my children, Adieu GREAT ONE ,Adieu  SISTER HELEN ONYIUKE.We love you and will greatly  miss you  but God loves you best.Goodnight Mum.


Princess Ngozi,,Okey,Chukwuebuka,Chinenyeze@Chidinma NNAEDOZIE."

This tribute was added by Livhuwani Mufamadi on 25th February 2018

"Back in 1997 Sibasa Parish South Africa,I found a mother a special mother Sr Helen Onyiuke one could ever ask for. Mam Sr Helen you were an engel send by God to are my inspiration my guidian engel, you helped me so much spiritually ,emotionally, financially until i completed my Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at the University of Venda.your were a loving caring mother. When you left south Africa to Nigeria you never left me alone bt in the hands of Sr Hilda Tucker and you asked her to take care of me. I felt so special and blessd to have you in my life. My mind still talk to you, my heart still look for you and my soul knows you are at peace. May you soul rest in peace mummy."

This tribute was added by Sister Rose Uchem, MSHR on 24th February 2018


Rev. Sr. Helen Onyiuke, you have departed to heaven, a place you worked extremely hard while you spent your life on earth. Your earthly life had not been in vain. It is a great peaceful rest and happiness you earned. Praise, honor and glory be to God who called you back

Sr. Helen, you were so many things to me. It all began with my senior sister Rose Uchem's interest in joining the Holy Rosary Sisters Congregation. God blessed me and my siblings in Uchem's family with another older sister.  Your role in our lives went beyond that of an older sister or an aunt, but a mentor and a confidante. I bonded with you while you were the Novice Directress at Nsukka Novitiate,  during my sister, Rose's novice years and I visited the convent a thousand times.

Very significant was that within that period, I got engaged to my late husband,  Valentine Nnodum, who left shortly to the USA for further studies, while I waited back in Nigeria. You noticed quickly that I was having difficulty dealing with the reality of that distance between Val and I, as well as the length of time involved before Val would return for the wedding.

Sr. Helen, I recall our private counseling sessions in the convent. You calmed me down, reassuring me that everything would work out. On one particular occasion,  I brought along my love letters with Val  and shared with you. You noticed from the tone of my letters that there were elements of doubt and not trusting Val which was confirmed in one of Val's replies where he helplessly wrote , " Tessy, I love you, believe me, I do".

After you read this, you dropped everything, pulled me to face you, and you said to me, " Theresa, stop now. Val loves you dearly, you will drive him away if you keep doubting him". You encouraged me to write him immediately and reassure him of my trust in him.

Sr. Helen, because of you, I was welcomed in the community with open hands by all the professed sisters, aspirants, novices, young and old alike. I interacted and participated in your Lauds, Vespers and at Masses in the convent,  as if I were one of the aspirants. Because of the accommodations in place for me,  the Holy Rosary Sisters, kept me in their prayers  until  my wedding approached.

Sr. Helen, you made me not to feel the absence of my sister Rose,  after her Profession and mission assignment to  Sierra Leone.

I enjoyed another privilege while you remained the Novice Directress. I received superb marriage preparation from your sisters who are experts in marriage counseling, Rev. Sr. Otuonye, Sr Therese Nwosu, Sr Therese Odunukwe, and of course, Sr. Rose.

Sr. Helen, even though you and Sr. Rose
were on Mission at the time of our wedding, your sisters, the Holy Rosary Sisters, as well as your late brother Papa Greg and  wife Mama Angy Onyiuke, graced my wedding at Regina Pacis Church Ihioma Orlu.

Sr. Helen, you inquired  about Val and  I everywhere you were. When you visited New York, you ensured that you saw Val and I. We enjoyed your presence at Mrs Anekwe's house in Brooklyn.

Sr. Helen, you prayed seriously for  our family during Val's prolonged illness. Your joy was immense when it was evident that Val lived to celebrate our Wedding Silver Jubilee. Not only that you sent beautiful and heart-felt card to congratulate us, you also gave me a beautiful Ankara fabric through Sr. Rose who attended the ceremony in the US.

Sr. Helen, it broke your heart when you heard that Val died.  You consoled me in a lengthy long distance telephone call from Abuja. And of course, your Holy Rosary Sisters poured their hearts out for my family, on the tributes page to Val, prayers,  words of love and encouragement, and strength. Sr Conchita and Sr Florence came all the way from Philadelphia to New York to support us.
To the Onyiuke's Family, especially, Mama Angy, and the Nimo people,  ndo nu. Thank you for nurturing and for sharing your Jewel, Sr. Helen, with the rest of humankind. You have assisted in the making of a Saint. Praise God.

 To your sisters, my sisters, the Holy Rosary Sisters, I will say, as Sr. Rose said to me,  "Kasie nu! Take heart." It is difficult, especially as Sr. Helen left you just weeks following Sr. Callista's passing away, but gather yourselves up. Take heart, my dear.

I glorify God for your making it courageously to the finished line, at age 81 years old. We count on your prayers now for the strength to carry on, so that one day we shall all be feasted by the love of Our Heavenly Father. our  Lord Jesus Christ.

Sister Helen, I missed the opportunity to see you again before you left us. Being so far away from homeland and my challenging realities and extenuating circumstances robbed me of the opportunities of hugging you and  thanking you for your role in my personal life and that of  my two families.
I guess  you will counsel me to express my gratitude to you and to God by trying to sacrifice and help others. I promise you that I will .
 Go well Rev. Sr. Helen Onyiuke.

Theresa AnuriVal Nnodum - Bridgeport Connecticut"

This tribute was added by Salome Mbata on 24th February 2018

"My Sweet Mummy, The legacy of your memory  lives on. I am sure you are with God. Your beautiful presence Sr. Helen when on earth  was refreshing. We are grateful and I am grateful. I ask God for the grace to keep alive the sample of living life you left for us. Dalu Sr. Helen. Miss you."

This tribute was added by Ngozi Okpalaenwe on 24th February 2018

"My God loved you more than me, so she took you away. There will never be another Sr. Helen Onyiuke, My lovely cousin who brought me to Holy Rosary, brought me closer to God. Ah, who will call me nwanne again. I know you are happy with the Lord in heaven, but I missed you here on earth. May You continue to enjoy the peace of  Christ who loved you. What shall I say. my heart is heavy. All my effort to talk to you during your last days proved abortive. But God knows why and He knows the best for you. Go well."

This tribute was added by Sister Rose Uchem, MSHR on 24th February 2018

"With great sadness I write to announce the passing of our dear Sister Helen Onyiuke.   Sr. Helen died this morning, 22nd February 2018, around 10:50 a.m. at National Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria. Sister took ill and was admitted to the hospital where she had a surgical operation last week. She made it through the procedure, but her condition deteriorated after a few days.

Helen was born on 1st August 1936 in Nimo, Njikoka L.G.A., Anambra State, Nigeria. She was the youngest child of her parents. Sr. Helen entered the Holy Rosary Congregation in Killeshandra, Co. Cavan, Ireland, on 2nd February 1963, and made her First Profession there on 14 August 1965. She was invited to Ireland in August 2015 for her Golden Jubilee, and she had a very happy reunion and celebration here with those in her set.

Before Helen entered the Congregation, she trained and qualified with Teacher’s Certificate from Adazi Training College.

Sr. Helen attended Holy Rosary Secondary School, Ihioma where she did her GCE O & A levels.
She was assigned to the Central Region, Ireland for study purposes in Bridgewater, England, and she returned to Nigeria in 1970. She then studied at the University of Nsukka and qualified in 1973 with Honors in B.A. French, having studied French, English, and Russian in her first year. In 1974, she did one year Formation Course in Ballinter, Navan, Ireland, after which she was assigned to Formation ministry in Nsukka, Southern Nigeria.


Southern Nigeria, Nsukka Local Superior 1974-1977

Southern Nigeria, Nsukka Directress of Novices 1975-1985

Sierra Leone, Makeni Pastoral Ministry/Teaching 1986-1993

South Africa, Sibasa Pastoral Ministry 1996-2000

South Africa, Malamulele Pastoral Ministry 2001-2003

Southern Nigeria, Nsukka Director of Retreat &
Conference Centre, Nsukka 2003-2007

Southern Nigeria, Wuse, Abuja Fundraising & Parish Work 2007-2018

Sr.Helen blended her natural giftedness in people-relationship with her training in: Formation, 1974; Spiritual Direction at the Jesuit Centre, Manresa, Dublin, 1979; Spiritual Leadership at Institute of Spiritual Leadership, Chicago, USA,1986,andPastoral Leadership at All Hallows, Dublin, 1995, to reach and touch people across places and cultures,  and across different age groups.

Her vibrancy, warmth, joy, large-hearted generosity,and loving care were palpable and
experienced by all who came in contact with her.

Sister Helen, may you now enjoy the full vision of God you so loved and fervently served in people.

(From Philomena Ezeh, MSHR,
Congregational Secretary,
Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary Generalate,
23 Cross Avenue, Blackrock,
Co. Dublin, Ireland)"

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This memorial is administered by:

Sister Rose Uchem, MSHR


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