Let the memory of Sister Helen be with us forever
  • 81 years old
  • Born on August 1, 1936 in Nimo, Anambra State, Nigeria.
  • Passed away on February 22, 2018 in FCT Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria.

This memorial website was created in loving memory of Sister Helen Onyiuke, MSHR, 81, born on August 1, 1936 who passed away on February 22, 2018.



Before the remains of Sister Helen were moved from Abuja to Enugu on 26th February, 2018, holy mass was celebrated for her at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Wuse Abuja, by Bishop Anselm Umoren, MSP, the Auxiliary Bishop of Abuja, together with numerous priests, sisters of different congregations, parishioners and friends.



The burial rites for Sister Helen began on Monday 26th March, 2018, with a very well attended vigil mass at Holy Rosary Retreat and Conference Centre Chapel, Nsukka. Archbishop Anthony Obinna of the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri presided, with countless number of priests, sisters of various congregations from all over the country, her family members, and a contingent of her friends and parishioners from Abuja and elsewhere, in attendance

The burial mass on Tuesday 27th March, 2018, was concelebrated by five bishops - Bishop Hilary Okeke of Nnewi Diocese, Bishop Solomon Amatu of Okigwe Diocese, Auxillary Bishop Denis Isiuzo of Onitsha Archdiocese, Auxiliary Bishop Anselm Umoren of Abuja Archdiocese, and Bishop Godfrey Onah of Nsukka Diocese, who presided together with over a hundred priests.

Over five hundred Sisters of different congregations (including past and current congregational leaders) from all corners of the country, the Onyiuke clan - home and abroad - together with Rosarians, Holy Rosary Associates, parishioners and friends of Sister Helen from Abuja and other places, filled the church and spilled over outside.

Internment followed after the mass amidst tears and sobs.

Adieu, Woman of God and Mother of All ! Adieu, Sister Helen.




For inquiries, send a message to the Email address: holy.rosary.sisters.associates@gmail.com

Posted by Sister Rose Uchem, MSHR on 29th March 2018
Sr. Helen was a spiritual giant. She loved her vocation with passion and accepted with a child like heart all her postings. She was a model to newly ordained priests and professed religious women as she lost no time to offer assistance to guide them on the pitfalls in the course of their respective vocations. She was indeed a good mother and a devout religious. I will miss her greatly. Good bye Sr. Helen you worked hard go home and meet your Creator who will handsomely reward you. Rev. Msgr. Dr. Chima Nwamadi
Posted by Sister Rose Uchem, MSHR on 27th March 2018
Initially, it was hard for me to believe and accept the news of Sr Helen's passing on. But it later dawned on me that it was real. Remembering Sisterr Helen's works while on earthly journey, Sister never lost consciousness of seeking first the kingdom and its righteousness, before any other thing would be added onto it. Sister Helen, you lived out the scriptures in your love and compassion for people in need. Your kindness knew no boundaries. You were for all. Now enter into the home of your Father. Rest in perfect peace, Sister Helen. Mrs Pauline Nwabichie (nee Uchem), Port-Harcourt.
Posted by Ebele Nnadozie-Odom on 20th March 2018
Sr Helen Onyiuke was a very dear friend of our family. Always found time to visit and pray with us whenever she came to town. 22nd of October 2017, she sort me out after so many years and I was so thrilled. We chatted a lot and the next thing I knew, she was gone. Sr, your death has left me dazed. You came back into my life, only to leave again exactly 4months after. You were so kind, so loving, so peaceful. I wasn't able to see you like I had planned, but your gentle words to me over the phone will remain evergreen in my heart. Give a big hug to your very good friend, my Daddy. Tell him I still miss him so much. As much as I know I'll also miss you. Rest in perfect peace dearest Sister Helen. I love you. Your baby always, Pharm(Mrs) Ebelechukwu Nnadozie Hamilton-Odom
Posted by Ifeyinwa Muoegbunam on 20th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO AN ICON OF JOY, PEACE AND KINDNESS: BEIGN A FUNERAL ORATION PRESENTED ON THE BURIAL OCCASION OF SR. HELEN ONYIUKE BY THE RELIGIOUS VOCATION ASSOCIATION OF NIMO (REVAN). 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)
Posted by Too Okpalenwe on 18th 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.
Posted by Ngozi Okpalaenwe on 18th 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.
Posted by Stanley Oboh on 18th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO REV SIS. HELEN ONYIUKE 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.
Posted by Ngozi Mbaka on 18th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO MY GREAT MUM AND ANGEL SR HELEN ONYIUKE. SR, 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 from Mrs NGOZI MBAKA.
Posted by Ifeyinwa Muoegbunam on 18th March 2018
A TRIBUTE TO A RENOWNED FORMATOR AND MISSIONARY 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)
Posted by Ifeyinwa Muoegbunam on 18th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO A VIRTUOUS AND JOYFUL MISSIONARY 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)
Posted by Christie Obinatu on 17th 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
Posted by Ngozi Onyiuke-Achebe on 16th 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
Posted by Stellamaris (Uchem) Nwaiw... on 14th 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
Posted by Egosonwa Okafor on 14th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO PRINCESS SISTER HELEN ONYIUKE MSHR. 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, GA-IJE-GI-NKEOMA Ezegbo Ogo. 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.
Posted by EMMANUEL ASIKASON on 14th 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. ASIKASON EMMANUEL VICTOR
Posted by Sister Rose Uchem, MSHR on 14th March 2018
The Regional Leader, Holy Rosary Sisters, Independence Layout, Enugu. Dear Sister, CONDOLENCE MESSAGE ON THE DEATH OF REV.SR. HELEN ONYUKE (MSHR). 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
Posted by Ngozi Okoli on 14th March 2018
A TRIBUTE TO AN ICON SISTER HELEN ONYIUKE MSHR 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. Signed Ngozi Okoli MSHR Dublin, Ireland.
Posted by Holy Rosary School on 14th March 2018
TRIBUTE FOR Sr. HELEN ONYIUKE 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..." "Seniore" "Mother" "Mother Superior" "Mama Holy Rosary" Helena Nwa mama ooooo Rest in Perfect Peace. Sr. Hilda Mahiteh Tucker (MSHR)
Posted by Holy Rosary School on 14th March 2018
HOLY ROSARY INTERNATIONAL NURSERY & PRIMARY SCHOOL, ZONE 2 WUSE. 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.
Posted by Theresa Mbonu on 13th March 2018
TRIBUTE FROM MEMBERS OF ROSARIANS, ABUJA CHAPTER 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.
Posted by Theresa Mbonu on 13th 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
Posted by Mbongwa Saraphina Gugu on 11th 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.
Posted by Mbongwa Saraphina Gugu on 10th 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.
Posted by Samaba Sakungo on 10th 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.
Posted by Ejiofor Onyiuke on 10th 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
Posted by Ejiofor Onyiuke on 10th 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
Posted by Julie Oguekemma on 9th March 2018
A TRUE DAUGHTER OF PA SHANAHAN, A FAITHFUL MISSIONARY IS GONE 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
Posted by Virginia Okeke on 9th 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 !
Posted by Rosemary Egbulefu on 9th 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.
Posted by CHRIS MBAMALU on 8th 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 CMO WUSE PARISH ABUJA
Posted by CHRIS MBAMALU on 8th 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"
Posted by Carol Nwazojie on 7th 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
Posted by Basilia Uzoahia on 7th 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.
Posted by ADA ADIBE on 6th March 2018
MY MEMORY OF SR HELEN ONYIUKE ( By ADA ADIBE – MSHR) 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!
Posted by Ndeche Pauline on 6th 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
Posted by Felicity Nwaokeleme on 6th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO AN ACCOMPLISHED MISSIONARY SISTER: REV. SR. HELEN ONYIUKE, MSHR. Added by Sr. 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
Posted by Emeka Nwazojie on 6th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO SISTER HELEN ONYIUKE (BIG MUMMY) 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.
Posted by Cabrini Onyiuke on 6th 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
Posted by Stanley Oboh on 6th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO REV SR. HELEN ONYIUKE 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
Posted by Wendy Ebele on 5th 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.
Posted by Christiana Ajagu on 5th 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.
Posted by Regina Eya on 5th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO REV SISTER HELEN ONYIUKE 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
Posted by Stanley Oboh on 5th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO REV SISTER HELEN ONYIUKE 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.
Posted by Nneka Maduka on 5th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO MAMA HEHE 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
Posted by Sister Rose Uchem, MSHR on 5th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO SR. HELEN ONYIUKE, MSHR -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
Posted by Sister Rose Uchem, MSHR on 5th March 2018
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF MY FRIEND, SR. HELEN ONYIUKE. -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. SISTER MARY EVANGELINE ODILI MISSIONARY DAUGHTERS OF DIVINE PRESENCE OKIGWE
Posted by Irene Emokah on 5th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO MY DEAREST AUNTY – REV. SR. HELEN ONYIUKE. 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.
Posted by Sister Rose Uchem, MSHR on 5th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO A TRUE SISTER: REV. SISTER HELEN ONYIUKE -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.
Posted by Gabriel Agbim on 5th 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)
Posted by Etta Onyiuke-Azih on 4th March 2018
TRIBUTE TO MY QUINTESSENTIAL AUNT REVEREND SISTER HELEN ONYIUKE : THE END OF A GLORIOUS GENERATION 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

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