Oblate Sisters of Jesus The Physician (OSJP)
Our story started with Mariagoretti lkechi Awugosi, fourth child of eight children born of the late Mr. Alphonsus and Mrs. Benadath Awugosi. Her family is from a tribe in Eastern Nigeria. The tribe is called lgbo, one of the major tribes in the country. Born into and grew up with the Catholic Faith, she was devoted to catholic practices.
After nineteen years as a Professed Sister, she felt a vacuum that was filled in her desire to touch Jesus in the poor. She discussed her concern about the mentally sick people with my friends. Their deplorable conditions became a food for thought in her life. The questions about what she could do, and how she could do it, became a big headache for her. She started taking care of them in the little way she could by preparing meals for them occasionally, as much as she could, in her community. Giving them food in the open space did not satisfy her compassion for them. So, the questions of where she will start, and with what means, were vague questions with no answer. She discussed her concern with Mother General Loretta E. Ejiofor, her apostolate leader, who was open and docile to what was bothering her. She was informed that though her aspiration is not part of the congregation apostolate it might give rise to a different community to take up the apostolate. When she he the words, “If you are willing to shoulder the responsibility, the congregation will be behind you.”, she set up a project plan to build a clinic and home to take care of the poor.
As Christians individually and collectively, our lives must reflect what Christ said in Matthew 25: 35-36: “I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, and in prison and you visited me.” Christian life on earth is a journey, an education, and a school where we learn and practice the life of Christ.
Oblate Sisters of Jesus the Physician (OSJP) is the organization that is a registered non profit organisation whose purpose is the closer imitation of Christ who came for the poor, down-trodden, the hungry, the neglected, the homeless, the naked, and the lost, that he might lead them to God while at the same time caring for their physical and material needs.
Clinic equip it for their medical care, free of charge for mentally sick. This clinic will be totally free for the homeless mentally ill who we will be picking up from the streets, trash heaps, and vacant buildings where they are living.
Convent house for the Reverend sisters. This house is for the reverend sisters that will be taking care of the mentally sick and working in the clinic.
How can I donate
Please contact us via this web site or call Reverend Sister Mariagoretti lkechi Awugosi at 734-858-0022.
I have some suggestions
We love to hear them. Please contact us via this web site or call Reverend Sister Mariagoretti lkechi Awugosi at 734-858-0022.
How much are we looking at to start:
- Ten plots of land in the local area of Nigeria will cost $87,000.00
- The building and equipment will cost $120,000.00
- The Clinic building and equipment will cost $170,000.00
- Sister’s convent building and equipment will cost $120,000.00
- 8 Vans, preferably Toyota Sienna, will cost $140,000.00
- A good bore whole water system will cost $75,000.00
- A good generator for light will cost $145,000.00
What is the the purpose of your organization
Oblate Sisters of Jesus the Physician (OSPJ) is the organization that is registered as a Non-Profit Organization here in America and Africa. The Mother General of my initial Religious Order (Missionary Sisters of Our Mother of Perpetual Help) suggested that a different order would be required for this apostolate, because it is a new apostolate. This organization does business here in America as The Community wills. The organization has a bank account with Huntington Bank.
The essential purpose or gift of the organization, Oblate Sisters of Jesus the Physician, is the closer imitation of Christ who came for the poor, down-trodden, the hungry, the neglected, the homeless, the naked, and the lost, that he might lead them to God while at the same time caring for their physical and material needs. Care for the poor becomes a life style for us. Feeding the hungry is an apostolate that the OSJP should carry on at anytime and anywhere the need arises. For this reason, we will run free food center, like soup kitchens and food pantries. Sisters will be doing these in imitation of Christ who went about doing good. Each day of every OSJP will be measured by what Christ said about the last Judgment: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothes me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me”. (Mt. 25:35-36)
Who is Mariagoretti Ikechi Awugosi?
Who is Mariagoretti lkechi Awugosi? I am the fourth child of eight children born of the late Mr. Alphonsus and Mrs. Benadath Awugosi. My family is from a tribe in Eastern Nigeria. The tribe is called lgbo, one of the major tribes in the country. I was born into this Christian family in the year of the Lord 12/14/1968, in the cosmopolitan town of Aba, and was baptized as an infant at Christ the King Parish. Aba is one of the Catholic Dioceses in Nigeria. I received first Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation at the right age with my mates after strenuous Catechism classes. I was well trained and brought up in a good Catholic family. My parents were not wealthy, but they had enough to take care of their children in every aspect of life. My father was a Goldsmith, and more educated than my mother, who had a small-scale business to help support the family. My father was a faithful Catholic but my mother was more active than he. My mother headed some women’s organizations in the Church, and these groups saw progress under her leadership. This earned her the awards of “Ezi Nne” (Worthy Mother) and “Woman Life Member” in the Church until her death in 2011. Of the eight children in our family, my four brothers and three sisters married, and all have comfortable middle-class families. As a Catholic Religious Sister, I am married to Jesus. My siblings and I were educated to the level and capacity that our parents could afford, and as far as the ability that each one’s intelligence and interest in education could go.
My interest and aspirations about the Catholic Faith did not come to me late. I was born into and grew up with the Catholic Faith, given to me from my parents. During my teens I was very at home with Church practices and was devoted to them. I was a member of the Block Rosary, Mary League Girls, and Choir. Later in my late teens and early twenties I joined the Charismatic Renewal Movement during secondary school.
During my primary and secondary school days our parish Block Rosary was very unified and saw an increase in number. I opened the center in my father’s house and I encouraged many to join. Our Block Rosary was the first and it flourished so well that other Centers started to spring up. When we had many centers in my village, I went around organizing centers for a Rosary Congress at St. Christopher Parish, in the town of lhiala, in Anambra State. Members of each center would line up and process toward St. Christopher’s, while singing, carrying lighted candles, and carrying pictures of Our Lady of Fatima, the three children, and flowers. When all centers converged in the St. Christopher’s we prayed the full Rosary and sang. After that, members of each center would line up and process back to their own centers. The parishioners of this church, St. Christopher’s, were predominately from two villages: Ogboro isi-ala and Umueze village. Children of Umueze village started their own centers when they saw that the Block Rosary Centers had spread in my village. Consequently, we held Congress on the 13th of every month at St. Christopher’s. It was fantastic, and the light of the Block Rosary spread throughout the town of lhiala and beyond. This was my childhood life. It has not parted from me, but instead it is growing to fulfillment by the Grace of God.
Most people in and around my village, especially the elderly, knew me, because of the works of mercy I was doing, that I had been taught in the pious societies of the Church. I am recounting this not to sound my praises but to tell the reality that I lived during my younger years. I fetched water and firewood for the widows and the elderly people who were childless and had no one to run errands for them. I was dutiful to the house chores in my family though I erred here and there as child. Sometimes I forgot my duties at home because I was engrossed with helping other people, which sometimes resulted in harsh correction from my parents.
I grew up in an environment in which Church activities and religious practices were at the center of village life. After my graduation in the polyphonic, I told my parents that I wanted to become a religious Sister. My parents were accepting of my choice, probably because they had seen the road that I had been walking since childhood. Also, as my parents had eight children, to “sacrifice” one of them wasn’t as much of a loss as it would have been if they had had fewer children. My father told me that at least twice young men had come to ask for my hand in marriage, but he had dismissed them. He told me, about my intentions for religious life, that I should “go ahead, we are behind you.”
Emphatically, I can define myself as one who cares and feels with others about their condition, especially when it is challenging and with difficulties. This is innate in me. I am saying this without reservation or prick of conscience because I am whom God made me to be. So what I am saying is that caring and helping those in need is a special gift God planted in me, and I am trying to harvest it in every aspect to the full. However, many times I lack capability and means of doing it. Thus, my clarion call for financial assistance from people to help me to carry out this enormous task is not a thing of today, a couple of years ago, or something that started after my religious profession. No, it is the real me, and a life I have lived since I was a child.
When I decided to go to a convent, my main longing and desire was for a congregation that had care for the poor as an apostolate. I passed the years of formation, made my first profession in May of 2000, and did my final profession when it was due. I have lived as a nun for nineteen years serving the poor. Since my professions I have held the post of community superior, regional superior, and congregation secretary for our conferences. In the various communities I have worked as a Religious Sister I have encouraged and empowered rural women to engage them in lucrative activities that would help them support their families. I encouraged them to do things like soap making, tailoring, baking, making snacks, and other small-scale businesses that thrive in local and rural areas. I have led youth organizations in many parishes and dioceses, nurtured their faith, and empowered them to be active in Church activities. I love to organize and teach youth to dramatize the Passion of Christ during Holy Week. The Passion Drama Youth of Saint John the Baptist Parish in Agbor Delta state, in Nigeria, did such an outstanding job in 2004, that it was the talk of the town. I wrote a pamphlet book called “Youth Know Your Faith” and soon my first book, on Child formation in the family, will by out. I was inspired to write this book from experiences I had working with people, and especially the poor and sick in the family.
My congregation, Missionary Sisters of Mother of Perpetual Help, my Sisters in the communities, and the places that I have worked, know that I don’t shy away from what I can do in my apostolate. I have worked for nineteen years as a Professed Sister, faithfully doing my apostolate. Yet I still feel there is a vacuum to be filled in my desire to touch Jesus in the poor. This lack of fulfillment in my vision of serving Jesus in the less privileged grows stronger especially when I see the mentally ill living, sleeping, and picking up their daily food from the trash heaps. In this country, you cannot urinate or pass feces along the roads and streets. It is not like that in poor countries in the world. I assure you that on the roads and streets of my country you will see people passing feces and urinating on trash heaps where the mentally ill poor find food. They are not doing it intentionally or to punish the street roamers but because there are no facilities for that call of nature once a person leaves home. I have travelled to almost all of the countries of the African continent and it is the same everywhere. The mentally sick and abject poor roam the streets, are beggars, and sleep on open and dirty streets and in uninhabited houses. I am not posting their pictures on my web page because I like the way they look; no, it is just for you to see why my heart bleeds for their condition. It is so inhumane and uncharitable. But as Christians individually and collectively, our lives must reflect what Christ said in Matthew 25: 35-36: “I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, and in prison and you visited me.” Christian life on earth is a journey, an education, and a school where we learn and practice the life of Christ. In this school God has set an examination for us, and have us the answer in the above quoted scripture. The thought of these brethren disturbs my inner peace. I keep asking myself why are they left to roam the street like that, as if they are not from families, and what can I do to better their lives, no matter how little.
I discussed my concern about the mentally sick people with my friends. Their deplorable conditions became a food for thought in my life. The questions about what I could do, and how I could do it, became a big headache for me. I started taking care of them in the little way I could by preparing meals for them occasionally, as much as I could, in my community. I started this when I worked at Minna diocese at the market location called Lambata where some of the members of my community were cloistered. It was somewhat of a drama because I had to serve food from a distance because of fear of attack. Giving them food in the open space did not satisfy my compassion for them. So, the questions of where will I start, and with what means, were vague questions with no answer. I discussed this with Mother General Loretta E. Ejiofor who was open and docile to what was bothering me. She spoke to me as a mother, and reminded me that my aspiration is snot part of the congregation apostolate. She said that it might give rise to a different community to take up the apostolate. She concluded: “If you are willing to shoulder the responsibility, the congregation will be behind you.”
why did Mariagoretti Ikechi Awugosi come to america?
I must say without reservation that my longing to come to America was to find a green pasture for this great task. It is my desire to work for poor people of God in any part of the World I may find myself. When the opportunity came in 2008, I came to this great country. I was amazed to find that that the mentally sick were cared for and did not have the roam the streets and eat dirty food. I joined the Americans in saying ‘GOD BLESS AMERICA’ because I never know that such charitable care existed anywhere in the world.
At the start of my new life in this country, life was not easy. First, I was introduced to work in the group homes, which was exactly the apostolate I had been longing for. For this I had to under a lot of training to know hot to treat, serve, respect, and handle the sick with dignity. It is very different in Africa. I do not say this to put my country or continent down. No, it is a reality that the mentally sick and the abject poor people have no dignify or respect at all. I am not exaggerating. You can go over there are see for yourself. It is amazing and I will say to Americans you are blessed. You are blessed that the mentally challenged in your country have a place in the heart of you and your governments. When to see pictures that I have uploaded on this website, you can judge for yourself if these people deserve such horrible conditions, just because they are sick. Many still believe that mental illness is a curse incurred from evil the person or someone in his lineage committed. This is not true. It is a sickness like any other though something might trigger it. Actually, the fact that I came here and got a paying job did not divert my purpose of coming here to work and serve the poor. Because of this longing, I started asking questions of how I could help this sick, and the nun’s I lived with at St. Mel’s Catholic Church Convent introduced me to volunteer work. For almost two years, I volunteered at St. Mary’s Hospital in Livonia, under the direction of Sister Modesta, a Felician Sister, who valued me as a Religious Sister like herself, and as a friend. It was a good experience, because I was exposed to many trainings, conferences, talks, and instructions, from experienced personnel. The hospital became too far for me when I changed locations, so I transferred my volunteer hours to then Oakwood Hospital, Dearborn Michigan. I worked under the direction of Beverly Ben Trammell. I volunteered in the hospital for years until my schedule became too tight; I was also sending needed items to my clients overseas that I obtained from garage sales, thrift stores, and donations.
My coming o this country has been a great opportunity to so many people in my country because I did not come here to seek for self or family betterment. You will be able to see from content on this website what I have done with the job I am doing here and why I need your help at this time. When I saw the great opportunity in this country, I did not waste time to use it to buy things that were needed in the homes of the destitute, rehab home, and that were needed by poor individuals and families. I sent them food, clothing, shoes, wheelchairs, walking aids, and sometimes small amounts of money. I have uploaded some appreciation letter on this website, and they are verifiable. I have also sponsored some orphans and children who have never had hope for education in primary and secondary schools through Sister Mary Ifunanya Felicia, the founder of Divine Mercy Sisters of St. Faustina, in the Diocese of Minna Nigeria. This is who I am and I will here stop telling you about myself because the site is not about me but about them. This brief history of my life is to convince you that this is my life, my apostolate, and what I am asking you to share with me for the love of God.
What is the total cost of the project?
Altogether we are looking at $857,000.00 from now to a year and a half from now, construction will start. We are planning for the grand opening of the home in the next two and a half year.
Can we as faithful and charitable people raise this money for the project?
Yes, only that we have to get to work and make it happen, because with the Grace of God we can do all things when we are united pull our resources together for it. If you need to contact me, Sister Mariagoretti, here is my contact number: 734-858-0022.
What are other apostolates of the organization
OSJP will be fully involved in the Church apostolate: teaching Catechism, decorating and getting the Church ready for Mass, visiting the poor, home bound, and shut-ins, and taking communion to those that need it. Also, we will be involved in Youth Ministry. Our dependents, who would like to attend Church Services, but have no means of transportation, will be picked up and dropped off free of charge.
Hospital ministry, an apostolate of the OSJP, must be carried out without reservation. We will, as much as we can, be compassionate companions to the sick, in the hospital or in their homes, and especially to those who have to close relatives to care and comfort them during such difficult moments. If a sick person passes away in the hospital where our member is volunteering, that OSJP member should as much as she can to stay with the family and offer them some consolation. It is our duty to visit the sick in the hospitals, take communion to those who request it, baptize when the need arises, and get a Priest to visit those who ask for a priest. Our priority should be to serve the sick and the disadvantaged when they need help.
We will be doing prison visitation when we have had adequate training and information. This is an apostolate no female should do only by herself. There must be two or more sisters or members to go for this apostolate at any time; if not, it should be suspended for the time. They can conduct services, pray with or for the inmates, give them food, and provide for their needs as much as the community can afford and the prison may allow.
We will shelter the homeless poor; assist them in a way we can to help then to fit in to the society without being a burden or a nuisance to other people. We will have a clothing center for our dependents and others in need of clothes. Our organization is non discriminatory to accepting anyone as a member, in so far as the person will abide with out rules and regulations, bylaws, and meet up with the acceptance qualifications. For sure, our services and cares are for everyone in need irrespective of the race or religion.
what are the people you see in this website asking you and me?
Most of the time our answer to this question is shelter, clothing and food. It is an outstanding truth that these three basic life necessities are needed by every human being no matter the family background. Thank God that most of us have and enjoy these basics of life. Having acknowledged that, we still lack something crucial that lubricates the engine to prevent it from rusting. That is “LOVE”.
We can feed, shelter, and clothe someone without love because we do it as a responsibility or a paid job. We can do this even to people we hate or who are our enemies. But giving the life basics necessities with love is no longer human but living the life of Christ who gave up his divinity in obedience to his Father when He came and died for us, even when we were unworthy of the costly price he paid on Calvary. Any family where this kind of love is lacking is a jungle, just like these people who are living in the open dirty streets, trash heaps, and uninhabited buildings, are living in a jungle. The people in that family where no one can sacrifice for another in love are just like the people to whom we throw food and clothes and allow them to live in abandoned home, and we just pass them by. As we need more than providing the basic needs in the family, so the poor ones whom Christ regarded as himself need love, care, appreciation and acceptance. Have you ever loved or felt loved, and I mean love without prejudice, that powerful feeling that runs in your veins and gives you the strong emotion that you are safe, accepted, and appreciated by another person, especially when you least expect it? This is the unalloyed love of Christ that salvaged us from sin and death to inherit life without end with God. They are asking us to care, accept, and appreciate them. Can you look straight into their eyes and assure them of the warm feelings they lack – feelings that are only basic life necessities.
what are the need for the clinic?
The main apostolate of OSJP cannot be successfully run without well equipped medical clinic. Our major apostolate is to pick up people who have no trace of their families and that society rejected due sickness or other reasons. The people that have their homes in the streets,
roadsides, trash hips and dilapidating and abandoned houses have nothing of their own. They cannot afford a meal not to say something about medical treatments. They are wholly
dependable on the care and services of the Congregation through the help of you and me. So from all aspect having a clinic where they can receive treatment free of charge is far better
and a less burden to the Congregation than taking them to public hospitals. This is because
the public hospitals will be so expensive for their medical care and the sisters cannot afford
it. Secondly since some are mentally sick, there is no need to be taking them to public where
they may put fear on people. As said before this clinic is free for our clients. Any other
patient will be well attended to but will also pay for the cost of his or her treatment. This is
because the clinic needs to be maintained, staff paid and other financial issues of the clinic
must be taken care of.