The Congregation of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy

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The Congregation of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy

In a series about the Religious Congregations living and working in the Diocese of East Anglia, Fr Karol Porczak MS, Vicar for the Religious, introduces The Congregation of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy (SMMM).

The Congregation of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy is an indigenous religious congregation founded in Nigeria, in 1970, by Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo (1912-2000), a former member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit Fathers (CSSp). It is a missionary congregation of priests and brothers, and the first native religious congregation for men founded in Africa, by an African, for a world-wide mission.

The priest members of the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy teach in schools and minister in parishes, while members who are brothers make sacred vestments, teach in schools, teach doctrine in parishes and care for the sick and needy.

The Congregation enjoys the charism of bearing witness to the Mercy of God, following in the footsteps of Christ the Merciful Saviour and Mary our Mother of Mercy. This mercy is expressed in compassion, forgiveness and kindness, as exemplified by our Divine Master Jesus Christ, in the following exemplary scriptural reference: “At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in a hill country of Judea” (Luke 1:39).

The spirit of the Congregation is that of charity, humility, prayer, penance and abandonment to the will of God.

Since its inception in 1970, the Congregation, like the biblical mustard seed, has been growing steadily from strength to strength. Now there are 304 professed members, including 221 priests and 77 seminarians. In addition, there are 18 novices, 18 postulants and a great number of aspirants.

Many of their members work in Nigeria and other African countries namely, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Ghana.  Some work beyond Africa as missionaries in the following countries: Canada, the USA, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Luxemburg, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the Philippines.

The Congregation arrived in East Anglia in 2014, and has worked in Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds. Currently, they are three of them working in our Diocese: Fr Anthony Nwankwo SMMM (priest-in-charge, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston), Fr Alvan Ibeh SMMM (Superior of the Community and Assistant Priest at St Peter’s in Gorleston) and Fr Desmond Agomuo SMMM (Assistant Priest at St Mary’s in Great Yarmouth) where they provide pastoral care and chaplaincy in the hospital and the school.

Pictured, from the left, are: Fr Anthony Nwankwo SMMM, Fr Alvan Ibeh SMMM (Superior), Fr Desmond Agomuo SMMM