I have a history with the EHJ Sisters, one that makes my commitment to the Religious Institute almost irrevocable. Perhaps, because of this personal attachment, but also considering the pivotal and foundational place of the Eucharist in the Church, the Religious Institute of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus’ Sisters, for me, stands as Mary to Martha vis-à-vis other Women Religious Congregations in the Church; to which, therefore, the words of Jesus in that Lukan pericope can be applied: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things; but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42). If, then, I superciliously spur and urge the EHJ Sisters to greater heights of commitment, even the unimaginable, I think I can be excused considering this personal attachment to the Congregation, its backdrop and the real and potential outcomes of the same.
This write-up is a push in that direction; and, I dedicate it to the Institute of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus’ Sisters on their Titular Feast Day, 2021 which falls on Thursday 17th June (of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time). As you celebrate your feast day sisters, l enjoin you to realise that the new situations in the church and our world today demands new and more decisive responses from you if you must maintain your relevance at its peak. On this note, resting on the giant shoulders of St. Paul and the Magisterium, offering you this exhortation in seven point agenda.
1. Be more committed to the principle of ‘Ora et labora’
2. Be more involved in the pastoral life of the dioceses where you planted your presence
3. Maximize the benefits of inter-institute collaboration.
4. Give adequate and professional training to your sisters to be engaged in formation apostolate; one that combines knowledge, experience, example and exposure
5. Continue to attend and satisfy the needs and comforts of your individual sister who in turn radiates cheerfully and render selfless services to the people
6. Seek new ways to respond to the demands of the new evangelization without injure to the EHJ CHARISM and founder’s intention
7. Build continuously on the gains of formal education and academic specialization of sisters, which stand to hand EHJ INSTITUTE a lot of advantages and opportunities locally and internationally. HAPPY TITULAR FEAST DAY!!! God bless EHJ SISTERS AND THE INSTITUTE. ((Dedicated to the Religious Institute of the SISTERS OF THE EUCHARISTIC HEART OF JESUS and to All my EHJ Friends, in celebration of their Titular Feast Day, 2021)
• Rev. Fr David-Mary Odunsi is of the Catholic diocese of Ijebu-Ode.