Feature Story

Sister Vivien Echekwubelu professed Perpetual Vows as a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN) at Our Lady of Victory Church in Baltimore on October 3, 2015. It was a joyous time with members of Sister Vivien's religious community, family and friends from the US, Africa and South America in attendance.

Originally from Nigeria, Sister Vivien came to the United States in 1992 to pursue a nursing degree at the University of North Carolina. Feeling the call to religious life, Sister Vivien did an Internet search of US Catholic religious congregations of women with a connection to Africa.

There was an immediate identification with the spirit and mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who in addition to a presence in the District of Columbia and twenty plus states in the US, serve in education and a variety of related ministries, in seventeen countries on five continents- several in Africa. So began the journey from initial inquiry to a six-year period of study and formation that led to the decision to make Perpetual Vows.

"I am grateful to my family and friends and my sisters for their love and support, said " Sister Vivien. " I am peaceful and happy to be making Perpetual Profession as a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur. I look forward to living in a community, sharing prayer and collaborating in ministry. I am grateful, excited and hopeful about the future."
Father Brendan Horan, SJ, from North Carolina, celebrated the Mass along six other priests from Nigeria, including Father Martin Anyabolu, Sister Vivien's cousin, who traveled from Nigeria to be with her for this special day.

Sister Catherine Waldron, from the US East-West Leadership Team, received Sister Vivien's vows on behalf of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, as enthusiastic applause filled the church. A Nigerian choir and an English choir sang separately and together filling the church with praise. Intercessory prayers reflected the language and cultures representing the countries where the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur serve.

After the Mass and Profession, all gathered in the parish hall for a wonderful reception and celebration.