CONGREGATION OF DAUGHTERS OF DIVINE LOVE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
By Fada Angelo Chidi Unegbu
The congregation of the Daughters of Divine Love (DDL) was founded 53 years ago on 16th July 1969 at Ukpor Anambra State during the Nigeria-Biafran war. Moved by the sufferings of Biafrans, Bishop Okoye, the pioneer bishop of Porthacourt, opened the congregation to take care of the homeless, the sick, the hungry, and the hopeless. After the war in 1970, Bishop Okoye was transferred to Enugu to succeed the late Bishop John Cross Anyiogu. The Motherhouse of DDL was moved to Ihiala and later to Isienu.
The first religious profession of the congregation took place on 4th November 1973 with 16 young girls. In 1975, due to some unhealthy circumstances, the Motherhouse was relocated from Isienu to the Sisters’ quarters at Holy Rosary College Enugu. In 1977, Bishop Okoye died unexpectedly after a hernia operation perfomed by his friend doctor.
To avoid a collapse of the nascent congregation after the death of Okoye, a group of concerned Catholics led by Dr Mrs Winifred Kaine formed an association of the friends of DDL.
In 1979, the aspirants’ house (DDL Sisters) at Abakpa Nike was destroyed by tornado. In response to this disaster, the government of Anambra State donated 2 buildings at Trans Ekulu to the congregation. In 1980, the Motherhouse was moved to the newly acquired site at Trans Ekulu Enugu where it has remained till date.
Today, the congregation of the Daughters of Divine Love work in Nigeria, Gabon, Cameroon, T’Chad, Mali, Kenya, England, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, the United States of America, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and France.
* The world cannot be saved by words or ideas alone. Action speaks louder than voice.
* No matter how bad a situation is, there is always something that can be done to help out. Begin somewhere!
* Charity begins at home but should not end at home.
* We have one earth. We are family.
These are some few lessons we can learn from the establishment of DDL 53 years ago.