Sister Mary Genevieve Cudjoe, HHCJ
1922 – 2010 (88years)
Sister Mary Genevieve was born on the 22nd November, 1922 to Mr. John Cudjoe of Elmina, Central Region of Ghana and Mrs. Catherine Cudjoe of Wakanda town, Obubra, C.R.S (both of happy memory)
She had her early education at St. Benedict’s Catholic Primary School, Ogoja and proceeded to Holy Child Convent Boarding Primary School, Calabar where she completed her primary Education. She was admitted into Teacher’s Training College, Ifuho, Ikot Ekpene where she obtained a Teacher’s “Higher Elementary” Certificate.
Sister Mary Genevieve was clothed on January 7th, 1951, made her first Profession of vows on December 20th, 1953 and her final Profession on December 16th, 1962.
She was sent for further studies in Achimota University College, Ghana where she obtained a Diploma in Education. She later won a British scholarship to study English at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Sister worked and served the Congregation tirelessly in many places and capacities, notable among them are:
· The first novice Directress in the Congregation for ten years
· The first Bursar General of the Congregation
· The first indigenous Music Teacher of the Congregation
· Started one Handmaids Girls’ Sec. Sch. and one convent in Northern Sierra Leone, Pendembu Town.
· Started a convent and a Girls’ Secondary School in Serabu, Sierra Leone.
· Started the Catholic Religious Bookshop in Ikot Ekpene and Calabar Dioceses.
After many years of service and evangelisation within and outside Nigeria, Sister was allowed to go to Ghana for some rest, but the Lord who loved her so much wanted her to win more souls for Him, so He asked her through the then Arch Bishop of Calabar, His Grace, Rt. Rev. Dr. Brain Usanga of happy memory to open another Girls’ Secondary School in Calabar. (Sacred Heart Int’ Girls’ Secondary School, yellow Duke) In her words “This last request caused me so many tears, because I was just ready to fly to Ghana. At the end of my struggles, I said following my dear mother Mary’s example: Behold the Handmaid of the Lord”. She named the school “Marian Villa” because of the intercession of Our Lady when she and the pioneer students were faced with a mysterious fire outbreak.
Sister Mary Genevieve had a good sense of humour, generous, agile, duty conscious and a disciplinarian. She never ceased to bless and pray for those who showed her love and care. She lived a happy and fulfilled life. Always on her lips was “oh! Divine Heart, forgive them”.
Sister Mary Genevieve fell sick a few years ago but the sickness took a turn for the worse after her annual retreat in Ogoja and was finally called to eternity on November 29th, 2010 at 10.10am.
Sister was very good in sports and games, and this is why she became a “Girl Guide” and was chosen in her primary school by the D.O (District Officer) to represent Great Britain “Britannia”. She also became the Girl-Guide District Commissioner as a religious and Queen Elizabeth II of England walked across the stadium to shake hands with her and commented that she was the first Girl-Guide she has ever seen in her life.
Sister loved singing, dancing and telling of stories.
May her soul rest in perfect peace.