Columbus, OH – The Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena of Gusau were founded by the Dominican Sisters of Great Bend, KS, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace, in 1956 at the request of the Apostolic Delegate to West Africa, Archbishop Matthew.
The Dominicans were the first congregation of religious women to come to Northwest Nigeria. Their main tasks were to provide health care and education, and to promote a Catholic presence in Nigeria.
Unlike many religious, the Dominican Sisters remained in Nigeria during the Biafran Civil war. They continued their established ministries, but also made the establishment of a congregation of indigenous Sisters a priority. They welcomed their first Postulate in 1973, and in 1977, the first two novices, Sisters Anne Ekennia and Josephine Ottah, made First Profession.
The Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, Gusau, have continued to serve the poor and marginalized of Nigeria with health, social services, and educational ministries, touching more than 120,000 persons per year. The Dominican Sisters of Peace have continued to partner with their Dominican Sisters in Nigeria, offering advice, counsel, and financial assistance, especially though the proceeds of the Congregation’s annual Great Bend Mission Bazaar.
On November 28, 2019, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Gusau opened a new hospital in rural Zuru, Nigeria. Sr. Bridget Yabo OP, a Nigerian-trained physician, will serve as Medical Director for the new Haske Dominican Hospital, which will provide much-needed medical care for the people of this remote area.
“This hospital has been under construction for a number of years,” said Sr. Gemma Doll, a member of Dominican Sister of Peace leadership and the Congregation’s liaison to the Nigerian Ministry. “We are so blessed to have even a small part in what will be a life-changing addition to the community of Zuru.”
The Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Gusau plan to add additional diagnostic and health care services in the future.