Religious order celebrates 85th anniversary

January 10, 2017

The Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus celebrated their 85th anniversary on Dec. 10, 2016. Photo courtesy of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus.

HOUSTON — On Dec. 10, 2016, The Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus (HHCJ) celebrated the 85th anniversary of their order. 

In 1923, the foundress Mother Mary Charles Magdalen Walker, who was originally from Ireland of the Religious Sisters of Charity, was invited by Bishop Joseph Shanahan, CSSP, of the Vicariate of Southern Nigeria to help with the missionary work in 1923. Today, the Houston Mission of the HHCJ primarily serves in, but not limited to, schools and hospitals in the Greater Houston Area.

The sisters continue to help form solid spiritual foundations in the children they teach, helping the sick through nursing, empowering women who are victims of abuse as well as providing comfort and inclusion to widows and the sick through their faith and great love.

The celebration was organized by Sister Germaine Ocansy, HHCJ – USA Mission Superior. Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza celebrated Mass, along with five concelebrants: Father Aniedi Okure, OP, vicar provincial of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph the Worker; Father Evaristus Chukwu, MSP, assistant promotion director for the Missionaries of St. Paul Development Office; Father Anthony Ekanem, MSP, pastor of St. Philip Neri Catholic Church; Father Romanus Muoneke of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Houston; and Father Paschal Chester, SVD, parochial vicar at St. Mary of the Purification. The event was held at the mother house, located in Glenbrook Valley in the Hobby area. 

The Matachines of Our Lady of Mount Carmel also participated in the Mass, bringing together the African and Hispanic communities in unity through faith in Christ by celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. Also in attendance were many sisters of other orders and people from the communities which the HHCJ serves. 

For more about the HHCJ, visit