Society Leadership Team Elected

April 8, 2016

(L to R) Pauline Darby, Veronica Openibo, Marie Ursino, and Cecilia Nya.

The Society of the Holy Child Jesus is delighted to announce that the Leadership Team for the years 2016-2022 has been elected at the Delegate Session of its 27th General Chapter in Nemi, Italy.

Veronica Openibo, SHCJ, was re-elected Society Leader by the delegates. She was elected to her first term in 2010.

Born in Nigeria, Sr. Veronica entered the Society in 1973. She has worked as an educator and in pastoral and social work. She is also on the Executive Board of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), and serves as Vice President of the Board of Service of Documentation and Study on Global Mission (SEDOS).

Joining Sr. Veronica on the Society Leadership Team will be:

  • Pauline Darby, SHCJ — a member of the European Province, Sister Pauline joined the Society in 1973, and currently coordinates the pastoral team at the Society’s care home, Apley Grange, in Harrogate, England. In what spare time she has, Sister Pauline enjoys reading, especially poetry, and “writing” icons.
  • Cecilia Nya, SHCJ — a member of the African Province, Sister Cecilia started her life in the Society at St. Leonards-on-Sea, England, in 1969. After doing her novitiate in Ghana she returned to her native Nigeria. She later traveled to the United States to earn her Master’s degree. From 2009 to 2014 she served on the Board of Directors of UNANIMA International, a non-governmental organization advocating on behalf of women and children, immigrants and refugees, and the environment. She is currently Clinic Administrator of the Society’s Cornelian Maternity and Rural Health Care Centre at Gidan Mangoro, in the rural area of Abuja, Nigeria.
  • Marie Ursino, SHCJ — a member of the American Province, Sister Marie has taught in Holy Child schools in New Jersey, New York and in her native Philadelphia. Marie served as the Head of the Upper School at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Princeton, New Jersey. Since 1995 she has worked as Director of Counseling at Prep for Prep, a not-for-profit that identifies New York City’s most promising students of color and prepares them for placement at independent schools in the city and boarding schools throughout the Northeast. Once placed, Prep offers support and opportunities to ensure the academic accomplishment and personal growth of each one of its students.

Every six years, the Society Leadership Team is formed from the community’s three Provinces (African, American and European) to promote a spirit of mutuality, collaboration and interdependence. The Leadership Team is elected by the Sisters to provide spiritual and administrative leadership. They foster unity and mission of the Sisters throughout the world. The Team also works with other religious congregations on issues related to justice, peace and human development.

“Dear Sisters, thank you very much for believing in me and putting your trust in me by calling me forth to continue to lead the Society for another six years,” Veronica Openibo, SHCJ, said to General Chapter delegates after her re-election. “Thank you again for giving me this opportunity to serve. I look forward to working with the new Society Leadership Team. We will rely on your continuing support and prayers. Thank you and showers of blessings.”

“We hope that at the end of this Chapter, we will leave with our hearts burning within us to go out courageously to joyfully proclaim the Good News of Jesus and to ‘meet the wants of this age’ calling for our attention,” Sr. Veronica continued.

2 Responses to “Society Leadership Team Elected”

  1. Sr. Elizabeth Shaibu, shcj

    We thank God for successful election and we thank you for accepting to serve God and humanity in this capacity. Thank you all and may our Good God bless you all.

  2. Rita Igwenagum, SHCJ


    I thank our faithful and ever present God. I rejoice with all of us and pray God to help us to be faithful as he is. In this Year of Mercy, may mercy be our watchword.