1st African Woman Earns Doctorate at Biblical Institute

ROME, JAN. 29, 2004 (ZENIT.orgAvvenire).- Sister Mary Jerome Obiorah has become the first African woman to obtain a licentiate and doctorate in biblical sciences from the Pontifical Biblical Institute of Rome.

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«Thanks to these studies, I believe I have become a more convinced Christian, with a greater ability to understand myself and my service to others,» said Sister Obiorah of Nigeria.

«All this is the crowning of a dream that has absorbed a long period of my life, in two phases: the first, from 1989 to 1994, when I completed a first cycle of studies in philosophy and theology; the second, from 1995 until today, when I have been a student of the Biblical Institute,» the religious said.

Sister Obiorah arrived in Italy after making her first vows in the motherhouse of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Mother of Christ.

Her greatest difficulty during her first year of specialization at the Biblical Institute was «learning the ancient languages, Hebrew, Greek, which are more difficult as they are no longer commonly spoken.»

Now that she has her doctorate, Sister Obiorah said, «I will return to Africa to carry out my apostolate there, in my Nigeria, and also in areas of conflict.»

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