Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo CSSP was ordained on 17th May, 1959 as the first bishop of the newly created Umuahia. Diocese The area was backward, undeveloped, with very few primary schools and fewer secondary schools. The area also was predominantly protestant. He was given the charge of running and developing the new diocese and he needed help. First of all, he came to realize that Bishop Shanahan had met a similar situation in Onitsha which he handled successfully by building Catholic Schools as tools of evangelization and development. He therefore borrowed the idea and started building schools, colleges, hospitals and orphanages. But the question was: who would run these institutions for him?
He tried to get a Religious Congregation to come down from overseas to the newly created diocese to help but none was available. He then asked Propaganda Fidei to help him find such a Religious Congregation that could help him. Their reply was loud and clear: “why not start your own?” Initially, he thought it was going to be an impossible venture but as time went on, the idea began to crystallize in his mind. As he saw that there was no way out, he started looking round for prospective candidates to be the pioneers of the congregation.
When the Secretary General of Propaganda Fidei, Archbishop Pietro Sigismondi sent him the “NORMA” for erecting such society, he then realized that there was nothing more to wait for. On 29th December, 1961, the first 18 young girls gathered round him in Corpus Christi Mission, Etitiulo, Bende. Latter, another eleven young girls joined them. They stayed two weeks in Bende and the principal of Xavier College, Bende was of tremendous assistance. Exactly on the feast of St. Anthony of Egypt, 17th January, 1962, they moved to the uncompleted Mercy Secondary School, Nbawsi, which Nna anyi was building for them. This was how the Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy (DMMM) Congregation started with twenty-nine young girls.
It was the congregation of the sisters of Peter Claver in Rome that undertook to train the first group of eight aspirants whom the Father Founder judged ready to go on with a more serious Religious Formation. They were sent to the Convent of this Congregation of St. Peter Claver in Ibadan where they had their Pre-Novitiate training, after which they were clothed as Novices in Rome in the Novitiate House of St. Peter Claver Sisters on 8th December, 1964. Returning to Nigeria in June 1966, they continued their training and six of them made their First Religious Profession on December 8 of the same year. The Congregation started as a Pious Union in December, 1961 and was canonically erected as an Institute of Diocesan Right on 17th January, 1962 by the founder himself, Most Rev. Dr. Anthony Gogo Nwedo C.S.Sp, of blessed memory. On the recommendation of his successor, Most Rev. Dr. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, it was recognized as an Institute of Pontifical Right by the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life by the Decree of February 2, 1994.