First impressions of Petronilla are of a warm, outgoing, cheerful person. But she is also a woman of great depth and wisdom. Petronilla Nwanyieze Irozuru was born the eldest in her family of eight children. Her sense of responsibility and her reliability might stem from this position as eldest daughter. She grew up in a strong Catholic family where attending Mass and catechism class and the Rosary were part of the daily routine. Petronilla herself believes that this gave her a good foundation in the faith and the zeal to know God.
As a young woman, she was educated locally and then went off to train as a Nurse/Midwife in a State Hospital. She met MMM Sister Dr. Leonie McSweeney one day when Leonie came to her hospital to talk to the nurses about Natural Family Planning. “Umm”, she thought to herself, “This Sister is bringing her professional skills to serve God”. She was attracted to the name of the Congregation, to its work and to the great simplicity of Sr. Leonie herself. Petronilla promptly applied to join MMM.
After her initial religious formation, she was assigned to the North of Nigeria – same country but totally different language and culture from her own. She found the people friendly and welcoming which helped the transition process a great deal. She learnt the importance of speaking the local language so that she could communicate more easily and work more effectively.
After Gussorro in the North, she was then assigned to Abujah, to coordinate MMM Primary Health care there. This was the first of other moves, each time growing in responsibility and teaching her skills wherever she went. She has had training in Health Management, Planning and Policy in an English University, did upgrading in Nursing in Ireland, studied geriatric nursing, and cared for some of our elderly MMM Sisters. Generally, Petronilla is an all-rounder, reliable, energetic, and reliable. She is passionate about her work and a good listener.
In her free time, she enjoys singing and listening to music. She enjoys the quiet times before the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel. “One thing life has taught me”, she says, “ is that truly giving oneself in the service of others brings joy, satisfaction and fulfilment.”