Feast of the Martyrs of Algeria

Feast of the Martyrs of Algeria

On 8 May, together with the universal Church, let us give thanks to God for the evangelical witness in Algeria of the Blessed Martyrs of Algeria, especially for the four Missionary of Africa confreres among them. By proclaiming them blessed, Pope Francis gave them to the whole Church as examples to be followed of Christian charity in Muslim countries. May they be especially for each one of us an inspiration for a missionary life given in total love of the peoples to whom we are sent.

Happy commemoration!

Stanley Lubungo
General Superior

Audit on Protection and prevention of abuse

Audit on Protection and Prevention of abuse

A small group of confreres mandated by the General Council met in Rome from 12-14 February to carry out an internal audit of our procedures and protocols for the protection of children and the prevention of abuse. Our first policy for the protection of children and vulnerable adults from abuse during ministry dates back to 2008. It has been regularly revised to give the 2016 version that we currently have. The General Council has therefore asked to be able to assess the progress of the implementation of this policy before making a new revision. In order to do this, in the next two years leading up to the next chapter this group of auditors will visit all the provinces to evaluate this work. Following this, a report and concrete proposals for amendments to the current policy will be presented to the General Council and to the Provincials? Good practices are those that are evaluated and improved. Transparency and accountability are the indispensable pillars of a good protection of the most vulnerable.

Our confrere Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria in Portico in Campitelli

Cardinal-Deacon Michael Fitzgerald

On Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 6:30 p.m., in the Church of Santa Maria in Portico in Campitelli, took place the solemn entry ceremony of Cardinal Fitzgerald into the Church which was assigned to him as Cardinal Deacon during the consistory of October 5, 2019. 

On Sunday, February 2 at 10:00 a.m., surrounded by his parishioners, the parish priest, his fellow Missionaries of Africa confreres, including the Superior General Stan Lubungo, and seminarians, the new cardinal celebrated the Eucharist of the presentation of our Lord in the temple. 

As a reminder, Michael Louis Cardinal Fitzgerald, served the Church as President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Nuncio to Egypt before retiring. Today he is a member of the community of Missionaries of Africa serving in St Vincent’s Parish in Liverpool, Great Britain.

Freddy Kyombo, M.Afr.

See also Cardinal commissioning of Candlemas: “We follow the light” on the website of the VM Portico Church. SWITCH TO ENGLISH on TOP RIGHT

See also Fitzgerald: “I come among you in a spirit of service” on the website of the VM PorticoChurch.

Newsletter from Pisai

Newsletter from PISAI

We have received from Diego Sarrió, “Preside” at PISAI (Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies) the newsletter of 7th October 2019 and translated the editorial, originally in Italian. We refer you to the Website of Pisai for further information.


Dearest Friends,

Pope Francis offered us a wonderful surprise on Sunday 1 September when, after the Angelus prayer, he announced the names of the 13 new cardinals elected, including Mgr Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and Mgr Michael L. Fitzgerald, M.Afr., former President of the same Pontifical Council. This announcement filled us with joy not only because it highlights once again how dear inter-religious dialogue is to the Holy Father, but at the same time because the two future cardinals have long ties with our Institute. To both the sincere congratulations of the entire academic community of the PISAI.

The new academic year was also an opportunity to rethink the format of the newsletter we send to the Alumni. As you may recall, in recent years the PAA has sent subscribers a PDF newsletter with news and other information on the life of the Institute. Whenever possible, we have tried hard to translate all the news into Italian, English and French. Starting with this newsletter, we are trying out a new, simpler format: a single newsletter for alumni and other visitors interested in our activities. For now we will limit ourselves to Italian, which is the language shared by all of us. We count on your reactions and advice to help us improve the newsletter. We would be happy to have your contribution of news about your experiences to enrich each other and stay in touch. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Manuela Galaverni, alumna of PISAI, who has been in charge of the implementation of the PAA project since the beginning.

I wish you all a good start to the academic year.

Father Diego

Grace upon grace…

Grace upon grace...

The beginning of the month of October was very intense in Rome. Launching of the extraordinary missionary month on the 1st of October , commemorating and reviving the very strong missionary appeal made by Benedict XV in his Apostolic Letter “Maximum Illud” a hundred years ago. 

“Baptised and sent: the Church of Christ on mission in the world.” To speak today of the ones baptised and sent means that each baptised person, at his or her level, can be a missionary, can be the instrument of the proposal that God wants to make to Man, through his or her personal witness, prayer and offering.

Three days later, on the feast of St. Francis, the Pope took part, in the Vatican gardens, in a cultural event to celebrate the end of the Season of Creation 2019 and to consecrate the forthcoming Synod on Amazonia. 

But even nearer to our heart and identity was certainly the creation of 13 new Cardinals taken for a great part from missionary institutes, among whom our confrere Michael Fitzgerald. A lot has been written about the event. The General House was full of guests, between the 25 family members and friends of Michael Fitzgerald and a few of the Congolese Bishops who had come to celebrate the creation of Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu of Kinshasa. 

The Pope had called a Constistory for Saturday the 5th of October at 16 hours to elevate the 13 new Cardinals. For that occasion, all the Cardinals of Rome were present to welcome their new brothers. A few minutes before 3 in the afternoon, “Cardinal Fitzgerald to be” appeared in his scarlet cassock but without the scarlet zuchetta and biretta, both of which he would receive from the hands of the Pope himself during the ceremony. You will recognize on the left side of the photo our confreres, Bishop Willy Ngumbi, and Martin Wullobayi, professor at the Pisai, chose by the new Cardinal as his personal secretary for the ceremony.

The following video is the part of the consistory when the Pope is inviting the “Cardinals to be” to profess their faith, when he wears them with the scarlet zuchetta and biretta and when the new Cardinals are welcomed and congratulated by the College of Cardinals present. This extract of the ceremony just lasts 24 minutes. If you want to see the full video (1h15), follow this link.

After the ceremony, each of the new Cardinals were given a space where they could be met and congratulated by their family members and friends. Back to the house around supper time, Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald still founds the energy to come and share a bit of the evening time with the confrères of the Services and a few others. This shows how simple and fraternal Michael is with his “family”. 

On Sunday, the new Cardinals were concelebrating with the Pope the morning mass on St. Peter’s Square for the big celebration inaugurating the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region.

At one o’clock in the afternoon, all the ceremonies and liturgies were finished. It was then time for celebration. In his congratulating speech, Father Stan Lubungo, superior general, commented on the “Coincidence” of this honour given to Michael but also to all of us and remembering the beatification of our 4 confreres martyred in Algeria and the proclamation of an extraordinary missionary month this October, all occurring within our Jubilee Year, he preferred speaking of a “wink” of God… as we are harvesting “Grace Upon Grace”!

Message from the GC to all confreres

Message from the General Council on the occasion of the Extraordinary Missionary Month
and our 150th Anniversary

We, your brothers of the General Council, take the opportunity of addressing this message to you on the occasion of the extraordinary missionary month convoked by Pope Francis on the theme: “Baptized and sent: The Church of Christ in mission in the world”. This extraordinary missionary month celebrates the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s apostolic letter “Maximum Illud”, written in its time to awaken awareness and the importance of the Church’s missionary activity with special emphasis on mission ‘ad gentes’. Coincidentally this comes at the same time with the celebration of our 150,h Jubilee year which is drawing to a close. The coming together of these two events enables us as a Society to pause and reflect in order to find the ways and means to keep alive the flame of our missionary ardour and to renew our missionary momentum and dynamism. This is the approach to which Cardinal Filoni invited us when, during his homily on the occasion of the opening of the Jubilee Year in Rome, he put to us the following question: “What does it mean to celebrate the 150th anniversary of a religious family, if not to reflect fundamentally and understand why it was created and what role it still has today? »