Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal, Canada, interviews the Provincial of the Americas, Fr. Réal Doucet, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the existence of our two missionary institutes. (in French)
Last weekend, the following Jubilarians were celebrated in Montreal :
- Guy Vezeau – 60 years
- John Boos – 50 years
- Michel Fortin – 50 years
- Gilles Barrette – 50 years
- Michel Meunier – 50 years
- Michel Lavoie – 50 years
Congratulations to all of you.
The Missionaries of Africa, brothers, sisters and fathers, were the guests of Ottawa’s Catholic Cathedral on May 11 and 12 to celebrate their 150th anniversary of foundation. Indeed, Cardinal Lavigerie founded the Society of Missionaries of Africa in 1868 and the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa in 1869.
“They left, without knowing what was in store for them, they signed a blank cheque and they did it with their hearts and for life. Strengthened by the word of Christ: “I am with you always…” They had confidence! And they were not disappointed. “These words spoken by Sister Jacqueline Picard resonated within the cathedral enclosure from the beginning of the Eucharistic celebration. “We also say THANK YOU to Africa who has given us so much, who has enriched us with her incredible human values. Africa has loved and transformed us,” she added. »
The main reason for the missionaries’ testimony was to thank the Church of Ottawa, Christians and ecclesiastical authorities, “for their material and spiritual support during all these years. We missionaries have the joy of fulfilling our dream when we are leaving, but for the parents, it is a sacrifice they have to make every time we retrn to Africa after a leave of absence,” added Sister Jacqueline.
Cardinal Lavigerie wrote to the first nuns: “Despite the zeal of the missionaries (men), their efforts will never produce sufficient fruit if they are not helped by women-apostles among the women. Women must be the most powerful missionaries of the African people.”
Fathers Serge St-Arneault and Gilles Barrette animated the liturgies while appreciating the appropriate decoration, including a banner illustrating the different countries where the missionaries work in Africa. The mission continues with the arrival of young girls and boys, mainly African, who continue their formation in order to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, all of whom are committed to witnessing to their faith in the name of Jesus Christ.
Many thanks to the Archbishop of the Diocese of Ottawa, Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J. for his hospitality.
It is worth noting the presence of Father Walter Vogels, M.Afr, who is visiting Ottawa. Father Vogels has taught for more than 40 years in the universities of Ottawa. He now resides in Belgium.
Jubilees of 65, 60 and 50 years of missionary commitment in the province of AMS
On Saturday, May 18, the jubilee celebration of the Sherbrooke House took place.
There were five of them: two of them with 65 years of oath: Pierre Aucoin and Victor Grégoire. Fernand Chicoine and Jean-Marie Tardif celebrated their sixtieth and Pierre Benson, 50 years of commitment. What struck me during the presentation of each of them was the great diversity of their commitments to the mission in Africa and for Africa. That’s impressive.
It was a beautiful day of thanksgiving, which brought together several confreres, relatives and friends. Once again, on behalf of the mafr.net website, my congratulations and thanks to all the Fathers and Sisters of the Society of Missionaries of Africa for their contributions to the emancipation of Africa in this year of the 150th anniversary of their foundation.
From the Website of the AMS – https://mafr.net
Born of the spirit of World Youth Day in Canada, “Salt and Light” is a unique instrument of evangelization. It is dedicated to being – and helping to be – the Salt of the Earth and the Light of the world. Our mission is to proclaim Jesus Christ and the joy of the Gospel in Canada and around the world by presenting stories that inspire hope and bring people closer to Christ and the Catholic Faith.
This week in the magazine “Église en Sortie”, we are having a conversation with Father Gilles Barette on the history and work of the fathers and brothers of the Society of Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers). (…) In the third part of the program, Francis Denis receives Sister Rita Toutant from the missionary Sisters of Notre-Dame d’Afrique to talk about the history and mission of this community at the time of the celebration of their 150th anniversary.
Interview Gilles Barette : from 0:00 to 11:50
Interview Rita Toutant : from 19:54 to 28:32
Gilles Barrette et Rita Toutant explain the foundation of the Missionaries of Africa on the Website of Radio Canada international.
Here is a presentation of all the martyrs of Algeria prepared by the province of the Americas.rtyrs of Algeria
Here is an interview (in French) with Father Gilles Barette mafr, and Sister Elizabeth Villemure msola, in a program on Radio VM in Canada – IN DIALOGUE -, a program dedicated to ecumenical and inter-religious issues and hosted by Jean-Philippe Trottier.
In Brazil we have grouped together in a structure called the “Cardinal Lavigerie Center” our commitments for Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation and Encounter and Dialogue. This centre is located at the Catholic University. We organize round tables, exhibitions, conferences, seminars on JPIC ED issues. The prevention of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable persons is one of the projects managed by the centre.
Last year, after having followed the training offered by the Society of Missionaries of Africa for its Delegates for the Protection of Minors, I returned to Brazil wondering what we could do in practice. The missionary is an apostle who knows how to translate compassion (a feeling) into mercy (a concrete action in favour of the person). I started by speaking openly about it in our parish and also during the retreats and recollections I preach. As everyone feels uncomfortable talking directly about abusers, abusers and abusers, I then started from the biblical story of Princess Tamar who was raped by her stepbrother Amnon (2 Samuel 13). The narrative always has a liberating effect. The result was explosive: tongues untied to reveal the Tamar and Amnon of today who frequent our churches.
During the annual retreat of the Mass servers of our parish last year, we spent a few hours with the story of Princess Tamar. These teenagers stepped into the story with passion, emotions, revolts… From that moment on, I created the Princess Tamar Project, a campaign to raise awareness and protect minors and vulnerable people against sexual abuse. This year the Sisters of Saint Joseph in contact with this reality wished to participate in this campaign to protect minors. I also spoke about sexual abuse at the annual retreat of the clergy of a diocese. The priest in charge of the diocesan Social Action and who is also president of an association for life (ProVida) was passionate about the Princess Tamar Project. All these positive and spontaneous reactions led to the organization of a seminar on the prevention of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable persons from 17 to 19 September 2018 in Salvador, an initiative of the Missionaries of Africa in Brazil.
We were 14 participants representing institutions or associations that would form a network of collaboration: the Missionaries of Africa, the Social Pastoral Ministry of the parish of the Missionaries of Africa, the Social Action of the Archdiocese of Salvador, including one representative of the Pastoral Ministry for Minors and another of the Youth Pastoral Ministry; the Children Pastoral Ministry, the ProVida Association, and the Social Sac Association. The seminar took place in 3 moments:
- Personal sharing on the reality of sexual abuse. This moment quickly became emotional. Compassion is indeed a necessary force in this commitment to life.
- Training: understanding this evil of sexual abuse. Our basic text was two of the booklets published in Brazil on the subject.
- Define concrete actions of the Princess Tamar Project.
Our objective: a prevention campaign. We have prepared printed, audiovisual material based on the culture of northeastern Brazil. These materials will be used during meetings organized in schools, parishes, neighbourhoods… The network’s member associations have the capacity to mobilize people and enter all spheres of the Brazilian society. We will visit institutions where there are minors to ensure that they are safe places. The seminar developed a whole programme of actions.
The Princess Tamar Project is therefore underway as a collaborative network for the protection of minors and vulnerable people in northeastern Brazil. We will need financial support to carry out this awareness and protection campaign. We count on the generosity of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa and the confreres. We have decided to meet twice a year to evaluate our commitment and to participate in the training necessary for our mission.
Moussa Serge Traore, M.Afr.