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.
“Founded in 1868 by the French Cardinal Charles Lavigerie, the Missionaries of Africa community, better known as the White Fathers, sent emissaries to Montreal and Quebec City in 1875 to seek funding. This is the beginning of a great adventure that will see more than 650 Canadian fathers and brothers dressed in white cassocks to carry the ideals of humanist Christianity to Africa. Michel Désautels receives the former provincial superior of the Missionaries of Africa, Father Gilles Barrette.”[wonderplugin_audio id=”3″]
PROVINCIAL DELEGATES AND FIRST CONCILLOR IN EACH SECTOR
|Sector||Provincial Delegate||First councillor|
|BRAZIL||Raphaël Muteba||Luciano Fuchs|
|CANADA||Armand Galay||Serge St-Arneault|
|MEXICO||Cyriaque Mounkoro||Dieudonné Rizindé|
|U.S.A.||Barthélémy Bazemo||Jean-Claude Robitaille|
We thank each one of those who was elected as Provincial Delegate or First Councillor of his Sector.
The four Provincial Delegates are ipso facto members of the Provincial Council of AMS.
Provincial of the AMS
It is now official and about to be launched ! The Missionaries of Africa will be soon starting two new pastoral projects in Brooklyn (New York City in the United States) and in Liverpool (North of England).
Both areas where we will take up a parish are very multi-cultural, with a large population of Africans ( and Afro-americans in Brooklyn) and a large Muslin Community. In both areas, there is a real pastoral need that we could adequately respond to as Missionaries of Africa.
Those new ventures reflect what the Chapter of 2016 stated so clearly about intercultural and fraternal life being a witness to our world today. They also reflect our desire to take up new initiatives regarding being sent wherever our charism is needed to encounter those who thirst for God, to be close to the needy, the young and, in a special way, to the Muslims.
Our presence, in those two dioceses, we hope, will be a viable witness to all, that is truly missionary.
Brooklyn, borough of Queens, New York City
Confreres appointed :
A Tanzanian national, Bartholomew Mrosso, almost 52 years, was ordained in 2002. He was first appointed in Uganda, then was involved with formation in Nigeria and eventually was appointed the Provincial Delegate in Tanzania.
Gazena Haile was born in Ethiopia in July 1981. He was ordained in 2012 and worked in Ghana ever since.
Julien Cormier is a 77 year old Canadian. As a missionary, he worked in Burundi, in Niger and in Canada. Once apon a time, he was the redactor of the Petit Echo in Rome. Lately, he belonged to the Community in Washington.[google_maps id=”10533″]
Liverpool, North of England
Confreres appointed :
Born in 1950 in Great Britain, Terence Madden spent his missionary life working in Burkina Faso, Great Britain and the Philippines. He was ordained in 1981.
Ferdinand van Campen was born in the Netherlands in 1959. He was ordained in 1993 and started off his missionary life learning Portuguese in view of working in Mozambique, which he did for a while before being called to the ministry of “formation”. He’s been a formator in Brazil, Ghana and Tanzania.
From Kenya, Charles Obanya has just turned 50 at the beginning of June. He was ordained in 1997 and worked as a missionary in Zambia and in Kenya. His just served two terms of three years as the Provincial of EAP.
Michael Fitzgerald was born near Birmingham in 1937. He had an academic carreer in Rome until his ordination as Bishop in Rome and his elevation to the rank of Archbishop and appointment as Apostolic Nuncio in Egypt. He belonged lately to the Community of Jerusalem, while continuing to accept missions from the Holy See.[google_maps id=”10541″]
After consultation of the confreres appointed to or coming from the Province of the Americas (AMS) after a deliberative vote of the General Council and after having obtained his agreement, the Superior General, Fr. Stanley Lubungo, has appointed Fr. Réal DOUCET as Provincial Superior of the Americas for a first mandate from 01st July 2018 till 30th June 2021.
Here is an interview (in French) with Gilles Barrette, Provincial of the Americas, by Jean-Philippe Trottier on “Radio Villa Maria” (Montreal) after the declaration of Pope Francis authorizing the Proclamation as Blessed of the 19 religious martyrs of Algeria.
You might read again the reaction of the Bishops of Algeria upon the Pope’s declaration.
The Post Capitular of the
Province of the Americas
The Province of the Americas numbers 128 Missionaries of Africa spread out over four sectors: 100 in Canada, 17 in the U.S.A, 6 in Mexico and 5 in Brazil. 33 other members from the AMS are present in Africa, Europe and Asia. Continue reading “The Province of the Americas is not dying! (PE nr. 1078)”