Uganda Martyrs’ Day 2023

In communion with the Universal Church

Uganda Martyrs' Day

In communion with the Universal Church, we honour today 22 Ugandan martyrs, the first of sub-Saharan Africa. When one is familiar with the beginnings of the Church, especially around the areas that are very near to us, one perceives certain similarities between the persecution of the Uganda Martyrs and that of those of Ancient Rome. Most of the men killed at and on the way to Namugongo had been baptized for only a short time. Their story reminds us of what we can call the paradoxical reality of Christian life or what can be a bitter side of the Gospel truth boldly announced by Saint Paul and all those who had the experience of Jesus and felt compelled to announce him: “All who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”! And as Saint Luke puts it, “whoever loses his life for my sake will save it”! This is far away from the prosperity-gospel that seduces many of us.

Our adhesion to Jesus, our adhesion to the Christian faith that is celebrated in baptism calls us to new life. It calls for some death to something in us but more importantly, it calls to a birth that asks of us to walk daily in the newness of life in Christ. We are invited to position ourselves in the world in the “eschatological dimension” where we examine everything we feel, everything we think, everything we hear and do, from a new perspective that takes our present life, marked by the resurrection of Christ ever more seriously. This type of life becomes necessarily a witness, a witness that can prove to be disturbing. This is where we are called to be steadfast and to persevere. That is the life Jesus lived in a world unfriendly to God. This is what is asked of Jesus’ followers.

They say there are around three million people flocking to Namugongo! To do what? Only to sympathise with men who were brutally burnt to death more than a century ago? What is it that draws people to Namugongo? The same should be said about Jesus, what is so attractive for more than two and half billion people in the World about a man who was crucified and died on a cross? And what is the beauty about the 19 martyrs of Algeria among whom there are four of our own? The underlying truth about all of them is the passion for God. The passion for God our Creator and our relation to him that invites us live in his ways as revealed by the Word and by Jesus himself.

The feast of today also makes us think about those through whom the Good news reached the Martyrs, our confreres who first announce the Good News in Uganda and the boldness with which they must have announced the new life in Christ. May the commemoration of the Uganda Martyrs revive in us that passion for God that put us on the way to discipleship.

Stanley LUBUNGO,
Superior General

Jean-Louis Mathieu R.I.P.

Society of the Missionaries of Africa

Father Réal Doucet, Provincial of the Americas,
informs you of the return to the Lord of Father

Jean-Louis Mathieu

on Friday, 19th May 2023 in Montreal (Canada)
at the age of 87 years, of which 61 years of missionary life
in Uganda, Burkina Faso and Canada.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.

Download here the announcement of Father Jean-Louis Mathieu’s death


Official Communication, Rome, 19th May 2023


Father Stanley LUBUNGO, Superior General,
after consultation of the confreres concerned and individual dialogue
with the confreres chosen,
has with the consent of his Council appointed

Father Gilbert R. BUJIRIRI
Provincial Assistant of the Province of Eastern Africa,

and Father Bernard N. GACHURU
Provincial Assistant of the Province of Central Africa

for a first mandate of three years starting on 1st July 2023.

Rome, 19th May 2023
Secretary General

Antoine Garnier R.I.P.

Society of the Missionaries of Africa

Father Emmanuel Lengaigne, Provincial Delegate of the sector of France,
informs you of the return to the Lord of Father

Antoine Garnier

on Wednesday, 16th May 2023 in Billère (France)
at the age of 98 years, of which 73 years of missionary life
in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Italy and France.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.

Download here the announcement of Father Antoine Garnier’s death


Atallah Borja R.I.P.

Society of the Missionaries of Africa

Father Jesús Zubiría O., Provincial Delegate of the sector of Spain,
informs you of the return to the Lord of Father

Cipriano Borja Castañar (Attalah)

on Wednesday, 17th May 2023 in Madrid (Spain)
at the age of 93 years, of which 63 years of missionary life
in Algeria and Spain.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.

Download here the announcement of Father Atallah Borja’s death


Ambassadeur Régis Kévin Bakyono

Visit of the Ambassador of Burkina Faso to the Holy See Visit of the Ambassador of Burkina Faso to the Holy See at the Generalate

On Friday 12 May, before midday, the General Council was honoured by the visit of His Excellency Mr Régis Kévin Bakyono, Ambassador of Burkina Faso to the Holy See. The Ambassador’s visit had a special character. First of all, the Ambassador, newly appointed to the Holy See, wanted to meet personaly our Superior General and present himself in his new mission. The second reason for his visit was to express his condolences to the entire Society after the tragic death of our confrere Moses Simukonde on 29 March 2023 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

During this meeting, we had the opportunity to exchange with the Ambassador and to better make known our missionary Society which he had already met in Burkina Faso.

We wish the Ambassador all the graces of God in his diplomatic mission between Burkina Faso and the Holy See. We also continue to keep the socio-political situation in Burkina Faso in our prayers so that peace may prevail in this beautiful country of West Africa.

Pawel Hulecki

Roma Cura Roma 2023

Missionaries of Africa Join “Roma Cura Roma” Initiative

On 6 May 2023, Rome municipal authority organized a clean-up of the city of Rome. Among the 323 associations registered were the Missionaries of Africa, residing in the Generalate, Rome (cf. Roma Cura Roma – Missionari d’Africa – Padri Bianchi).

At 9:30 am., we gathered in front of our Generalate. Once the tools needed were ready, we moved to start the work. 13 members of the Generalate volunteered for the clean-up activity.

Some pedestrians were surprised to see us cutting the grass, collecting trash, scrubbing, sweeping the street, unblocking gutters, etc. Others were also amazed. They asked us if we had been hired by the municipal authorities. It was time to explain to them that we were doing the work on voluntary basis. “So, you are priests?”, some asked. They were grateful and encouraged us to continue.

For more than two hours we cleaned the street leading to Valle Aurelia metro station. At the end, we collected bags filled with plastics, glass bottles, plants, dry leaves, etc. Everything that was compostable, we brought it to the compost in our garden.

As we were getting ready to come back to the house, we spoke on phone with one of the organizers from the municipality. He thanked us for our generosity and the work well done. We were very happy to have been able to contribute to the beauty of the city of Rome. We offered our small contribution to the care of our common home, as Pope Francis in his Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si’ calls us to do. It is worth noting that last year, around the same time, the Via Aurelia Pilgrims carried out the same initiative.

Roma Cura Roma (“Rome takes care of Rome”) is a day dedicated to the collective care of streets, squares, parks, and green areas in all the municipalities. According to Rome Today, an online newspaper, “There were 432 collective care interventions in the city. Over 15,000 citizens involved for a total of 323 associations.”

P. Harelimana

CML in Kigali – Rwanda

Meeting of Missionary and Vocation Animators of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa

CML in Kigali – Rwanda from the 27th to the 31st of March 2023

The meeting of the missionary and vocation animators of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa brought together 29 participants from all provinces and sections of the Society. It started on Sunday the 26th of March 2023 in the evening with an introduction from Fr. Leo Laurence, Assistant General in charge of initial formation. Fr. Leo Laurence linked missionary and vocation animation with the central theme of the 2022 Chapter, that is “Mission as Prophetic Witness” which must be inculcated in our aspirants right from the beginning of their contact with us so as to enable them to become prophetic witness through their missionary ministry. The meeting was organized by Fr. Robert Tebri, the secretary of initial formation and was moderated by Fr. Denis Palm.

The next day, 27th of March, was mainly consecrated to the presentation of reports from all the provinces and sections on missionary and vocation animation, as well as the reports of the pre-first phase formation houses. These reports brought out the diversity in all our engagements as well as the unity in what we do at the level of our missionary Society. We shared our enriching and challenging experiences and tried to learn from one another. That led us to a series of questions that need to be clarified. It was a day of fruitful exchange in view of finding a common ground in our missionary and vocation animation, lived in a brotherly climate where everyone could express himself freely. On 28th of March, Fr. Bernard Uguex gave a session on clericalism and its impact in the society today. After the session, the participants went into small groups for reflection and sharing. The rich group sharing was then exchanged in the plenary in the afternoon and recommendations were made.

On 29th of March, we had a video conference with the Treasurer General of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa, Fr. John Itaru, on “Vocation – Missionary Promotion and Finances”. Fr. Itaru tackled the subject from a double angle: a gift and a challenge. The talk provoked a number of questions to which Fr. John responded. After the talk, we went into small groups for further discussion and deliberations.

On 30th of March, the question of brother formation was discussed and recommendations were made to the General Council. On 31st of March, the last day was consecrated to bringing out recommendations to the General Council and putting together orientations and guidelines for missionary and vocation animation in the Society. The vocation and missionary animators had so many questions concerning their duties and responsibilities which were clarified using Vademecum for initial formation. The meeting ended on 31st of March evening.

We thank God and the Society for the rich experience of the meeting in Kigali which empowered the vocation and missionary animators in bearing good fruits for the society.

Palm Denis & Leo Laurence


News from our confreres in Khartoum

News from our confreres in Khartoum, April 2023

Message from the Provincial of EAP

Friday, 28th April 2023, at 17 hours in Nairobi.

We thank God that our confreres of Khartoum are out of Sudan. Clement Kpatcha was already in Nairobi for the provincial council meeting. Egide Mbonigena and Audace Niyibigira are in Egypt where the embassy is organizing their repatriation to Rwanda. Emmanuel Tredou arrived in Renk in South Sudan, and he hopes to continue to Juba when he gets the opportunity. We continue to pray for peace in Sudan.