Creation Time – week 4

The celebration of the time of creation, which has its origin in the Orthodox tradition, was taken up by the World Council of Churches and recommended to the Catholic Church by Pope Francis. In the fourth week, let us remember that we are not masters, but servants of our contemporaries and of creation.


Theme of week 4 :

Sharing the joy of service

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 4.

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 3.

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 2.

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 1.


New structured email addresses

Last May, a workshop on “Communication” brought together in Rome representatives of our ten provinces / sections. It was the first workshop of its kind in a long time. In the second part of this workshop week, we had the privilege to meet three communication specialists, all collaborators of the CREC-International association (Centre de Recherche et d’Éducation à la Communication). In the introduction to each of their workshops, all three confirmed what we had already perceived during our reflection on the establishment of a strategic plan for better communication: How do we present ourselves? Are we Missionaries of Africa, are we White Fathers? What is our logo? Can we be recognized in different websites, blogs and other social networks by identifying custom colors and styles? What are the specific values and priorities to which we adhere and how do we get them across in our communication? And are our e-mail addresses identifiable at first glance?… We have therefore decided to embark on a series of reflections and actions to establish a “corporate brand” and thus improve our “communication“.

Last year already, we were reflecting with the provincial superiors on the lack of coherence of our e-mail addresses. To show just one province, my home province, here is an example of inconsistency:

Provincial of Europe :
Assistant Provincial of Europe :
Provincial Treasurer of Europe :

Delegate Prov. of Belgium :
Delegate treasurer of Belgium :

Do you see the lack of coherence, as well on the left as on the right of the “at sign” (@)? To the left of the “at sign”, a logical structure would allow to write an official address without having to consult a directory. To the right of the “at sign”, the “domain” should allow everyone to identify who we are without too many problems. While the Belgian sector is on the right track, its membership of a broader structure is not obvious.

At the beginning of this year, in agreement with the Superior General and the Bursar General, we acquired the domain name which identifies us as the “Organization (Society) of the Missionaries of Africa”. Then, during our communication workshop, and mandated by the provincials, we finalized the semantics of our future official e-mail addresses.

Having acquired the domain name, all our official addresses will soon be hosted at the Generalate in Rome and will be of the type … As for the first part of the address, it will be structured according to the province, the sector, and the name of the service to which the e-mail will be addressed. For the provinces, the three official letters will be used, for the sectors, three letters also, approved by the delegates present at the May workshop. As for the function, nothing is perfect, but it was important to choose abbreviations that would be clear in both languages of the Society.

For example, to take the case of Europe, here are some examples of addresses :

Provincial of Europe :
Assistant provincial of Europe :
Provincial Treasurer of Europe :

Delegate Prov.of Belgium :
Delegate treasurer of Belgium :

The complete list can be downloaded from here but it may be updated until the 1st October.

The addresses will be created before September 1st and operational before October 1st. Do not use these new addresses before October 1st. Clear and precise instructions will be sent to the users of these e-mail addresses so that they can set up their new e-mail address. For a while, emails sent to the old addresses will be redirected to the  new addresses.

On the other hand, each confrere will be able, in due time and if he wishes, to obtain a structured e-mail address, for example for me This will be done from next January, through your province’s communications delegate.

Philippe Docq, M.Afr.

Letter from the Superior General

Three years ago we started to prepare ourselves for the commemorations of the 150 years of existence of our missionary institutes. We had then foreseen that the Jubilee year is to start on 8th December 2018. The chosen theme is With Christ, ever faithful to Africa. As you might have heard, the Church has chosen this very date for the beatification in Oran…

Read here the full letter of the Superior General.

Feast of the Nativity of Mary in Jerusalem

“On September 8, the church celebrates the birth of the Virgin Mary. The Franciscans, together with the local church, went on pilgrimage to the place where according to tradition, the Madonna was born.”

That place is… St. Anne’s and the community of the Missionaries of Africa.  One Man in White is the General Consul (of France)… and the other one is a WF, Frans, making some publicity for our 140th Jubilee (W.F. at St Anne’s) and for our 150th Jubilee (Lavigerie family). Enjoy the video.

If it does not play well, follow the original link.

Creation Time, week 3

The celebration of Creation Time, which originated in the Orthodox tradition, was taken up by the World Council of Churches and recommended to the Catholic Church by Pope Francis. In the third week, we reflect on creation as a sign of God’s infinite wisdom. We are invited to recognize this wisdom, to internalize it and transmit it to others.

Theme of week 3 :

Transmitting the gift of wisdom

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 3.

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 2.

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 1.

Towards an ethical discernment of our economic and financial systems

The Vatican calls for Ethical Discernment in our Economic-Financial Systems.

The problem with our economic and financial systems goes beyond these systems themselves. The real problem lies in our dysfunctional human mind, our skewed understanding of human anthropology and the unconscious consequent infinite value that we have placed on this instrument of exchange called money. According to the Buddhist religion, the human mind in its normal state generates dukkha which can be translated as ‘unsatisfactoriness’ or just plain misery.

Read on by downloading the PDF of our confrere Wolfgang Schonecke’s article (with Chika Onyejiuwa), or read it on the A.E.F.J.N website.

Interview of Gilles Barette on Radio Canada

Radio Canada – Sunday 11:45 am – Interview (in French) of our confrere Gilles Barrette by Michel Désautels on the 150 years of presence in Africa.

“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.”

Transition Session Opening Mass – Rome September 2018

This homily was delivered by Francis Barnes, First Assistant General, at the opening of the Transition Session in Rome on Thursday, September 6, 2018.

Dive into the depths. This is certainly the call of religious life; to go to the depths; to go into the unmarked waters of life. The problem is that we prefer the shallow waters of our proven methods of doing, we prefer the shallow waters of our doctrine and the laws where we are safe, we prefer to stay on the shore with our fears and feelings of apprehension. We all know that when it comes to jumping into the unknown, we are afraid and moving to deeper waters for sure does not excite us. Continue reading “Transition Session Opening Mass – Rome September 2018”