Ordinations 2020

Ordinations 2020

To keep you updated: with a green background, those already ordained - with an orange background, those who are due to be ordained.
Pour vous tenir au courant : sur fond vert, ceux qui sont déjà ordonnés - sur fond orange, ceux qui doivent être ordonnés.

Robert Nicolas, 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

Robert Nicolas

on Sunday, September 20th, 2020 at Pau-Bllère (France)
at the age of 91 years, of which 67 of mission years of missionary life
in Mali and in France.

Let us pray for him and for his loved ones.

Milestones in the life of Father Robert Nicolas

Born in Paris XVI
on 26/11/1928
Spiritual YearMissionary OathPriesthood ordination
in the diocese of Bayonne25/09/194929/06/195318/04/1954
 Nationality: French  Maison-Carrée (Algérie)Thibar (Tunisia)Carthage (Tunisia)
9/10/1954VicaireKakoulou, Diocèse KayesMali
21/5/1956 SagabariMali
21/9/1963Grande RetraiteVilla CavallettiItalia
29/1/1969VicaireKassama, Diocèse KayesMali
1/1/1982VicaireSagabari, Diocèse KayesMali
30/4/2000Aumônier ReligieusesSagabari,D.KayesMali
1/12/2002VicaireSagabariMali
1/6/2010Nommé PEP (PE 07/10) France
1/7/2010AccueilParis,FriantFrance
26/9/2013RésidenceBillère,Villa P.B.France
1/1/2014RésidenceBillère,M. LavigerieFrance
20/9/2020Retour auprès du PèreBillère,M. LavigerieFrance

Ordination in times of Covid-19

Ordination of Paschal Ewuntomah in Damango (Ghana)

Live continues and for our young confreres ready for ordination, it is indeed the beginning of a new live. 

Despite the covid-19 pandemic, Deacon Paschal Ewuntomah was ordained a priest by Right Rev. Bishop Peter Paul Angkyier in his Cathedral of Damango Diocese in Ghana on the 5th September 2020. 

The mood was rather a festive one, even with the famous masks supposed to prevent the propagation of the virus. 

Homily of the Superior General in memory of Gotthar Rosner

"Rejoice, for your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20).

After returning from the places where we were blocked during the confinement brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, we, as General Council, wished to celebrate a mass in memory of all our confreres who died since the beginning of the confinements. When Father Gotthard Rosner, Superior General of the Society from 1992 to 1998 passed away on 2 September 2020, we decided to honour his memory and to pray for him and for all the confreres who have died since the beginning of the confinements. There are forty of them in all! It’s a lot in six months. Some succumbed to Covid-19. Others have died from other illnesses. But they all share one thing in common: they past away during a period where it has been impossible to organise a normal funeral for them. In this evening’s Eucharistic celebration we want to pray for all of them as we begin our activities together again in Rome.

We were sad to hear of the deaths of our confreres and especially for our communities not to be able to say goodbye to them in the usual way. Today, it is a song of thanksgiving that we address to God for their long lives consecrated to the Mission in Africa and for the African world. The youngest among them in missionary life had fifty three years of missionary oath and the oldest seventy two. Like the seventy-two disciples sent by Jesus, most of them came back full of joy telling how even the evil spirits submitted to them in His name. And we are witnesses to what they did! Yet this is not the reason why we rejoice and give thanks. We rejoice because their names are written in heaven (Luke 10:17-20). We give thanks to God who first called them and made them grow in their love for him and in their relationship with him. They remain for us, above all, witnesses of this faith.

Father Gotthard Rosner, who died on September 2, is the latest of the confreres to return to the Father. He was a member of our Generalate community as Superior General of the Society. In celebrating this Eucharist for him and in associating in it all the other confreres who have died in recent months, we recognise the role he played in his mission at the service of confreres and we symbolise this by placing the names of the other confreres around his. Among the names of those for whom we pray tonight is that of Father Jean-Claude Ceillier with whom he served on the General Council.

Having spent several years in our houses of formation Father Gotthard is known to many confreres. Many confreres, but also other people who knew him, have testified to his very human sense and the compassion he felt for the people to whom we are sent. He was ready to listen and to accompany. A man with a big heart, he was a source of inspiration for many. As Superior General, Father Gotthard lived through very difficult times such as the genocide in Rwanda, the death of our blessed confreres in Tizi Ouzou and the overthrow of the Mobutu regime in the Democratic Republic of Congo. All these events strongly affected the confreres in those countries as well as the Society as a whole.

May the souls of our deceased confreres through the mercy of God, rest in peace!

Stanley Lubungo
Superior General

Birth of Mary at St Anne’s (Jerusalem) by the Franciscans

For a long time, the Missionaries of Africa have had the privilege of taking care of the site where, traditionally, Mother Mary was born. It is in the old Town of Jerusalem that the Crusaders built, in 1104, a Church dedicated to St Anne, the mother of Mary. Every year, on the 8th of september, the feast of the birth of Mary is celebrated. It is normally a magnificient celebration where the Church is filled with many French faithful. This year, the celebration was rather strange, as the confinement regulations prevented regular participants from attending the festivities. Here below, you can see a few photos, taken by Nadim Asfour (CTS). You wll find as well a link to the webpage dedicated to that day, and a video dedicated to the feast of the Birth of Mary in St Anne’s. 

In Memoriam Covid-19 Times

In memory of Father Gotthard Rosner and other deceased confreres

At the beginning of the pastoral year 2020-2021, in memory of Father Gothard Rosner, Superior General of the Society of Missionaries of Africa from 1992 to 1998, who passed away on 2nd September 2020, and in memory of all our confreres who have returned to the Father from the period of lockdowns, a Mass will be celebrated in the Chapel of the Generalate of the Society in Rome on Wednesday 16th of September 2020 at 18:00 hours.

Join us on this day, wherever you are, in praying for our confreres.

Stan Lubungo,
Superior General

Confreres who died since the beginning of the lockdown in Rome (March 9th, 2020)

Gotthard Rosner 02/09/2020
Bernhard Pehle 01/09/2020
Jean Chardin 26/08/2020
Maurice Gruffat 21/08/2020
Wolfgang Büth 20/08/2020
René Ledeul 19/08/2020
Marc Deneckere 10/08/2020
Paul Tremblay 09/08/2020
Jean-Bernard Delannoy 29/07/2020
Eugenio Bacaicoa A. 21/07/2020
Pierre Landry 13/07/2020
Wlly Delen 04/07/2020
Alois Reiles 21/06/2020
Gerald Stones 21/06/2020
Josef Moser 13/06/2020
Bernard Jobin 12/06/2020
Justin Louvard 09/06/2020
Lucen Van Wielendaele 20/05/2020
Ger van Dieten 17/05/2020
Marcel Amport 15/05/2020
Karel Louwen22/04/2020
Jean-Pierre Claude15/04/2020
Bernard Vulkers14/04/2020
Michel Lelong10/04/2020
Bruno Chupin08/04/2020
Peter Kelly08/04/2020
Karl-Heinz Pantenburg07/04/2020
Johannes Tappeser06/04/2020
Paul Devigne06/04/2020
Anton Weidelener05/04/2020
Martínez López Antonio05/04/2020
Joannès Liogier03/04/2020
Fançois de Gaulle02/04/2020
Henri Frouin29/03/2020
Pierre Lafollie26/03/2020
Robert Laberge18/03/2020
Hans Gyr17/03/2020
Jean-Claude Ceillier16/03/2020
Maurice Redouin15/03/2020
Jan van Haandel12/03/2020

Psychological Health of Priests – an interview with S. Joulain

Psychological Health of Priests - an interview with S. Joulain (Radio Vatican)

Recent events in the Catholic Church in France, but also in other countries such as India or the United States, have been marked by several priest suicides. A progressive awareness is emerging in the church of the need to pay greater attention to the psychological fragility of priests and religious in a context of social and media pressure which can be a source of exhaustion. Psychological support cells have been set up in some dioceses and more and more seminaries are introducing psychologist interventions and sometimes even personalised accompaniment in their courses to help the seminarians identify their own limits even if it means interrupting their journey. The challenge is also to help the future priests to face the psychological difficulties of the people for whom they will be responsible for their souls. Father Stéphane Joulain, a member of the Society of Missionaries of Africa, is also a psychotherapist. He explains to us this morning how the Church is trying to develop psychological support for its ministers of religion by helping them in particular to find a realistic balance in their relational life.

Please note that the interview is in the French language.

We are almighty…

From the department of JPIC-ED of Maghreb, we have received this paper written by Brother Patrick Leboulenger on a reflection at the crossroad of the Season of Creation,  the Pandemic of Covid-19 and the Mystery of Easter.  The original is in the French language. This translation, without pretention, is offered by mafrome.org

We are almighty...

Arabia builds a 1000m high tower. The ship “Symphony of the seas” carries 8880 people. The Antonov An-225, nicknamed Mriya, is an aircraft, which loaded can weigh 600 tons and carry 50 cars. Compared to this, the Tower of Babel is nothing.

But for some time now voices are being heard. They remind us that we live on a small planet, that resources are limited, that we are wasting too much, that the climate is getting warmer and warmer, that we are mortgaging the living conditions of the next generation. But we are so sure of ourselves and of our control over nature. If drinking water is decreasing, no big deal, we install purifiers. Finally, whatever happens, we will always find solutions. That’s why we have scientists.

Yet, a few years ago, there was a first epidemic, “AIDS”, which could not be curbed, with a mortality rate close to 100%. Although it forced humans to change certain behaviours, humanity quickly learned to live with it. And we gradually resumed our race for power and our usual ways of slaughtering and exploiting each other, not without a little humanitarianism so as not to look too much like animals. However, scientists and doctors had warned us. We are not ready to put up with an epidemic. We should stop this frantic race, change our conception of nature and the planet and re-think our economic models. But they were shouting in the desert because nobody was prepared to hear them.

Nothing will be changed to protect the global economy. That is, for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. And since it is the rich who decide, the system is fine as it is. People continued to organise seminars and retreats for a few days with participants from all over the world. The most amusing are these large gatherings to think about ways to fight global warming while they themselves are sources of global warming through the displacement they cause. All these gatherings are absolutely necessary, they cannot be questioned. Video-conferences are not practical. Raw materiaI coming from Africa is transported to China for the production of devices that will be bought in Europe and then resold in Africa. This is globalisation, the big word of the last few decades. Challenging this globalisation classifies you as marginal or utopian.

And here we are against the wall, with a small virus (it is not even a living being) that is disrupting our “power”. The doctors are overwhelmed. We don’t really have any medicine and no vaccine. The most vulnerable among us end up dying. The virus crosses borders and everyone becomes infected, from the tramp in the street to the head of state, a Chinese, an Iranian, an Italian…. Here we are as our ancestors victims of the plagues in the Middle Ages. The words “quarantine”, “isolation” are back, cities and states are closing their borders. The police and the army control the roads. We start praying for healing. Just as a thousand years ago we are searching for the cause of this disease, we are looking for the propagators of evil. We wonder about the origin of the plague: natural, human, curse from heaven? We take out the masks to protect ourselves. In the Middle Ages, masks with a long nose were used to prevent the miasmas from reaching the doctors. It is not a question of finding this useless or ridiculous. On the contrary, they are our only tools that allow us to limit the progression of the disease. We have not changed since the Middle Ages. This brings us face to face with our fragility. Perhaps the difference is that people in the Middle Ages knew they were vulnerable to nature. We thought we were mastering nature.

In just a few months, we were forced to stop the competition. What men never wanted to do, a virus did it: all the travelling, all the important and fundamental meetings for the life of the Church and of humanity were gone. The trade fairs that are absolutely necessary for the economy were cancelled. Distance working, video conferences have now become the standart. States are rethinking globalisation by considering more proximity between producers and consumers. Local trade is becoming possible. The diminution of travelling in favour of teleconferencing is becoming economically profitable. We thought that human relations could all happen through Internet. Confinement showed us that we still need contact between people made of flesh and bone. The Italians showed us a very good example of this by gathering at the window of their flats every evening. We have to expect serious consequences for the world economy. Both the nations and the economically vulnerable people will be severely and long-lastingly affected. It used to be impossible to do without air transport, a major source of pollution. The bankruptcies of several companies will force us to do so.

A long time ago someone spoke of us as hard-headed people (Ex 32:9 Dt 9:6 9:13). Perhaps we will finally hear the call to change. And if we were to dream just a little, we could imagine a humanity where there is more sharing, more solidarity, more mutual help. Let us imagine that nations start working together to fight against the virus and other similar scourges like malaria. Let us imagine that we would give up all this wastage in order to preserve nature for our own health and for future generations. Let’s imagine that we decided to live in relationships with our real neighbours and not with virtual friends on Websat. In a word, let us imagine that we start living the Gospel. Then we could begin to say to ourselves that the evil that affects us has not made us suffer and that the dead did not die in vain.

Often for Lent, we commit ourselves to small efforts that are more or less within our reach, some small changes in our daily life. This year, our Lent was a little more radical. The events imposed constraints on us. The expectation of the Resurrection and of new life at Easter took on a very real meaning for many people. We are told that a Christian cannot live alone, now he is locked up alone, sometimes anguished by the presence of this virus, and fragile before his God. He cannot avoid anymore this face-to-face encounter with himself and with God. Some people enjoyed a family or a community. But promiscuity in a flat, the little idiosyncrasies of a confrere or a sister, the cries of the children work their wear and tear with the passage of time. It is in spite of and with all this that we were invited to look towards Easter, the passage to freedom which for many Christians may not necessarily have occured on April 11th this year. The liberation brought about by the resurrection and conversion imposed on us were very concrete this year. Everyone’s faith is stripped bare of its certainties. It is no longer ” Do you believe in the resurrected Jesus as an impersonal community? But rather “Do you personally believe in the Risen Jesus? ” And If you do, then draw the consequences.