SMA International News of January

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SMA International News of January
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IMG 20211207 SLTitle of this edition:

1- Nigeria: return of the SMA to the diocese of Bauchi;

2- Sierra Leone: presentation of Newton’s mission school;

3- Collaborative work between the SMA and the OLA in Strasbourg.

 

   

 

NIGERIA

 Bishop Hillary Dachelem, CMF – Bishop of Bauchi Diocese:

I want to use this opportunity in a very special way to welcome our dearly beloved brothers of the SMA who have returned back to Bauchi diocese. They were part of the pioneers of those who actually evangelised Bauchi, and now they are back again. We are happy to have you around: Fr Sam – Fr Amour. Your elder Brother John Keane has been here representing you very well.
So may the good lord bless our collaboration, the collaboration between Bauchi diocese and the SMA Fathers. God bless your good work.

 

Rev. Fr. Samson Ebute, SMA – Priest in Charge of St. Andrew Parish, Billiri:
Shalom! My name is Rev Samson Ebute SMA. I am a priest of the Nigeria Province and then priest in charge of Saint Andrew’s Catholic Church here in Billiri. The SMA’s are back in full force to continue the mission work that was begun by our early missionaries in the year 1953.
We minister basically to farmers here, and I tell you, people are strong in faith, and they give their possible support to the work of Mission here in Billiri. Working together with Fr Amour has been a great experience for me.
I pray that our work here will yield fruit to the glory of God. As you can see, that is the only church that was established that year in 1953, and here we are having a new church still under construction. We pray that God will help us to accomplish all that we are required to accomplish here through Christ, our Lord.

 

Mr. Benjamin Lasiri – Pioneer of the Catholic Church in Billiri:
We are sincerely grateful to all the priests who brought the gospel to the Tangale land especially the early missionaries who came from Jos to Billiri in the year 1950 to announce the Gospel to us.
I who speak to you now I am one of the pioneers who helped in bringing Catholicism down to our land.

 

Rev. Sr. Monica – Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy:
I am Sister Monica, Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy. Our major apostolate here in Billiri parish is hospital work and the people we are serving here. 92-95 percent of them are farmers so this makes their economic statute to be a little bit lower but we try all your possible best to see that their health comes first before wealth so we do the little things we can, try our possible best to see that we attend to them. Sometimes we take this health care down to the various schools to see that people that are in need get the care and the services that are needed.

 

Mr. Lazarus Laliu – Chairman of Parish Pastoral Council:
I am Catechist Godwin I am going on to be the chairman of Saint Andrew’s Billiri parish. We are happy to have the SMA back here in our Church or land Billiri, and this gives us the memory of the Great SMA that worked with us here. Those Fr Francis Hughes Fr Callon, Most Rev DP Simpson and we are happy to have the SMA back.

 

Rev. Fr. Amour Gandaho, SMA – Assistant Parish Priest:
I am Fr Amour Gandaho from the province of Benin Republic, recently ordained priest and appointed to the province of Nigeria. Together with Fr Samson Ebute SMA, priest of Nigeria Province. We are once more back to Bauchi diocese precisely to Saint Andrews, Billiri parish after a long absence of SMA priests in this diocese. This place remains a place of primary evangelisation with its challenges, but also with its joy, and we pray that God may put you to assist us in this new journey.

 

Mr. Augustine Batarisoba – Member of the Parish:
We thank God for the blessings of the SMA. We thank God for all those blessings. We thank God they are back again with the hope that We will join with them and then see that the parish progresses and help them in their developmental work. And we are praying that the Almighty God will lead them through. May God bless the SMA and bless Billiri parish.

 

SIERRA LEONE

 

Rev. Fr Francis Patrikson– Superior of the Delegation of Sierra Leone:
Greetings my dear brothers and sisters from Sierra Leone, the holy land of the SMA. Here we are four missionaries Fr Peddy Sinda from Zambia; Fr Valerie Aguh from Togo; Fr David Agbevanoo from Ghana; and my humble self Fr Francis Patrikson from India. 
We have taken up two missions. One in the archdiocese of Freetown and the other in the eastern part of Sierra Leone in the diocese of Kenema which we call Buedu mission.
In this edition we will have some of the activities that are carried out by Fr David in Newton community.

 

Rev. Fr. David AGBEVANOO – Priest in Charge of Newton Catholic School:
My pastoral work in this Newton Community also entails the work in the school. I became involved in the school since 2016 when the then superior of the mission Fr Francis Patrikson has asked me to be involved with the school. We met the school in the primary level and through our hard work we were able to move to the junior secondary level and we are now in the senior secondary level. And so, looking at all these things we try to come up with a project … a project of having a boarding facility so as to give opportunity to those brilliant but needy students for them to have easy access to education. And so, we tried to put up a structure using the local materials….
These are the bricks that we use to do the construction of the boarding home. it is called a (civa round) we got the machine … it is a locally made machine and we got the soil … the local soil …and we mix it with a local quantity of cement and we used to make the bricks… we did not buy any of the bricks for this construction. We used our own locally made machine with our own students and the boys and the community people in order to make the bricks of the boarding home.
So, in a nutshell we tried to use the local materials in getting what we need.
This is our school garden where last month we harvested cassava, corn. We thought of planting these crops so that we can help to supplement the food intake of the students.
We work with the students. The students are very cooperative. For now, we have a few girls and a few boys in the boarding home. The girls have their own place and the boys have also their own place. And the most interesting part of it is that these children are developing interest in entering into religious life.

 

STRASBOURG

 

Founded in Lyon in 1516 by Father Augustin Planque who was then Superior General of the Society of African Missions, the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Apostles have since then been in collaboration with the SMA. It is in this regard that they aggred since 29 October 2020 with the SMA Province of Strasbourg to play a role in the college of the African missions of Haguenau and also in the parishes’ communities of mission land and of Bischwiller.
Let’s go to the discovery of this new community installed in Oberhoffen-sur-Moder near Haguenau.

 

Rev. Sr. Paulette MODZINOU, OLA – Missionary in the Diocese of Strasbourg:
My mission is a bit versatile I can say; at the parish level, I am a cooperator in the pastoral care of children.

 

Rev. Sr. Thérèse MULLER, OLA – Missionary in the Diocese of Strasbourg:
I take care of what concerns the interior of the house.

 

Rev. Sr. Monique LACOMBE, OLA – Missionary in the Diocese of Strasbourg:
We discover the village. It is a Protestant village but the people are very nice.

 

During this year two members of our province have been appointed to new missions: Father Jean Marie Guillaume in Calavi and Father Ernest Klu in Issia. We wish them good luck.

 

General Information

 

1- The Superior General, Fr Antonio Porcelatto went for a canonical visit with Fr Rozario to the Philippines from November 27th to December 20th.

2- From the 09th to the 27th December, Fr. François de Paul and Fr. Christophe went to Sierra Leone as part of the visit to the confreres.

3- Today, Monday, January 3 begins in Abidjan, at the centre Bishop Paul Pellet, the SMA Genenal States on initial formation. An encounter which will last till January 12th.

4. To Prepare His Ways – Tracing the Life of Melchior de Marion Brésillac – is a new book by Bishop Patrick Harrington SMA. This was published on the 8th of December 2021, the 165th Anniversary of the foundation of the Society of African Missions. It is “an attempt to familiarize readers with this Great Servant of Mission.”
This important book is available in PDF form the sma.ie website.

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