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Africa welcomes the participants

31/08/2014: General House
Mission Assembly- Nairobi 2014

Africa is, on one hand,the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent. Although most paleoanthropologists considered Africa to be the oldest inhabited territory on earth, Africa, on the other hand, is a continent young in many ways.Today Africa's population for example is the youngest among all the continents and, according to statistics, 50% of Africans are 19 years old or younger.

Cape Town, South Africa was the first Marist Mission land in Africa.On 18th April 1867, five Brothers left Toulon, France for South Africa. At that time, the Suez Canal in Egypt was not yet completed. So, this first community served then as a stopping point for a good number of Marist missionaries going to Asia and the Pacific, and those who remained in South Africa started Christian schools and ministries of evangelization. We can be sure that Father Peter Chanel, a Marist Father and Patron of Oceania, nicknamed “the man with a big heart” who was killed in Futuna Island in 1841 and blessed Africa on his way to witness to Christ and suffer the martyrdom.

Many blessings fell indeed on us as Africa welcomed many Marist Missionaries in several countries: South Africa (1867); Ghana (1983); Algeria (1891); DRC (1911); Madagascar (1911); Spanish Morocco (1915); Zimbabwe (1937); Malawi (1946); Mozambique (1948); Nigeria (1949); Rwanda (1952); Zambia (1954); Angola (1954); Centre Africa Republic (1958); Cameroun (1965); Côte d’Ivoire (1969); Kenya (1984); Liberia (1986); Guinée Equatoriale (1988); Tanzania (1991); Chad (1993) and South Sudan (2012).

Administratively, Marist Africa is organized into four Provinces and one District, operating in around 21 countries: Province of Africa Centre-East (PACE), Madagascar, Nigeria, Southern Africa and the District of West Africa. In our days, the Marist presence and mission on the continent are experiencing a great expansion in 69 of our school establishments, among others, which take in more than 57,593 children and young people and which benefit from the animation and leadership of more than 5,000 lay collaborators and 450 Marist Brothers.

Marist Africa and Madagascar is today blessed with a large number of young Brothers (i.e. at MIC, the Center of post-novitiate formation, there are actually around 100 Brothers) that provide tremendous youthful energy. Likewise, an abundance of children and young people in all the societies of this continent presents challenges and opportunities for the Marist mission and for Africa’s vocation ministry.

God bless Marist Africa.

May Mary, our good Mother, pray for us and with us in these final preparation for the II Marist International Mission Assembly.
New Marists in Mission!

___________

Preparatory Commission of the II MIMA
Albert, Alice, César, Frank, Javier, Joao, Manu, Mark, Maeb, Mónica, Paul, and Piluca

Mission Assembly- Nairobi 2014

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