Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) – “Mission starting from Africa” is the central theme that will be at the heart of the exchanges and debates at the Continental Meeting of Missionary Societies of Apostolic Life (MISAL) which will end on Friday, April 21 at the Paul Pellet Center in Abidjan.
During a four-day study seminar, the Superiors and Vicars General of eight European and African missionary institutes exchanged views on the opportunities and challenges of the great flowering of missionary vocations from Africa, which in recent decades has provided the Church and in particular the various institutes with valuable energy and experience. “There are about 1,300 missionaries of African origin and more than a thousand seminarians belonging to six of these missionary societies. They come from about 25 countries, including Nigeria, Congo, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Cameroon, Burkina and many others. Most of them work in African territories outside their country of origin,” Father Antonio Porcellato, Superior General of the Society for African Missions, told Fides. About a quarter work in their country of origin, while another quarter work in countries outside the African continent.
The meeting is held every two years and this year it was hosted in synergy by the Society of Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) and the Society of African Missions (SMA). The heads of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), Paris Foreign Missions (MEP), Society of Priests of Saint-Jacques (SPJ), Mill Hill Missionaries (MHM), Saint Patrick Missionaries (SPS) and Saint Paul Missionaries of Nigeria (MSP) accepted the invitation.
The “Paul Pellet” center where the meeting took place is located on the campus of the Catholic Missionary Institute of Abidjan (ICMA), a higher education institution affiliated with the Catholic University of West Africa that trains future missionaries and committed lay people. (AP/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 19/4/2023)