Newsflash for 16 March, 2012

Financial Council Meeting

The members of the Financial Council held their annual meeting on the 12th of March at the Generalate House, Rome. The aim of the meeting was to study the financial situation of the Congregation and the decisions to be made regarding our investments in the context of the present crisis facing the whole of Europe. After the one day meeting it was seen that strict management needed to be maintained.

Photo: M. Frédéric CLERC, Fr. Jean-Paul HOCH, M. Giulien BLAUDSZUN, Fr. José Lopes de SOUZA, M. Pascal HIRT, Fr. Jean Marc SIERRO, M. Michel COUTOURIER, Fr. Firmino CACHADA, Fr. Felisberto SAKULUKUSU).

General Chapter of Bagamoyo 2012


Communications/Information Team Members:

  • Firmino CACHADA (Generalate House), Co-ordinator,
  • Gaston TEMGOUA (Generalate House), Assistant
  • Paul CHUWA (Tanzania), Assistant

The job-description of the team is:

  • To keep circumscriptions and individual confreres informed, in so far as is possible, of the preparatory steps towards the Chapter, especially: decisions taken, themes chosen, confreres involved (members by right, delegates, invitees and functionaries) – this is already being done.
  • To keep circumscriptions and individual confreres informed, in so far as is possible, from Bagamoyo, of what is going on at the Chapter, especially: a daily summary of events of interest, the discussions and decisions or orientations adopted – this will be given in three languages and in conjunction with the Chapter central commission
  • To make available to the Chapter participants the messages and responses of confreres which are received by the Communications/Information Team through the different media (see below).
  • Other possible tasks requested by the Chapter preparatory committee or by the Chapter central commission.

Means of information used or to be used, taking into account:

After Torre d’Aguilha, an attempt will be made to have the most inter-active Chapter possible, so as to arouse as much interest and participation as possible from those not present at Bagamoyo. For this we need a rapid system which will allow information to go out and responses to be received from confreres.

Basically we will be using the internet and email:

The internet :

  • The website “” which is being set up at Duquesne and which we hope to be fully operational during the Chapter; only the most important facts or texts, such as, for example, preparatory documents: the Instrumentum Laboris, the list of delegates and functionaries, the logo and the prayer, the Superior General’s Report, etc.
  • Facebook, clearly the easiest means (most informal) and the most interactive, allowing texts and photos to be posted , with up to date responses from confreres, by just clicking “like” or by making comments or proposals on the discussions in progress. Confreres who want to participate in this way must have a personal Facebook profile and enroll in the group “Chapter Bagamoyo 2012”. Already there are about 300 confreres in this group and there is some good sharing going on. It is only professed confreres and lay people invited to the Chapter who have access to what is published in this space and who can post their reactions or proposals. It is therefore, a closed group.
  • Blog- for those who do not wish to create a personal profile on Facebook, but wish nevertheless to keep abreast of daily events, we are considering creating a blog where, in so far as is possible, all the information prepared for Facebook, photos and texts, will be posted. Even though less interactive, a blog also allows some written reactions and we will try to take account of them. But it needs to be remembered that, unlike the group in Facebook, the Blog is a public site, and anyone, even non-Spiritans and anonymous persons (with a “nickname”), can post comments. There will however, be the possibility for the Communications team to delete undesirable comments at any time.
  • Email – Each day we will send to all circumscriptions the news or summary of events, asking the receivers to circulate the information among the confreres of the circumscription. For that we are going to create three groups in the three languages, with the email addresses of Superiors and secretaries, or of the confreres designated by each circumscription as the person to be in contact with the Communications Team at the Chapter. We are also going to ask delegates to send the same information to the confreres they represent, since that is part of their role as delegates. To receive messages concerning the Chapter we have already created an email address:

4- Interactivity: for the Chapter to be interactive it is not only for the confreres to be informed and able to react by making comments or even proposals, but, at the same time, this information must go through the delegates to the others involved in the Chapter.

Here is what we propose:

√ all emails received considered to be relevant to the Chapter will be displayed for at least 24 hours on a board in a convenient place accessible to all; after that they will be available in a file for any delegate to consult.

√ for Facebook and Blog, there will be two computers linked to the internet permanently open on the relevant programme; confrere can see what is written, but, if they want to take part, they must do this through their own computers or through other computers available to participants.

√ if there are important observations or proposals pertinent to the discussions going on, the Communications Team will print them and give them to the central commission.

5 – Means required in place – the Chapter administration team will make sure there will be computers and other necessary equipment, especially a rapid internet connection accessible to everyone and some computers available for confreres who will not have laptop computers with them.

160th Anniversary of the Death of Father Francis Libermann

Sr Marie Bernadette and Sr Marie Salomé in Rome

ROME: On 2nd February 2012, we celebrated the 160th Anniversary of the death of Fr. Francis Libermann. At the conclusion of a novena of prayer dedicated to the venerable Father Libermann and to the entire Congregation, this anniversary in Rome was marked by a conference and a Eucharistic Celebration. The conference as given by two Spiritan Sisters who had come from Paris. Sisters Marie Bernadette DELPIERRE and Marie-Salome DEGRADOT recalled the history of the foundation of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Spirit and the spirituality of Father Libermann. “We are daughters of Libermann. We share his spirituality, as did our foundress, Eugénie CAPS”, said Sister Marie-Bernadette in the course of the conference. The Superior General praised the collaboration that has always existed with our Spiritan Sisters.

Our confreres in Belgium

BELGIUM : At the European Community in the Rue De Merode in Brussels, a group of 20 confreres gathered on February 2nd , 2012. The theme of their reflection and their prayer was “Libermann and his missionaries in the Congo.” Those present listened to Libermann’s words, reminding his missionaries of the virtues which contain within them special powers and graces, especially of living out the work for the blacks by placing at the very heart of their mission Libermann’s idea, “Become Blacks with the Black”. Twenty of our confreres experienced this at Kongolo on January 1st, 1962. Thus the Spiritans of Belgium celebrated not only the 160th Anniversary of the death of Libermann but also the 50th Anniversary of the “Kongolo Martyrs”. They emphasized that intercession would help them to put in place three missionary projects of being close to the migrants in three of Belgium’s important cities – Anvers, Brussels and Charleroi.

Rebuilding the Foundation of Haiti

Following an appeal for solidarity to help our confreres in Haiti after the earthquake which devastated the country on January 12th 2010, here is an initial account of the funds that have been collected.

The money that was collected made it possible to respond to the most urgent needs identified in 2010 – the boundary wall of Saint Martial College has been rebuilt, although the rough facing remains to be completed. The five novices have gone to France and the houses of our confreres have been repaired and made habitable. The first phase of reconstruction has enabled us to set up a temporary shelter, still in use, the restoration of the Maison Senghor (now known as the Maison Jacques D Laval) which is being used as the Novitiate. The wall and the water reservoir of this house and the house on the Rue St. Martin have also been repaired.

Foyer Tisserant

In a second phase, not yet completely finished, the Sisters’ house, known as the Foyer Tisserant, has been repaired and re-equipped. It is now being used as a House of Formation for the other phases of formation – propedeutique, first and second cycles. A kitchen and a septic tank have also been constructed.

One confrere has still to sleep in a tent in the commune of Carrefour in the Parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at Cote-Plage. A donation has been given for the purchase of a more solid dwelling than this one which in fact, is only leased, but a house has yet to be found. With hardly any local revenue available to it after the earthquake, the Foundation has had to meet the expenses of a number of communities, to provide for many requirements of formation and even come to the aid of certain victims living still in the grounds of Spiritan houses.

The real needs

To reach the end of 2012, the Foundation has still to find US$15,000 for the building of a water reservoir at the Foyer Tisserant and US$30,000 for the running costs of the Novitiate for a period of seven months. The Foyer Tisserant which is now being used as a house of formation will be inadequate to meet future formation needs. It is just about able to accommodate the six students who are there at present, three in propedeutique, one in First Cycle and two in Second Cycle. This house will have to serve in the future as the Superior’s Residence and also as a house of welcome for the confreres in Port-au-Prince. A search is underway for a house suitable to meet future formation needs or else find a plot of land where it will be possible to build a suitable house.

The Foundation is also the owner of the Haitian Library of the Holy Ghost Fathers for which it takes responsibility. The Library was founded by a Spiritan in 1873. It is the oldest library in Haiti comprising about 25,000 written works and archival documents, many of which are original and unique, dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Thanks to the vigilance of the confreres and with the help of former students, it was possible to recover the Library from the former community residence at Saint Martial College which has had to be completely levelled to the ground. The books are being stored in boxes which do not offer very favourable conditions for preservation. It is hoped to repair and accommodate the library in the grounds of Saint-Martial College, a building which did not have to be demolished. A plan has been drawn up to facilitate this aim. The cost of this work is estimated at S$320,914.00. But who will be the donors so that this work will be done and where are they to be found?

The Junior Seminary at Saint Martial College.

The resumption of classes after the earthquake took place at Saint-Martial College on 19th April 2010. Since that date, classes have taken place in temporary hangars built by the government. This accommodation will only last for two years. However, teaching has resumed its normal rhythm. One could even say that as far as normal operations are concerned, the College is getting close to being self-financing, even if there is a need to buy a car and a new generator. Thanks to the aid that has been received, not only has the wall surrounding the property been rebuilt; in addition, a water tank has been constructed, a former administration block has been transformed into a large room which serves as a chapel; a computer room and science laboratories in non-durable materials have been set up. An infirmary, an office for the Pastoral Programme and three classrooms for the kindergarten school have been built. Also, thanks to a benefactor, there are plans to build three more classrooms for the kindergarten, as well as a games area. Here, just as in other schools, real rebuilding has not yet begun. Our confreres have done a great deal towards rebuilding and at the same time they respond to their mission and to everyday necessities. The General Council encourages confreres, circumscriptions and benefactors to maintain their gestures of solidarity.

Funds Collected

At the General Bursar’s Office €197,311.44 or US$256,504.87

Paris Procure – € 93,319.20 or US$121,314,96

Bursar’s Office, Pittsburgh – US$204,502,10

From Switzerland (for the Cote Plage House) – US$110.000.00

TOTAL – US$691,321,93

How this money is being used

Building Work – US$383,348.32

Equipment and Support for Formation – US$ 80.000.00

Help for Confreres – US$ 15,000,00

Support for the Foundation – US$ 10,000,00

Help for Victims – US$ 25,000,00

TOTAL – US$513,348,32

Funds still available

For the House at Cote-Plage -US$110,000,00

In overseas accounts – US$ 68,673,61

50th Anniversary of the “Spiritan Martyrs of Kongolo”

Hundreds of the faithful join in prayer

Conferences were organised as well as a two-day pilgrimage and a solemn Mass in the Memorial Church of Saint-Joseph –Kangoy of Kongolo on 1st January 2012 in memory of the “martyrs”.

Kongolo, Democratic Republic of Congo. Thursday, December 29th 2012. We gathered at the Fraternity, the Spiritan house currently being used as a pre-postulancy. Mgr. Oscar NGOY WA MPANGA, Bishop of Kongolo, was present as well as all the Spiritans of the Eastern Region. Present also were the priests of the Diocese, the Spiritan pre-postulants, the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Kongolo (Cimko), the Sisters of St. Joseph of Kalawe, the Franciscan Sisters of the Reign of Jesus of Sola, the parishioners of Saint-Joseph-Kangoy as well as some friends of the Spiritans. The number of pilgrims was estimated at around 200.

Father Andre NSENGA, Superior of the Spiritan Eastern Province and the Director of the pre-Postulancy welcomed the pilgrims. Drawing his inspiration from the Letter to the Hebrews 13:7-9, he explained the meaning of this pilgrimage marking the opening of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the death of twenty Spiritans, killed at Kongolo on January 1st, 1962. The pilgrimage consisted of four stages – from the Fraternity to the Procure, passing by the Junior Seminary and the Cathedral on the way. Sister Irma NTAMBWE and Sister Denise KAYMBA (Cimko) explained the reasons why these stations were chosen. Then the walk began.

The pilgrims headed in the direction of the Procure. The Choir of Saint-Joseph-Kangoy sang a litany dedicated to the Spiritan martyrs. At the beginning of the stage, Father NSENGA gave a presentation on the lives of the confreres killed at Kongolo as well as that of a confrere who had been killed in 1961 at Kabolo. One of the pilgrims, Baba Thomas, a former Junior Seminarian, pointed out the places where the victims had lived and worked.

Later Fr. Andre KIZITO, who had come from Kindu for the occasion presided at the Eucharist. In his homily, he stressed the need to walk in the light of Christ by loving ones neighbour. “It is not enough just to know him. One must above all live in love.” At the end of the celebration, at which more than 200 of the faithful were present, the Principal Superior, Father Eric NGOY KAMATOMBE invited those gathered to learn the lessons of the different forms of witness highlighted at the end of the pilgrimage in order to reply to two questions : “How did they die?”. “Why did they die?”. On Friday, December 30th, 2012, the second day of the pilgrimage, the walk which had begun at the Procure ended at the new Cathedral of the Diocese of Kongolo.


In many other places in the Congregation, the memory of our confreres who died at Kongolo has been recalled. It would be interesting if all that has been done in the circumscriptions on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary (documents, photos, publications, video) could be sent to the Generalate. This would greatly enrich the “Martyrs of Kongolo” section in the Archives.

There is a video by Fr. F CACHADA:

Mgr Oscar NGOY WA MPANGA, Bishop of Kongolo (DRC)

On the occasion of his visit to Rome last February, the Bishop spoke of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary.

The deaths of our 20 confreres in Kongolo make up a page in the history of our Church and of the Congregation. In faith and in prayer, we have celebrated their memory. For the diocese of Kongolo, their deaths are a spiritual heritage, symbol of life given for the proclamation of the Good News. We constantly remind the faithful of our diocese that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians” as Tertullian of Carthage once said.

Material available (in French, English, Portuguese and Dutch)

Faithful Witnesses, Kongolo, (1962 – 1912 ) brochure, which recalls the events and the fears which preceded the massacre, the martyrdom” itself and the people who lived through it).

A postcard with a prayer to the “Kongolo martyrs”

– A Poster.

Superiors of circumscriptions can pass on their requests to the General Secretary, indicating the number of copies needed and specifying the language required. Spiritans of Belgium, France, Switzerland and Holland can apply directly to the Kongolo Memorial at Gentinnes. Circumscriptions will be expected to meet only postal expenses.

Malaw: ” There is a need for support and experienced confreres to help the group” —


The Spiritans came to Malawi in 1971. They were 11 in number from the Irish Province. These were confreres who had worked in Nigeria and were expelled from the country after the Nigeria-Biafra war. The sole aim of the group was to help particularly in parish ministry in the Archdiocese of Blantyre that was in acute need of personnel on a temporary basis and in the diocesan minor seminary. In 1973, three Spiritans from Trans- Canada Province accompanied by a diocesan priest from Calgary diocese came to the diocese of Chikwawa in response to an appeal to the diocese of Calgary from Chikwawa diocese. There is now one from the Province of Trans-Canada who is working in the first cycle formation in Balaka which belongs to the Union of Circumscriptions of South Central Africa. In 1993, the then West African Foundation which at the request of the Generalate had accepted Malawi as its mission field sent two confreres to join the Malawi group. Since then there has been a lot of going and coming among the young confreres for a variety of reasons. Presently there is only one confrere from Ghana working in Malawi. The Spiritans in Malawi were declared an International group which is independent with the coming of confreres from other circumscriptions in Africa. With the other Spiritan circumscriptions of the region, they founded SCAF with a common Novitiate in South Africa, a common first cycle in Balaka, Malawi and a common second cycle in Zimbabwe.

International Group of Malawi

They work in two dioceses in the country where they run parishes and one of them teaches in a secondary school. They do quite an impressive job in the places they work. The Bishops and the people are full of praise for them because they say the Spiritans are close to the people and are involved in development projects that help the people. There is evidence of these in the parishes run by the Spiritans. They have also been very active in promoting vocations to the Spiritan life. In fact, they have the largest number of students of all the five circumscriptions that make up the Union of Circumscriptions of South Central Africa. They have 29 students in various stages of formation from Postulancy to second cycle which is a big number for such a small circumscription with only very young Africans the majority of whom are still in their mission appointment. There are five ordained Malawian Spiritans, three of whom are working in Malawi and the other two in mission ad extra in Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

The Future and Challenges

The group even though small is quite dynamic and living peacefully with one another. There is a very good spirit within the group and with that sense of unity they can achieve a lot. But there is urgent need for more personnel and experienced ones as well to help the group. Malawi is a poor country and the people depend a lot on the priests and Religious and that puts a lot of strain on the confreres. The parishes where we work are in the very rural areas and the Bishops do not give any support to the Religious because they believe the Religious get support from their headquarters in Europe and little or nothing comes from the people. So the confreres are looking for how to survive as well as how to help the people in their parishes. Malawi is a peaceful country and the people are good. Our confreres are working hard and will need the support of the wider Congregation to give more life to the Spiritan mission there. By Fr. Mike.

International Group of Malawi: Seven Confreres in Apostolate: 3 Malawians, 2 Nigerians, 1 Ghanaian and 1 Zambian. Three confreres in formation community: 1 Nigerian, 1 Tanzanian and 1 Irish who belongs to Trans-Canada Province.

Books by Confreres

– Agostinho TAVARES, Renovar a alegria do SIM inicial na vida consagrada, Paulinas, São Paulo, 2012, 200p.

– James J. KUTAV, Devition to Santo Niño in the Philippines, Spiritan publication, Iligan, 2012, 130p.

– Prosper EVE, Pierre-Louis-Frédéric Levavasseur, Surya ed., La Réuion, 2011, 336p.

– Patrick J. RYAN, Kimmage Manor, 100 years of service to mission, The Culumba Press, Dublin, 2011, 199p.

– Joseph HIRTZ , El Espiritano Busca El Corazón de Libermann, 2011

Francisco MALINOWSKI, Cien Consejos del Siervo de Dios Padre Francisco María Pablo Libermann, 2012

– Joseph BURGRAFF, Témoins fidèles, KONGOLO 1962-2012, Immediatprint, Wavre, 2012, 45p

The Superior General and his Council

The General Administration Activities:

– checked and approved the accounts for 2011, presented on 2nd of March by the General Bursar. (GC 08/12) (SRL 249.5.1).


– appointed Fr. Matthew Ambrose NGOWI of the Province of Tanzania, originally appointed to the Foundation of Ethiopia, to the Province of Tanzania. (GC 07/12) (SRL 249.2.4).

– appointed Fr. Charles LUKUNGU LUNGI of the Congo-Kinshasa Foundation, orignally appointed to the Congo-Kinshasa Foundation, to the Central Africa Foundation. (GC 10/12) (SRL 249.2.4).

– appointed Fr. Peter Kofi LAAST as Superior of the Province of Ghana, for a second mandate of three years, from 31st May 2012 (GC 11/12) (SRL 167.1).

– gave to Fr. Augustine BANGALIE of the Sierra Leone Foundation, his mission appointment to the Sierra Leone Foundation. (GC 14/12) (SRL 158)

– gave to Fr. Dyfrig MALITI of Tanzania Province,his mission appointment to Tanzania Province. (GC 15/12) (SRL 249.2.3).

– gave to Fr. Albano Aloys MWOMBEKI of Tanzania Province, his mission appointment to Tanzania Province. (GC 16/12) (SRL 158, 249.2.3).

– appointed Fr. René YOU as Superior of the Algeria International Group for a mandate of three years from the 1st December 2011. (GC 04/12) (SRL 167.1).


– on the 29th February 2012 approved the contract between the Croatia International Group and the diocese of Đakovo-Osijek, concerning the parish of St. Antony at Podvinje. (GC 06/12).

– on the 29th February 2012 approved the contract between the General Archives of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit and the Province of France of the Sister Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary. (GC 05/12).

– after a deliberative vote at its meeting on the 14th March 2012, approved the Chapter decisions of the Province of Ireland. (GC 13/12) (SRL 183, 249.4.6).

– approved the request from Fr. Philip Marsh for an extension of his mandate as Provincial in the British Province from September 1st until the election of the new Provincial. (GC 17/12).


– confirmed the election of Fr. Tom KESSY as Superior of the Australia/PNG International Group for a third mandate from the 1st September 2012. (GC 03/12).

– confirmed the election of Fr. Marcin DUSINSKI as Superior of the Paraguay International Group for a mandate of three years from 20th February 2012. (GC 84/11) (SRL 167.2).


– after having re-appointed Fr.Francis AKUVE to his Province of origin (Nigeria North-East) decided, seeing the improvement in his health, to appoint him to the Pakistan International Group, the circumscription to which he was originally appointed. (GC 09/12) (SRL 249.2.4).

Other News

SRL is 25 years old

We celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Spiritan Rule of Life (SRL) 1987-2012. On June 7th , 1984, on the Solemnity of Pentecost and the opening of the Marian Year, His Eminence, J. Jerome Cardinal Hamer gave the official approval of the Holy See to SRL. SRL took the place of the “Rules and Constitutions”. The Superior General at that time was Fr. Pierre HAAS. In the course of our history, successive General Chapters have often permitted amendments to facilitate a response to new calls in fidelity to our charism. For every Spiritan, this 25th Anniversary is an invitation to both reflection and action. In daily life, does our religious and missionary life correspond to undertakings that have been taken on in conformity with SRL

25th Year of JPIC in the Congregation

On September 8th, 1987, during the mandate of Fr. Pierre HAAS as Superior General, the Justice and Peace Service (later to become Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation) was established in the Congregation. Father Mike DOYLE was entrusted with the task of overseeing the process of implanting JPIC services in areas where Spiritans were working. He was succeeded by William HEADLEY (Province of the United States), John SKINNADER and John KILCRANN (Province of Ireland). Each circumscription is invited to mark this anniversary from April 2012 to April 2013.

Dakar: The Cathedral of “Souvenir Africain” becomes “Our Lady of Victories”.

Our Lady of Victories in Dakar, Senegal

On Sunday, 29th January 2012, the Archdiocese of Dakar (Senegal) marked the closing of the jubilee year marking the 75th Anniversary of the Cathedral of “Souvenir Africain” which has become “Our Lady of Victories”. Bishop Pascal Roland of the diocese of Moulins (France) presided at the Mass of Thanksgiving. Tribute was paid to Father Daniel Brottier. A memorial plaque in his honour was unveiled in the chapel dedicated to him. In 1846, the Spiritans established a mission station at Dakar. As the years passed by, confreres who died were buried in graves which are scattered here and there across the country. In 1912, Bishop Jalabert of Senegambia requested a young Spiritan, Father Brottier, to undertake the building of a Cathedral dedicated to the glory of God and to the memory of the missionaries who had given their lives – the Cathedral of “Souvenir Africain” consecrated on February 2nd,1936, a few weeks before Brottier died.

Death through Drowning: Fr. Jonas ACHINA, 1965-2012

Our confrere, Fr. Jonas ACHINA of the Province of Ghana lost his life through drowning on Sunday, 19th February 2012 at Salvador de Bahia (Brazil). He was invited to Salvador by some confreres for a holiday. Born on September 8th, 1965 at Alfao (Ghana), he was professed on September 8th, 1994 at Ejisu-Ashanti. He made his Final Profession in 2002. Ordained to the priesthood on July 12th, 2003 at Agbakope (Ghana), he was sent to Cabo Verde for a language course in Portuguese. More recently, Fr. Jonas ACHINA was a missionary in FANO in Guinea Bissau. Initially assistant at the parish of Nossa Senhor at Ajuda in Bissau, the capital (2004-2006), then parish priest (2006-2012). A Requiem Mass was celebrated on March 15th, 2012 at the Spiritan University College at Ejisu (Kumasi, Ghana). Then on March 16th, Bishop Joseph OSEI-BONSU of the diocese of Konongo-Maponga presided at the Burial Mass. He was assisted by the Provincial Superior of Ghana, Father Peter K. Laast and the Principal Superior of FANO, Father Yves-Marie FRADET. Jonas ACHINA was buried in the Spiritan Cemetery at Ejisu. He returned to his Father’s house at the age of 46. May the Lord receive him and all our deceased confreres into his peace. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends in their loss.

Our Dead


John Robert WEBER United States












Thomas P. SHARKEY United States








Edward GRAHAM Trans-Canada




































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