On the Missions at the service of the people of Africa
Be Apostles, nothing but Apostles.
We work in 23 countries in Africa and 2 places in the Middle East (Jerusalem and Lebanon). We are at the service of the local Church wherever we are present, sometimes fulfilling specialist needs, sometimes reaching out to the poor and marginalised, always witnessing to Jesus Christ in an African context.
Build up the Local Church.
In many countries we run parishes until the local clergy are numerous enough to take over. This has meant in the past, and still now, also helping to form seminarians , priests and laity so that they can take their proper responsibilities in building up the Church. In the past this has meant teaching in seminaries. Now it is more often running centres of spiritual renewal, prayer centres, catechetical centres, the ministry of counselling/psychotherapy (giving sessions and to individuals in dioceses and seminaries etc.)
Our mission from the beginning has been to initiate and continue respectful dialogue with Muslims and with people of Traditional Religion. As regards Islam and Muslims, we have parishes in Muslim countries and areas where there are few Christians. Our own small White Father communities and the Christian communities we serve, witness by our behaviour and by living in friendship with our Muslim neighbours. We have centres where Islam is taught to priests, religious and laity so that Christians might come to understand Islam better and respect Muslims more. As for Traditional African Religions, the White Fathers have set up centres where specific African cultures are studied and valued. Frequently this has gone hand in hand with teaching African languages.
Promote, Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation.
The specialist needs are very diverse and too numerous to give in detail. Making of wheelchairs for the handicapped, teaching the deaf and dumb, radio programmes for isolated Christians, exposing corruption and exploitation, highlighting land conservation, organising co-operatives, etc., etc., etc., but always encouraging local people to take over the task when they can. Our Ongoing Mission.
Finally, we continue the mission by forming future missionaries, future White Fathers. We have seminaries in Africa, Asia and the Americas. We accept candidates from any country or continent to join in our work of witness. Candidates study with others in colleges and universities but we always live, pray, eat and celebrate as brothers in our own communities.