“My spirit is for the whole world”, was the “Dream” of Saint Anthony Mary Claret in 1849 which has once again become real with the beginning of the awaited new mission in Madagascar.
After two years of waiting due to the pandemic and after many preparations, the “Dream” of starting the mission in Madagascar is now on the march. This is the realization of the Project Claret 150 undertaken by the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters (RMI) and the Congregation of Missionaries Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary – Claretians (CMF) as a mission of the Claretian Family.
On Wednesday, the 18th of May 2022, Fr. Zbigniew Łaś, CMF, is traveling to Antananarivo, and Bishop Gaetano di Pierro, of the Farafangana diocese, will be at the airport to receive him. Three others, Claretian Sisters Rani Michael, Anne Thashni, and Fr. Justin Kuzhippalayil, CMF, will hopefully reach on the 21st of May 2022. The two missionaries from Indonesia, Fr. Eusebius Toda, CMF, and Sr. Helmy Alphonsa RMI, are processing the visa and will hopefully be ready in June.
The six missionaries assigned in 2020 to the joint mission of the Claretian Family had to keep waiting as their travel plans had to be changed a few times due to the fluctuations of the pandemic. When the embassies reopened, and the flights began to operate without unexpected cancellations, the processing of papers resumed. The preparatory program organized for the missionaries initially thought to be held in Rome have had to be replaced by a reduced online course. The program was aimed at forming the missionary community with its intercultural, intergenerational, and inter-congregational diversities.
The bishop of Farafangana has agreed to entrust the mission of Ankarana to this Claretian initiative. After studying French and the local language, the missionaries hope to be present in the mission that awaits them. Members from both the General Governments would visit the mission this year and make the necessary arrangements and agreements before starting the mission.
Madagascar is the 70th country where the Claretians are present. Let us keep our missionaries and the mission in Madagascar in our prayers.