SMA-OLA Seminar: Calavi, Benin

Our two Missionary Institutes, the Society of African Missions (SMA) and the  Congregation of the Sisters of OUr Lady of Apostles (OLA) are on a pilgrimmage  “Towards 2026”. In 2026 we will have a triple celebration: 150 years since the foundation of the OLA COngregation; 170 years since the foundation of the SMA and 200 years since the birth of Fr. Augustine Planque SMA; a man who the venerable Bishop  Marion de Brésillac, founder of the SMA,  gave the responsibility for realizing his dream for Africa. This occasion will help all our members to  imbibe our rich spiritual heritage and rediscover and recommit to a creative living out of our mission in fidelity to our common charism for our day.

This journey which consists of four parts: the Historic, the Experiential, the Hermeneutic and the Reinterpretation or Adaptation phase,  is set to give a renewed impulse to our charism with fidelity to our roots and missionary audacity.

In the historical phase we have taken a walk together into the past, looking at some
aspects of our common history focusing on specific issues and  epoch  – 1856 to 1920.
This helped us to put in perspective the intuition of our founders, the immense courage of our
early fathers and sisters and how these marked the identity of our two Institutes.

With the experiential phase, we were able to gather together, recognize and celebrate the
missionary experiences and spontaneous responses of our members to the needs of mission
today through the diversity of our apostolates.

The Hermeneutic Phase which aimed at identifying the non-negotiable elements of our charism in the light of our history and our
experiences today. From the 19th – 26th July 2022 at the Brésillac Centre in Calavi,  sixteen (16) participants from the SMA and twenty (20) from the OLA gathered for a
hermeneutical seminar.

The fruits of  the work done this week will help all our members, associates and friends, to rekindle the passion and love for mission in our day.