We are a large international group of priests and brothers who dedicate our whole lives to the proclamation of the Gospel, especially in Africa and to the Africans. We are about 1230 but you’ll get a better picture examining our statistics.
Inside the Catholic Church, we bear the name of “Society of the Missionaries of Africa” and we have the status of “Society of Apostolic Life“. But we are also known as “White Fathers” because at a time when all priests wore a black cassock, the Missionaries of Africa wore a kind of white dress called ghandoura in North Africa where we were founded.
Our spirituality is based on the Word and openness to the Spirit so as to live more fully the joy of the Gospel with all its challenges. This spurs us on to cultivate a more transforming relationship with Jesus, an encounter which constantly pushes us to live a more Gospel inspired life as we reach out in love. This relationship is to be nourished by our personal and community life of prayer and an ever-increasing awareness of our need for the support and encouragement of our brothers in community.
Our spiritual life is enriched by our faithfulness to the Word of God, which nourishes and strengthens our relationship with Christ. It is sustained through personal and community prayer, which is a witness to others. It is supported by spiritual accompaniment, regular spiritual exercises inspired by Ignatian spirit-uality and the special sessions that the Society provides. It is also lived through our participation in the life of the Church. The experience of our frailty and the simplicity of the people, especially in their popular devotions, help us to discover God’s grace. This grace leads us to reconciliation, and from our sufferings and struggles flow serenity, strength and hope.
Our being rooted in Christ, our fidelity to his Gospel and the awareness of our vulnerability have truly transformed our spirituality into a more radical, prophetic and joyful following of Christ which pushes us to the margins. This has renewed our spiritual life by the way we pray and reflect together within the context in which we live. It also empowers us to be attuned to the reality of the world which unfolds before our eyes and dare bring about transformation in view of the realisation of God’s Kingdom.