The Society of African Missions was founded in 1856 in France by Monsignor Melchior de Marion Brésillac. It has various international units called Provinces and Districts. The Indian unit was formally established in 2001 and is called a District-in-Formation.

The District headquarters is located at Mangadu, Chennai in Tamil Nadu State.

The District has 35 priests, 3 deacons and 4 temporary members and 37 students at various levels of preparation for missionary priesthood.

Members of the District work as missionaries in Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Kenya and Tanzania.

   Bishop Melchior de Marion Bresillac, who had served for a time as a bishop in India, felt  the call to found a congregation specifically for Africa and he returned to France to do so.  From small beginnings in Sierra Leone and other parts of West Africa, through great  sacrifice, it gradually grew in size to become the international and cross-cultural reality  of today.

   The Society of African Missions is an international Catholic missionary congregation of Priests, Brothers, and Lay Missionaries founded in France in 1856. The “S.M.A.” initials come from its formal name in Latin, which is “Societas Missionum ad Afros,” or Society of African Missions. Its purpose is to share the Gospel with persons in Africa and those of African origin, especially those in most difficulty. S.M.A. members help facilitate the work of the local church and its leaders. In S.M.A. there are approximately 850 Priests, 240 Seminarians, 100 Lay Missionary Associates, and a small number of Brothers. Its members and Associates minister in 17 African countries as well is in many other countries around the world..

   S.M.A. Lay Missionaries come from several countries, but our service is primarily oriented to Africa. Although we are a small group, today we have Missionaries in both East and West Africa, as well as those in the U.S. who are helping coordinate the S.M.A. Lay Missionaries. We continue to evaluate our current areas of service and to investigate other possibilities as well. At times our members are also assigned to serve the expanding community of African origin in the U.S.


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