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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
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.