Category Archives: History

November 26, anniversary of the death of Cardinal Charles Lavigerie (1825-1892), Archbishop of Algiers and Carthage, Primate of Africa, founder of the Society of Missionaries of Africa which includes priests and brothers (“White Fathers”), and the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa (“White Sisters”). On November 26, 1892, Cardinal Lavigerie died in his episcopal residence of Saint-Eugène, in Algiers. He was 67 years old. Around his deathbed were gathered the representatives of all his works in Africa: among others, Bishop Livinhac and Father Michel of Jerusalem, Father Delattre and Abbé Bombard representing Carthage and Tunis, Mother Salomé, Superior of the Missionaries Sisters of our Lady of Africa, Fr. Buffet, superior of the Jesuits of Algiers, in addition to his secretary and his doctor. This death, immediately known in France, then throughout the world, took on the proportions of a national and universal mourning. Pope Leo XIII,…

Read more

On the 9th of April we organized a walk of 12 kilometers from the local history museum in Boxtel to the little village of Esch, a place from which many White Sisters left for Africa between 1895-2005. Since the 1st of January 2021 Esch belongs to the bigger village of Boxtel and to mark this date the local museum made an exhibition about the ‘Canon (history) of Esch’. Esch is an old village where Roman remains were found by archaeologists; it is around 1300 years old. One of the objects on the exposition is a big painting by one of our sisters, the almost blind Sr. Dymphna Kleemans (+), of the motherhouse ‘Sancta Monica’ and a doll of a White Sister in her old habit. The old mother house of the White Sisters, St. Monica (the mother of St. Augustin was named Monica and she was born in Algeria), is…

Read more

Anna Bernard lives at the St Charles retirement home in Verrières le Buisson. During her African missionary life, it was Kabylia that welcomed her and she has wonderful memories. She also spent many years in France, always to render the humble service of cook there. With great kindness, she responded to our little interview. Anna, are you from the family of Mother Marie Salomé? She was a relative from afar, but I knew her family well. In Plouguerneau where I was born, I was close to one of her nieces. We were five children, I had two older brothers and two younger brothers. Only the youngest remains, my godson, whom I telephone. In what language do you speak to him? In Breton, of course! I even pray in Breton. When I arrived in Kabylie, I was told that it was a very difficult language to learn. I learned it with…

Read more

TOTUS TUUS MARIA: All yours Mary … We share with you our experience of this month of May with Mary, Our Lady and the International Day of Living Together in Peace! Mary at the heart of our fraternity It all started on April 29. We met for the Eucharist in honor of Our Lady of Africa at home in Hydra with our brothers the Missionaries of Africa, the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Ouagadougou, the Sisters of the Annunciation of Bobo-Dioulasso, the Sisters of Marie Reparatrice of Uganda–members of our sister congregations present here in Algiers. We prayed especially for our future young sisters The evening was extended by a festive meal and a joyful sharing. On Saturday April 30, it was at the basilica that we honored our Lady. The Rosary, the Eucharist and the meal briought us together in the diocese with the four bishops of Algeria.…

Read more

    The Rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Africa, José Maria Cantal Rivas, asked us to join in the Basilica’s 150-year jubilee in 2022. “We would like to show the impact and influence of the basilica throughout the world and to update the links between it and different places.We “White Sisters”, the MSOLA have contributed the letter which we share with you below: Dear friends, We are happy to join in the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Basilica of Our Lady of Africa! Although we are known as “White Sisters”, the founder, Cardinal Lavigerie gave us the name which expresses both dedication and devotion to Our Lady of Africa: Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa. When the founder no longer believed in the possibility of life for the young congregation, Mother Marie-Salomé and her sisters went to pray at Notre-Dame so that the congregation…

Read more

Mother Salomé spoke very little of herself, wrote even less, and shortly before her death most of her writings were destroyed at her request. On the day of her First Communion, young Marie-Renée prayed “to be a great saint by doing what God wants.” Even at the end of her life, it was still the same desire. Her nurse told her, “I think the good Lord is coming to get you.” And Mother Salomé repeated her favorite saying: “When He wants … I am not afraid.” During the day, she often repeated this request to the holy Virgin: “Through your example, may the constant cry of my heart be that of Jesus: ‘Father, may your will and not mine be done.‘ ” From this comes her devotion to daily duty, to ordinary actions. She writes: “We must work without ceasing for our sanctification. However, we cannot do it by extraordinary…

Read more

  Over the centuries, Breton Spirituality has venerated Breton personalities known for their exemplary life from a Christian point of view. Few of them have been recognized as saints by the Church’s canonization procedure, but they have been honoured by the people, their very existence not always being historically attested. From 2021 another statuette has been added to this demonstration of ancient popular spirituality, that of our Venerable Mother Marie Salomé, who was carried on the pilgrimage by Danielle Burthier and 3 lay people from the Lavigerie family. An article by Danielle will follow on Sharing Trenta Aprile with details of this experience.   According to a late literary and hagiographic construction forged from the eleventh century, the seven founding saints are traditionally reputed to have founded the seven bishoprics that existed in the late Middle Ages. Because of their precedence to any canonical procedure, these saints have not been officially recognized by…

Read more

On the death anniversary of Cardinal Lavigerie, we publish an article written on March 5, 2019 by Father Bernard Ugeux, MAfr

This time of jubilee is for us an opportunity to take a renewed Christian look at our brothers and sisters, at the Church, at Africa, at the World…

Read more

10/41