Over the last one hundred and twenty years the MSOLA have been entrusted with the birth of various women’s congregations in Africa. Often founded by a Missionary of Africa, the formation and leadership of the twenty-one Congregations in eleven different countries were put into the hands of our sisters.
For many years, our sisters accompanied the first steps of these courageous women who were often going counter-cultural in order to enter religious life. Started as diocesan congregations many of these Institutes now enjoy pontifical rights. In fact, several of them have become multicultural and missionary ad extra, having sisters engaged in apostolic activities in several countries in Africa, Europe and America. Some are now accompanying the birth of new Congregations.
The birth of the “Our Lady of Africa Family”
In 2010 our General Council invited the Superiors General of our twenty-one “sister Congregations” to meet with them in our house in Rome on the occasion of the general assembly of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG). Similar meetings were organized in Rome in 2013 and 2016. The Superiors General from the various countries could thus meet each other and realize that they had some things in common: a common grandfather, Cardinal Lavigerie, and grandmother, Mother Marie Salome, and a similar formation to be apostles, based on Ignatian spirituality. Last time we met, in May 2016, we realized that ties had been formed among the members of the group and so it deserved a name. It was called “Our Lady of Africa Family”. The new family would have a life of its own.