SMA IDO (SMA International Development Office)
For over 150 years the Society of African Missions has been sending missionaries to many countries in Africa to preach the Gospel and help establish the Church. Today we are happy to witness the fruits of this work – the Church in Africa is growing faster than anywhere else in the world!
While this is indeed a great blessing, it is also a great challenge to ensure that there are enough priests to serve the increasing numbers of Catholics in this vast continent. Some local Churches in Africa are already blessed with priestly vocations, even to the extent of being able to send priests to assist the Church in other parts of Africa as well as America and Europe. There remain many other parts of Africa however, where the Church continues to look for outside help, not to mention the many places where the Gospel has not yet been preached. The SMA seeks to provide priests where they are needed in Africa, especially for primary evangelization (preaching the Gospel where it did not exist before).
Priestly Vocations are still Plentiful
SMA missionary priests have traditionally come from Europe and North America. In recent years the SMA has expanded to other parts of the world and now the majority of new SMA missionaries come from various countries in Africa itself as well as India and Philippines in Asia, and Poland in Europe.
Although priestly vocations continue to be plentiful in these new areas where the SMA has been established, the necessary funds to train them are not. Most of these new missionaries come from so-called “less industrialized” parts of the world where the faith is strong but the resources are scarce. Efforts to raise funds locally in each of these new areas are already proving successful, but it will be a long time yet before they become fully self-sufficient. In the meantime, they will need assistance, and the SMA IDO exists precisely to help with this assistance.
The main fund-raising effort of the SMA IDO is the Birthday Program (check it out on the opening page of this website).
Fr Pat Kelly SMA
My name is Fr Pat Kelly, from Belfast in Ireland, and I am a member of the Irish Province of the SMA. I was ordained in 1974 and worked as a missionary priest in Liberia in West Africa. I then spent almost 20 years helping to establish the Society of African Missions in Philippines and India – to prepare missionary priests in both places to work in Africa. Since 2004 I have been based in Tenafly, New Jersey (the headquarters of our SMA American Province) whereI direct the International Development Office to raise funds to help educate our young missionaries from Africa, India, Philippines and Poland.
Fr Anthony Korir SMA
My name is Fr Anthony Kiprono Korir, I am from Eldoret in Kenya and I am a member of the SMA Great Lakes District-in-Formation (the SMA is Divided into Provinces, Districts and Districts-in-Formation). Great Lakes is Composed of six countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola. I worked as a missionary in Togo in West Africa for Six and half years. After this I worked in Kenya as Pastor, a mission animator and a vocation director for three years. I am presently based in Tenafly, New Jersey (the headquarters of the SMA American Province) and am working with Fr. Pat Kelly SMA in the International Development Office to raise funds to educate young missionaries from Africa, India and Philippines. I personally am happy to be the beneficiary of these funds.