The first session of the Second Chapter of the Madagascar Vice-Province took place at the Tsimanarisoa Pascal Spiritual House, Antananarivo, from 24 to 27 January 2023. Fourteen capitulars were present, including Father Serafino Fiore, CSsR, Provincial of Naples, Mother Province of Madagascar. The representative of COREAM (Conference of Redemptorists of Africa and Madagascar) was unfortunately absent from this Chapter.
The Chapter began with the Holy Mass in honour of the Holy Spirit on the evening of 24 January. It concluded on the evening of Friday, 27 January 2023, with the Eucharist that preceded the entering into the office of the new Government.
The main issue during the first days of the gathering was to elect the new leadership for the next four-year term and renew Secretariats and the chairs of the Commission of the Viceprovince.
The list of brothers elected to form the Vice-Provincial Government for the next four years follows:
Ordinary and Extraordinary Council, made up of five confreres: Frs. BARY Théophile (Vice-Provincial), RANDRIANANTENAINA Rémi Jean Ferdinand (Vice-Provincial Vicar), RAKOTOARISOA Lantoarivelo Herisambatra Eric (Ordinary Council), TOMBOFENO Michel (Extraordinary Council), RAKOTONDRASOA Jean Yves (Extraordinary Council).
Newly appointed chairs for the Secretariats and Commissions: Frs. Be Gilbert (Apostolate), RAHARSON Gaetan (Formation), Br RABEMIAFARA Albert (Economy), RAKOTONDRASOA Jean Yves (PJVR), RAMAROLAHY Jean Émile (Texts and Documents), RAKOTOSOLOFO Jean Rémi André (Laity).
Starting from the report drawn up by the previous Government presented by outgoing Vice-Provincial Fr. BEFANIVANA Germain and a brief sharing by Fr. Serafino Fiore, who referred to the canonical phase of XXVI General Chapter, the capitulars focused on the study of the life of the very young Vice-Province of Madagascar.
The following issues were mainly discussed and emphasised:
- The formation, both initial and permanent;
- Strengthening collaboration with the Mother Province (Naples), proposing to the confreres, according to their possibilities, to open one or more communities in the Vice-Province;
- Analysis and improvement of cooperation within COREAM;
- Analysis and improvement of the economic life of the Vice-Province;
- Modifying and updating some Vice-Provincial statutes according to the Magisterium Ecclesiae’s requirements and the Vice-Province’s reality or experience.
Thanks be to God, the seed sown by the Neapolitan Redemptorist missionaries fifty-six years ago is slowly germinating and growing in the Malagasy soil. After twenty-two years after the arrival of the first missionaries in 1967, it was possible to start the initial formation of the young Malagasy Redemptorists. At present, we have the joy of reporting that there are sixty-eight professed confreres, of whom forty-six are priests, five deacons, six brothers and eleven students, with an average age of less than fifty. In addition to the latter, there are four novices, thirteen postulants and thirteen pre-postulants. Despite all this, economic independence is still a great challenge for the Vice Province of Madagascar. It is young; its members reveal potential and hope, but at the same time, they indicate fragility and lack of experience in many areas.
After the Chapter, the new Vice-Provincial Government immediately took action, setting the calendar for the year and engaging in dialogue with confreres and some Bishops who work directly with the Vice Province.
May St. Gerard, the special Patron of the Vice Province, along with St. Alphonsus, founder of the Congregation, Mary Mother of Perpetual Help, and the Redemptorist saints and blessed continue to bless and accompany this wonderful missionary reality so loved by the Most High.
Fr. Vahiny Venance CSsR
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