8 December – SMA Foundation day
Fr Bruno Semplicio served for many years as Postulator for the Cause of the SMA Founder. Attached is his reflection to mark the 159th anniversary of the foundation of the SMA by Bishop Marion deBrésillac SMA.
Having returned from India – where his efforts to encourage a local clergy and deal honestly with the Malabar Rites etc – met with opposition from fellow bishops and missionaries, Bishop deBrésillac was charged with founding a missionary Society to go to the most abandoned parts of Africa. And so, along with a small group of companions, he founded the Society of African Missions [SMA] on 8 December 1856 in the church at Fourvière, which overlooks the city of Lyon in France.
“… It was the day of the patronal feast of the shrine and of the city of Lyon. Our Founder celebrated the 8:00 mass and then, before the statue of Mary, he offered “our enterprise to Mary” and renewed the resolution “to dedicate ourselves to the work of the African Missions”. Thirty-four years later, Fr. Planque would say on this subject, “The event was great primarily due to the faith and the confidence of our venerated founder” (Sermon for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1890. AMA 2 B 20).”
Read Fr Bruno’s Reflection.