SMA House attacked in France

Late on Thursday night we received news of an attack on our SMA Retirement Home in Montferrier-sur-lez, near the southern city of Montpellier.

The SMA in France has several houses throughout the country and Montferrier is the official retirement home for more than 60 SMAs who have served in many parts of Africa, particularly in Benin Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic and DR Congo.

The Society of African Missions was founded in Lyon, France, on 8 December 1856.  Fr Francois Devoucoux came to Ireland in 1877 and established the SMA here the following year and the Irish Province was founded in 1912.

Five members of the Irish Province of the SMA have been Superiors General of the Society.  The fourth Irish Superior General, Fr Kieran O’Reilly SMA, is now Archbishop of Cashel and Emly. The present SMA Superior General, based in Rome, is Fr Fachtna O’Driscoll SMA, from Rathcormac, Co Cork. The Irish Province presently numbers 166 bishops, priests and brothers with our priests serving in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa.

As yet there is no confirmed information from Montferrier but we ask your prayers for our lay staff, priests and brothers there and their families as well as all our priests throughout the country.

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