Archconfraternity of Our Lady of Perpetual in Togo celebrates 70th anniversary

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The Archconfraternity of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Togo brings together lay faithful committed to following Christ and who have cultivated Marian devotion. It originated with the arrival of the Redemptorist Missionaries in 1947 during an Easter retreat at the Parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, now the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Lomé.

Father WOLF GOLDBROON, Redemptorist, brought with him a giant painting of the icon of the Virgin Mary known as Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Stunned and amazed by Father GOLDBROON’S presentation on Marian devotions to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the lay faithful present expressed the wish that an association be established that responds to the Marian devotion dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Were present among these lay faithful: dad DJADJOU, Félicia ADJO and Régine CESAR.

Invited by Father MAYER, Mrs. Régine CESAR responds to this call with devotion and commitment to establish Our Lady of Perpetual Help Association in the Parish of Saint Augustin d’Amutivé. Associated with some parishioners, including Mrs. Louise BARTEY and Mr. OCCANSSEY, the Association was born on June 27, 1952, on the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

The Association is therefore now 70 years old. Despite the absence of the Redemptorists in Togo, the Association lasted until 70 years with the support of Our Lady Herself and with the help of the chaplains of groups of a Marian nature, the current one being Father Paulin. He gives himself body and soul for the maintenance and dynamism of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Association. Finally, in 2018, the Association will appeal to the Redemptorists of the Vice-Province of West Africa for the consecration of its members. About 600 people at this consecration dedicated themselves to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Wanting to open, indeed, the Jubilee Year, the Association has not forgotten the Redemptorists; because she knows well that she is associated with them to make the Madonna known to the world. It was then that she addressed a note to the Vice-Province which rejoiced at this grace which Our Lady offers to her children. Delegations, for this purpose, have been designated to live the event (the opening of the said jubilee). These are delegations from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger and Burkina Faso. The event was marked by a general assembly which was held from June 24 to 27, 2022, at the CESAL-TOKOIN SEMINAIRE (the Directorate of Works) of the Archdiocese of Lomé and the priestly ordination of Brother Firmin AFANOU, Redemptorist.

During the four days of the General Assembly, teachings on Our Lady of Perpetual Help were given to the members of the Association; teachings provided by Fathers Pascal SORGHO, Pascal TIENDREBEOGO, Cajetan, Marc TOGUYENI and Patrice NYANDA and Mrs. Joëlle, one from the Ivory Coast.

Let us recall that the opening Mass of the platinum jubilee was celebrated on June 26, 2022, by Mgr Nicodème BARRIGHA, Archbishop of Lomé. It was at this opening Mass that he conferred the sacred order of the priesthood on Brother Firmin AFANOU. Finally, it should be remembered that this event was completed on the afternoon of June 27 by the consecration to Our Lady of Perpetual Help of more than 300 people during the Mass in honour of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, celebrated each June 27 in the Catholic Church.

Fr. Marc Toguyeni, C.Ss.R.

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