New Joint Mission of Vice Provinces of Nigeria and West Africa in Lome Archdiocese

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The Redemptorist Community established in Lome Archdiocese is a co-joint project of the Vice-province of Nigeria and Vice-province of Afrique de l’Ouest. In the spirit of the 25th General Chapter’s restructuring of the Congregation, the above two Vice-provinces contracted a mission here in Lome Archdiocese to build a national shrine of our Mother of Perpetual Help. The Shrine would be situated in Deme, a land that would be donated to the Congregation by the Confraternity of Mother of Perpetual Help, Archdiocese of Lome. They had existed in the Archdiocese for over 70 years.

The mission began in late September 2023 with the following confreres who pioneered the mission:

Fr Patrice Nyanda, CSsR as Superior (Burkina Faso)

Fr Cyprian Eugene Mbamara, CSsR as Bursar (Nigeria)

Fr Firmin Afanou, CSsR (Togo)

Fr James Vembe, CSsR (Nigeria).

However, because of accommodation issues, Fr James Vembe, CSsR was sent to live temporarily in one of the Redemptorist Communities in Côte D’Ivoire, pending when the community house is erected in the shrine.

Hopes and Goals: We intend to acquire the land, to develop it by building structures that would be befitting the national shrine of Mother of Perpetual Help. They include community residences for more than 10 confreres, offices, a mega chapel to accommodate at least 2000 people, accommodations for pilgrims, the Grotto of Mary, and other necessary structures.

Likewise, we intend to establish the Confraternity of Our Mother of Perpetual Help throughout the dioceses in Togo and unify them as a national body through the cooperative assistance of the lay apostolate (Confraternity of our Mother of Perpetual Help) already existing here in Lome Archdiocese.

Given the above, the Vice-provincials of the named Vice-provinces with their councils, in conjunction with COREAM sent us the pioneer confreres to do the following:

1. Learn the local language/French as the case may be
2. Help the parish (Noepe) nearby the proposed shrine location
3. Acquisition of the Land for the National Shrine from the Confraternity of our Mother of Perpetual Help
4. To accompany the Confraternity of our Mother of Perpetual Help existing in Lome Archdiocese.

Challenges: Some of the challenges faced currently by the pioneer missionaries are the cultural differences and language barrier. On this note, the confreres are making efforts to learn the local language and French as the case may be. Another challenge faced is the lack of funds. The two Vice-Provinces are doing their best to make funds available with the aid of COREAM. However, this is a huge project which requires a lot of funds, which would necessitate fundraising.

We are currently working on the acquisition of the land promised to us by the Confraternity of our Mother of Perpetual Help here in Lome Archdiocese. The Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Lome has been quite instrumental in our smooth running of the mission.

Fr. Cyprian Eugene Mbamara, CSsR.
Community of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Noepe    

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