The first issue of the African Missionary magazine appeared in January 1914. Its first editor was Fr Leo Hale Taylor SMA, later Archbishop of Lagos.
Founded by Fr Maurice Slattery it was the first mission magazine in Ireland. Its purpose was to make known the work of the Irish SMA priests and brothers and to elicit support from the people of Ireland for that work. In its heyday it had a circulation of 70,000.
Over the past 25 years circulation figures began to drop as the number of subscribers declined to such a level that it was decided to cease publication. In 2001 it was decided to replace the Magazine with a Newsletter which is sent twice a year to all our supporters and others who request it. The OLA Sisters join with us in providing material on their Sisters and mission.
Along with the annual SMA Calendar it remains a useful vehicle in helping to keep the SMA / OLA family of relatives, friends and supporters up-to-date with news and developments in the Irish Province, at home, in Africa and in other parts of the world where we serve.
The Newsletter (and Calendar) attempt to convey, through words and images, some idea of the work that continues to flourish in Africa. It also links our supporters in Ireland and elsewhere with our missionaries and the African countries where they work, creating bonds of communion and solidarity.
In a special way we want to help you to get a picture of Africa that is not all about gloom and doom, an Africa where the Good News of the gospel continues to make a huge impact. Through sporadic images from television large numbers of people are somehow vaguely aware of life in Africa, fed as they are with a fairly predictable diet of news surrounding conflict, hunger and drought.
However, those who may be interested in getting a more balanced picture are provided with an opportunity through the pages of missionary magazines to listen to the stories of the many missionaries who actually live with the people and have willingly devoted their lives to working in Africa. Listening to them should help readers to realise that there are also many good stories to be told of Africa: stories of enormous courage, kindness and generosity on the part of families and individuals who, while constantly battling against adversity themselves, generously spend themselves in helping the less fortunate in their midst; stories of communities who respond to the challenge of improving their living conditions, building clinics and schools, digging wells, establishing small self-help projects, promoting reconciliation between enemies.
The Newsletter and Calendar are distributed free to all our supporters. Donations to offset the costs of printing and posting are welcome!
If you would like to receive the Newsletter and Calendar contact:
The AM Editor, African Missions, Blackrock Road, Cork City.