In 1969 Pope Paul VI called on Africans to be missionaries to themselves, “The Church of Christ is well and truly planted in this blessed soil … you Africans must now continue, upon this Continent, the building up of the Church.”  In response, the SMA decided – at its 1983 General Assembly – to admit Africans and others to the Society.  An international formation programme was set up and formation houses were built in both French and English-speaking countries in Africa to cater for the Preparatory, Philosophy, Spiritual Year and Theology studies of our seminarians. Since 1991, over 350 SMA priests have been trained and ordained for the Society. Today, we have more than 400 students in formation.

Setting up and maintaining this vast programme of training required a huge investment of time, personnel and financial resources.

The Irish Province is heavily involved and committed to supporting the training of African SMAs. Irish members help staff formation houses. Irish supporters funded the building of our formation houses and contribute to the on-going upkeep of staff and students.  These funds have come from donations and though the ongoing support given by members of the SMA’s Family Vocations Community (FVC) – groups of volunteers who give a set donation for a period of eight years, i.e. the time it takes to train an SMA priest.

The video below is narrated by students and staff in the SMA House of Formation in Kabwe, Zambia.  Here students participate in a  one year Preparatory Programme followed by a two year Philosophy Programme.  When their time in Kabwe ends, they move on to a Spiritual Year and later Theology studies in other SMA Houses.

Funds from the Irish SMA have supported this project.

Learn about the Kabwe Formation House



Learning Practical Skills


Seminarians at Kabwe


SMA Ordination Day


Fr. Benoît Mondji


"Here we promote a balanced life, whereby our students are trained in all the different aspects of the mission. They follow the program, whereby they know what they can do or take their own initiatives, so that the formation will be auto-formation.”

Rev. Fr. Benoît Mondji, Superior of the Formation House.

Get Involved

If you would like to support the training of SMA Missionaries please make an online donation. For annual continual donations, you can join the family Vocations Community (FVC) by contacting the FVC Office in your area.

MUNSTER: Patricia Nagle [FVC Office], African Missions, Blackrock Road, Cork  Tel: 021 461 6316 or [email protected]

NORTHERN IRELAND: Fr Dan McCauley, African Missions, Dromantine, Newry, Co Down BT34 1RH  Tel: (+44) 028 3082 1224 or [email protected] 

CONNACHT: Fr Frank McGrath, SMA House, Cloonbigeen, Claregalway, Co Galway   Tel: 091 798 880 or [email protected]

LEINSTER: Fr Paul Monahan – Dublin & Leinster), SMA House, 81 Ranelagh Road, Ranelagh, Dublin 6
Tel: 01- 496 8162 or [email protected] 

For more information about the FVC click here