SMA celebrates 21 years of service in South Africa

“Following the celebration I took the opportunity to visit, with some of the parishioners of Montana, the grave of Fr. Pius Afiabor SMA. Fr. Pius had been the SMA Regional prior before his untimely death and had shown great interest in the parish of Montana. Fr. Pius is buried in the grounds of the SMA House.”
– Fr. Michael O’Leary SMA

On Sunday 3rd February 2019 I gathered with the community of the Church of the Presentation, Montana, Pretoria, South Africa as they celebrated 21 years of their existence as a parish.

Celebration at the Church of the Presentation, Montana, Pretoria, South Africa

The parish had its beginnings in 1998 when Fr’s Eddie Deaney and Kevin O’Gorman consented to the establishment of the parish when the local people had identified a suitable location as a residence for the priests.

I succeed Kevin and Eddie in 2000 and remained with the emerging parish until 2015 when it passed to Fr. Samuel Madza SMA, a young Nigerian SMA priest.

The congregation are grateful to be recognised as an SMA parish and over the years they have been very supportive of the SMA Fathers who work in the less affluent areas of the diocese or Rustenburg.

Parishoners enjoy the celebrations at the Church of the Presentation

The people of the parish would like to be remembered to the various SMA priests whom they got to know but now have left for Ireland. Such priests are Frs John Kilcoyne, Michael Flattery as well as Kevin and Eddie. It is a small parish but they have great respect for the SMA.

Following the celebration I took the opportunity to visit, with some of the parishioners of Montana, the grave of Fr. Pius Afiabor SMA. Fr. Pius had been the SMA Regional prior  before his untimely death and had shown great interest in the parish of Montana. Fr. Pius is buried in the grounds of the SMA House.

I would also like to acknowledge Fr. Michael Brady SMA. Fr. Michael worked with us for many years in South Africa. Due to ill health he left South Africa a few years ago and died just recently.

May the souls of both Pius and Michael rest in peace.

Fr. Michael O’Leary SMA, Wilton Parish, Cork