The Society of African Missions (SMA) is an international community of Catholic missionaries who serve the people of Africa and people of African descent around the world. It has over 800 members who live and work in 17 African countries as well as Europe, the Americas and Asia. In addition, there are over 400 students in formation for priesthood. The SMA’s primary mission and focus in Africa is parish pastoral ministry and missionary outreach to new areas.
The supreme governing body in the Society of African Missions is the General Assembly. Made up of the General Council and representative of SMA Units from around the world, it meets every six years. The SMA General Council, based in Rome is made up of the Superior General, the Vicar General and General Councillors. It is elected by the General Assembly to guide the overall administration of the Society.
Originally, the SMA was one unit, governed from the motherhouse in Lyon, France. In 1912, the Irish Province was established and thereafter other European and an American Province. Then, in 1983 following Pope Paul VI’s call for Africans to become missionaries to themselves, the SMA General Assembly decided to admit Africans and Asians to the Society. In the following decades, there was a great increase in membership and this led the 2019 SMA General Assembly to restructure the Society into 27 Units consisting of Provinces, Districts and Delegations listed below.