The Society of African Missions has very deep roots in South Africa. The first SMA priests (from France) went on mission there in 1873, just seventeen years after the foundation of the Society. The following year they were entrusted with the Prefecture of Central Cape. They established five mission stations: Mossel Bay, Georgetown, Oudtshoorn, Pella and Jamestown (in St Helena). However, after some years the mission failed and the priests were reassigned to other parts of the continent. Read more about the history of the SMA here.
The SMA ‘returned’ to South Africa, specifically to Rustenburg diocese in 1994. We now have missionaries in Rustenburg, Johannesburg and Pretoria dioceses. As of January 2013, there are 15 SMA priests appointed to the Region, as well as one student from the Great Lakes DF who is on Stage (Pastoral Year).
Archdiocese of Johannesburg (1 priest and 1 seminarian):
1 – Fr Justin Inandjo (Gulf of Guinea DF) – pastoral ministry in OL of Perpetual Help parish, Vereeniging and SMA Vocations and Promotions Director for South Africa.
– Athanas Dotto (Gulf of Guinea DF) – SMA seminarian on Stage (Pastoral Year)
Archdiocese of Pretoria (4 priests)
2 – Evantus Kene (Bight of Benin DF) – Sunnyside parish and is our JPIC contact person for South Africa.
3 – Hugh Lagan (Irish Province) – Lecturing at the National Major Seminary, St John Vianney, and working throughout the country on Clergy well-being etc.
4 – Michael O’Leary (Irish Province) – Montana parish.
5 – Michael Flattery (Irish Province) – Meerhof parish.
Diocese of Rustenburg (10 priests)
6 – Pius Afiabor (Bight of Benin DF) – Regional Superior for South Africa, Mooinooi.
7 – Liam Brady (Irish Province) – St Anthony’s parish, Northam. He is also the Vice Regional Superior.
8 – Vincent Brennan (Irish Province) – St Theresa’s parish, Mogwase.
9 – Frank Geoghegan (Irish Province) – Maths and Science Teacher at St Annes’s High School.
10 – Ken Cooney (Irish Province) – Responsible for Bapong and Modimong Pastoral areas. He is also the Chaplain to the Diocesan Hospice.
11 – Noel Gillespie (Irish Province) – Pilgrimage Director for the Diocese of Rustenburg. He is currently on Sabbatical within the country.
12 – Martin Walsh (Irish Province) – responsible for leading the 4 priest team in the Zeerust pastoral area. He is also the Coordinator of the Language Programme for newly-arrived SMAs in the Region. Two SMA colleagues (both doing their Language programme) Frs Joseph Ogungbe and Gerard Pagnan and a diocesan priest make up the pastoral team in Zeerust which has 24 basic church communities / outstations.
13 – Freddie Warner (Irish Province) – pastoral work, currently on Compassionate Leave in Ireland.
14 – Joseph Ogungbe (Bight of Benin DF) – Language Programme and Zeerust pastoral area.
15 – Gerard Pagnan (Gulf of Guinea DF) – Language Programme and Zeerust pastoral area.