Antananarivo: End of the pastoral visit of the general Superior in the District of Antananarivo
Thursday, November 17, 2016: Antananarivo (last day)
The general Superior, accompanied by the general Councillor and the Visitor visited Archbishop Odon Marie Arsène Razanakolona (this Malagasy name means “son of man”) to thank him for his support to the Brothers and to say goodbye. The next visit was paid to Lycée Saint Joseph of Andohalo, one of the Brothers’ first schools in which Blessed Louis Rafiringa lived and worked. Three Brothers are found in the Community. Today, it only has 170 students… The number of students is dropping off. According to Br Eric, the school Principal, during the school assembly, there is willingness among the educator team and the students’ parents – former students, to work toward a rise in the number of students. Brother Robert Schieler, general Superior, proceeded to the unveiling of the commemorative tablet of the 150 years’ celebration… This tablet represents an initiative of the Parents’ students Association whose President was present this solemn day. In this highly historical place, the Superior urged teachers and students to be accountable of their responsibility as heirs and successors of the mission of a school that saw famous people as students like the first Malagasy bishop and the first cardinal, Bishop Jérôme Rakotomalala.
At 10.30 am, the Superior went to the Women Promotion Centre located in the poor and unsafe neighbourhood of Anosibe. The Centre is the property of the Signum Fidei of which Mr Philippe is the coordinator of the 15 members present in Antanarivo and Br Melkiade is the Assessor. The training in the centre lasts three years. The first years are 50 students among whom there are 3 boys, the second years are 20 students among whom there is 1 boy and third years are 15 students. At the end of the three years, a certificate is awarded after success in a formal examination. In addition to the human and religious formation, various practical trainings are proposed: stitching and sewing, knitting, hairdressing, childcare, catering, computer studies… Literacy classes are also given. The girls offered a shirt, a product of their work, to the general Superior. After this last visit, the Superior gave his support and encouragements to another highly significant educational work: Lycée Anna located just next to the Women Promotion Centre. This secondary school has the official status of private school belonging to Ms Anne-Marie initially a member of the Signum Fidei Group. It kept the spirit and, as a member of the Lasallian Educational Mission team, it maintains a close collaboration with the District…
Saint Joseph retirement home in Ambohimangakely is located on a plot of 15 ha. The Community, composed of 5 Brothers, welcomed the Superior and those accompanying him for a time of sharing and a fraternal lunch at 1:30 pm. The Brother general Superior seized the opportunity to emphasize the importance of the impact of the elderly Brothers’ testimony on the perseverance of the younger Brothers. At 4:30 pm, a visit of the vice-postulation was in the program. It started with the meeting with the Rafiringa Group working closely with Br Vincent Rabemahafaly, the Vice Postulator. A PowerPoint presentation of the different groups and organizations under the protection of Blessed Louis Rafiringa was done before the description of their different activities and the visit itself of the places.
In conclusion of this visit of a dozen days in the oldest District of the RELAF, the superior gave during an extraordinary District Council a message of thanks, congratulations and encouragement… With time not on his side, he had to shorten the discussions in order to prepare for the long journey back to Rome with Air France scheduled early morning this Friday, November 18.
General Councillor for RELAF (Translation by the regional Secretary)