A brief chronicle of the Fianarantsoa diocese

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Catholic faith arrived in Fianarantsoa in 1871 with Father Marc Finaz, a French Jesuit priest from the province of Toulouse. This pioneer, assisted by few committed laymen, amongst others Pierre Ratsimba has warmly undertaken the preaching of Jesus Christ’s Gospel to the Betsileo people. It emerged from this that the number of catholic faithful has more and more increased, even own to the surrounding regions. In January 1896 Fianarantsoa was still part of the apostolic vicariate of the Centre of Madagascar.

 

 

Charle Marc Givelet

That is why in 1901 the pioneer asked for the assistance of his colleagues to reinforce and enlarge their field of work. Later, the pastoral and territorial organization was progressively put in place until the apostolic vicariate was set up in 1913 under the direction of its very first Bishop: Lord Charles Rémi Givelet.

Gilber RamanantoaninaXavier Thoyer

In 1936, Bishop Xavier Thoyer took over. The vicariate has become an independent diocese in 1955 and set up as an archdiocese in 1958. The first Archbishop has thoroughly played his role as pastor. He had a particular worry about promoting local culture and the native clergy and ended up by passing plain power to Bishop Gilbert Ramanantoanina, the first Malagasy archbishop leading the Archdiocese.

The latter has set his pastoral priorities in 5 points: respect for the Lord’s Day (faithfulness), Laymen apostolate (Church committee), promoting catholic schools and Christian family, promoting vocations (prayers for vocations).

Philibert Randriambololona

In 1993 his successor Bishop Philibert Randriambololona, prior Bishop of Antsirabe has already taken up his vacant position since two years. The latter carried on the pastoral directions drawn up by his predecessor but added few personal touches. He set up a project to settle a religious congregation, especially female in each missionary district of his diocese.

 

 

Fulgence 1

 Card. Armand Razafindratandra, Mgr Fulgence Rabemahafaly ary Mgr Philibert Randriambololona

Fulgence 2

In 2002 Bishop Fulgence Rabemahafaly was appointed head of the Archdiocese after having directed the new diocese of Ambositra, for 3 years. The young Bishop axed his pastoral work on the importance of permanent formation for priests and pastoral agents, on the institution of the 5 faith related commissions, on education, on development, on social and economic activities and on communication. All these structures were adopted in order to allow the pastoral project to flow. Moreover, he also had in mind environment preservation (intensive tree planting) and promoting youth and child education.

 

 

Father Jean Louis Ramanandraibe