The Mahanoro catholic Mission

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Misje MahanoroMahanoro is located 250 kilometres south Toamasina. The first try to introduce Gospel there took place during the 19th Century. During the 1st World War, many Batsimisaraka were sent to fight with French troops. When they came back, they requested that missionaries live in their communities. In 1921, the Jesuit priest PLANVETIN lived in Mahanoro and started to build a church, Notre Dame de l’Assomption that he finished in 1928.


Misje Mahanoro 13The Lord De SAUNE Bishop of Antananarivo has sent the Norbertana fathers to the District of Mahanoro and Vatomandry. They worked there until the Monfortana came to replace them in 1933. Between 1930 and 1933 Father Vincent de Paul COTTE Norbertana, who lived in Vatomandry has often visited Mahanoro.

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The Monfortana priests working in the south decreased in number. For 10 years, there was only on priest working in Mahanoro: father J. GUEGNARD. They finally left in 1985. During a journey in Mahanoro in 1980, the oblates though that caring for the Mahanoro Mission would make the cooperation with Marolambo and Ambinanindrano easier.        


In October 1985, the oblates arrived in Mahanoro and father Marian LIS took charge of the Mission. In 1986, Masomeloka became part of the constituencies where they preached the Gospel, the Masomeloka Mission having had no priest since 1974 and having depended on the Mahanoro Mission. Father Jan SADOWSKI then volunteered to visit Masomeloka. The same year, the oblate community settled in Mahanoro. The priests and brothers who succeded one another there were : Fr. Helmut NIESPOREK, Fr. Henryk MARCINIAK, Fr. Jozef NIESYTO, Fr. Wladyslaw WASILUK, Fr. Krzysztof PABIAN, Fr. Marek MODRZEWSKI, Fr. Franciszek CHRÓSZCZ, Fr. Klaudiusz HERMAŃSKI, Fr. Piotr WISNIEWSKI, Fr. Bruno AFADAHY, Fr. Stanislaw KAZEK, Fr. Michel NIVONJAKA, Br. Zygmunt WOLNIAK et Vr. Boguslaw GUZIK.

Misje Mahanoro 09The Filles de la Sagesse sisters have always been present in everything concerning the Mahanoro Mission given that they have always lived there since 1934. They are godchildren of Saint Louis DE MONFORT and have always accompanied the Monfortana priests.

They created a school “Notre Dame de la Paix”, a menagerie school for older girls and a boarding school for the girls living far from their families. Notre Dame de la Paix is the only existing catholic school in the south part of the diocese. The girls’ school has been closed and the sisters are presently running a primary and secondary school.


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The sisters also do pastoral work: catechism, Christian movements, and animation in remote villages… they work with the oblates and so far the cooperation has been the most satisfactory.

The Monfortana fathers have set up a development centre in Marotsiry, 21 kilometres away south Mahanoro. The boys are taught wood and metal works and farming techniques whereas the girls are taught sewing and menagerie. The Filles de la Sagesse sisters have contributed to the work of the Monfortana fathers and have even built a welfare centre there. After the departure of the Monfortana fathers, Oblates came in 1991, then Fr. Stanislaw OLLER came and worked there assisted by the oblates of Mahanoro.


For the oblates, training catechists in the surrounding suburbs remains a priority. As soon as they settled in Mahanoro, they sent families for a year formation at the Centre de Developpement (development centre) in Antsiramandroso. Then, the already serving catechists followed a month formation at the Ecole Catéchétique in Ambohibary Ambositra. Church Associations such as FET for children and FTMTK for young have been set up for young people in addition to the MDMK for parents. The oblates assisted by the sisters and the laics also care for imprisoned people in Mahanoro.


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At present, the mission is divided into 4 regions:

Mahanoro, Tsaravinany, Manjakandriana et Mangoro.

In all there are 114 churchese.


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The oblates’ life is based on spiritual charisma meaning they live in apostolic community: life community, common prayers, mutual supports for a better preach of the Gospel.