The recent opening ceremony of OMI Fathers' House in the Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, in Madagascar's second-largest city, Toamasina
© Aid to the Church in Need

In Toamasina the Oblate Missionaries are delighted with their new mission house, which was built thanks to the generosity of the benefactors of the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need who contributed of $45,000 towards this project. 

The Oblates of the Immaculate Virgin Mary have been in charge of the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, in Madagascar‘s second-largest city, Toamasina since 1988. The original church and parish house were built way back in 1924 and both buildings had long since suffered the ravages of time and the vicissitudes of the tropical weather. 

The missionaries have already renovated the parish church from their own resources, conscious that the rapidly growing community needed a more dignified place to worship God and celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. But the mission house, where the Fathers lived, was also urgently in need of a long-term solution. The roof had already been almost torn off by a cyclone and water was leaking in, causing the woodwork to rot. At the same time the building was altogether unsuited for its purpose since, apart from anything else, it was completely insecure and vulnerable to break-ins - something that represented a real danger, given the high number of assaults and robberies committed against priests and religious in recent years in Madagascar. In addition to this, there was very little space for parish meetings and other gatherings.

And so the Oblates decided to build a new mission house, a place that was better able to cope with the needs of the parish and which also offered a degree of security. This house has now been completed, thanks to the donation of ACN mentioned above. It has seven additional rooms which can be used as a proper parish centre. So the new mission house has benefited the entire parish. Both the missionaries and the Catholic faithful of the parish now want to express their heartfelt thanks to everyone who has helped for this.

The vital work of Catholic charities like Aid to the Church In Need provide a lifeline to the Church wherever she is poor, persecuted or threatened. Please help our work by donating online or send your donation to Aid to the Church in Need, PO Box 7246 Baulkham Hills NSW 2153. Ph: (02) 9679-1929 

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