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Society of African Missions

About Us

SMA is a worldwide organization of Catholic missionaries. We are priests, brothers, and lay men and women. Our more than 1,000 missionaries hail from five continents and joyfully witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
throughout Africa, and to people of African descent wherever they are.

More Details

The Society of African Missions (SMA) is a worldwide organization of Catholic missionaries, including priests, brothers, and laypeople. Founded in 1856, the SMA focuses on evangelizing and serving the people of Africa and those of African descent globally. The American Province, established in 1941, is headquartered in Tenafly, New Jersey, and operates missions in the Archdioceses of Newark, Boston, and Washington, D.C., as well as in seventeen African countries. Their work encompasses pastoral care, education, healthcare, and social justice initiatives. They emphasize community living, prayer, and service, offering vocational opportunities for those discerning a missionary calling.

Ministry Work and Mission
The SMA Fathers are engaged in various ministries aimed at spreading the Gospel and improving the lives of those they serve. They provide pastoral care, education, and healthcare services, focusing on holistic development and addressing both spiritual and material needs. Their mission is inspired by the Gospel values of love, compassion, and justice, aiming to uplift and empower individuals and communities.

Vocation and Life as an SMA Missionary
Discerning a vocation with the SMA involves a comprehensive formation process, including initial inquiry, vocational retreats, postulancy, novitiate, and temporary vows. This journey helps candidates understand the charism of the Society, deepen their relationship with God, and prepare for a life dedicated to prayer, community living, and service. The formation emphasizes spiritual growth, theological education, and practical experience in various ministries.

Spirituality and Community
The spirituality of the SMA Fathers is deeply rooted in the Catholic tradition and the charism of their founders. It emphasizes unity, reconciliation, and the love of God. Living in community, the missionaries share their lives, prayers, and mission in a supportive environment. This communal life fosters spiritual growth and provides a strong foundation for their ministries. Daily prayer, the Eucharist, and community activities are integral to their way of life, supporting their commitment to their mission.

Impact and Outreach
The SMA Fathers have a significant impact through their educational, healthcare, and social justice initiatives. They provide quality education, advocate for social justice, and support marginalized communities. Their work aims to empower individuals and transform society through faith, compassion, and service. By addressing both spiritual and material needs, the missionaries foster hope and promote justice. They are involved in advocacy and direct action, seeking to create systemic change and improve the lives of those they serve.

Engaging with the SMA Fathers
For those interested in exploring a vocation with the SMA, the Society offers various opportunities for engagement and discernment. These include vocational retreats, personal conversations with vocation directors, and live-in experiences. These opportunities help individuals understand the missionaries' way of life and discern their path to service within the community.

The SMA Fathers’ commitment to education, healthcare, social justice, and pastoral care reflects their dedication to living out the Gospel and fostering a more just and compassionate world. Their work continues to inspire and uplift individuals and communities, rooted in a deep sense of faith and service. Their ongoing efforts demonstrate a profound commitment to creating a better world centered on the values of love, justice, and service.

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Society of African Missions





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