Our Society was founded in Algeria in 1868 by the Archbishop of Algiers, Monsignor Charles Lavigerie, and given to the protection of Our Lady of Africa. We are a missionary community of priests and brothers, also known as ‘the White Fathers’, working for the evangelization of Africa. Some of us live and work in Muslim countries, serving people who have a different faith, and trying to build bridges across our common humanity.
From the very beginning, the Society accepted men from a variety of countries and sent them to live throughout Africa; to learn the local cultures and languages; to serve the people and to bring them the Good News of the Gospel. Ten years after our Society’s foundation, Monsignor Lavigerie sent his missionaries to the Middle East, to the church of Saint Anne in Jerusalem. The missionaries were tasked with the formation of young men for the Greek Melkite priesthood and dialogue with the different Oriental Churches present in the Holy Land.
Today, the community of White Fathers in Jerusalem numbers more than two dozen men from around the world, including seminarians preparing for priesthood and missionary life in Africa. We serve pilgrims and tourists visiting the Basilica of Saint Anne and the historic Bethesda Pools, host renewal retreats for priests and religious from Africa, and are involved in the life of the Church in the Holy Land.
More information about the Missionaries of Africa: https://mafrome.org/home/
Our library contains many books on Biblical archaeology, on the Oriental Churches, and on Islam and the Middle East. Scholars may request permission to visit, and our catalogue can be viewed here: https://catalogue-sainteannejerusalem-koha.biblibre.com/cgi-bin/koha/opac-main.pl