Mass Offerings for the 70 priests in the diocese of Morondava


Having a Holy Mass celebrated for a particular intention is a long and venerable tradition. The offering, or “stipend”, given to the priest by the person concerned is in no sense a payment, but rather a gesture of love and gratitude as well as a form of financial support for the individual priest who in the words of Consecration in Holy Mass makes present the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the altar. For many priests in the poorest countries of the world, these Mass Offerings are in fact a crucial means of survival.


This is certainly the case in Madagascar, one of the poorest countries in the world. One of its dioceses situated in Morondava is materially poor, but rich in priests. In fact, over the last 10 years the number of priests in the diocese has more than tripled, from 20 to 70 resulting in the diocese being able to send some of its priests to another recently founded diocese in the country as well as to the island of Reunion, where the bishops were in need priests. Moreover, there are another 50 young men from the diocese of Morondava who are currently training for the priesthood.


This rapid growth in priests in the diocese is partly due to the fact that a number of religious congregations have been established there, but Bishop Marie Fabien Raharilamboniaina is also convinced that this boom in new vocations is also the fruit of prayer. He himself has written a special prayer for numerous and holy priestly vocations, the Catholic faithful and especially for the children who are also praying regularly for their priests.

Bishop Marie tells us, “We are convinced that prayer leads to new vocations. A vocation is the fruit of prayer, and therefore we are insisting in all our schools not only on speaking about God but also on the need to give the children themselves the opportunity to speak with God in prayer.”

Children in Madagascar.
The bishop wrote to ACN: “Thanks to the gift of Mass offerings, we were able to help priests working in the outback (see photo).”


The bishop is deeply committed to his priests in other ways too and in supporting them in living out their vocation. “I invite my priests to embrace the promise that Jesus himself has made and rely upon divine providence. As Saint Teresa of Avila once said, ‘Take care of God‘s work, and God will take care of yours.’ And I also tell my priests that the People of God will care for them.”


Each year he invites all the priests in his diocese to take part in spiritual exercises, ongoing formation sessions and a diocesan pilgrimage, and also regularly visits the parishes lending his support in every possible way.


The local Christians also help their priests as well as they are able.   But they also struggle with poverty and the priests need additional support in order to be able to continue their own spiritual formation and take part in retreat days and the like. And while the faithful themselves have little, the priests often do not even have the most basic means of subsistence; they don‘t have enough to eat, they need support for accommodation, they often have to travel on foot leaving  them often having  to turn to their bishop for help.


Fortunately, and thanks to the Mass Offerings given by the generous benefactors of ACN, Bishop Marie Raharilamboniaina is able to provide some material support for his priests.


“We thank God for the priests who bear witness to His love in our diocese of Morondava and we thank all our generous benefactors for their love for our priests,” the bishop writes. “Our priests see you as a sign of divine providence.”


We are supporting the 70 priests of the diocese of Morondava with Mass Offerings for a total of $30,000 – or in other words with roughly $427.50 per priest per year.


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