50 years as a missionary in Senegal
The Golden Jubilee of Bro. Michel MANCEAU was celebrated in Mortagne sur Sevre on September 6, 2015. He celebrated 50 years as a missionary in Senegal. He writes:
“I was sent to Senegal for a year by the French military cooperation. I was not a missionary in the sense that a priest, a religious, left for a mission to evangelize people in Africa for a long time and sometimes never to return.
In 1964, the French military cooperation in Africa proposed to go to the former colonies to teach in institutions which were understaffed. My Superiors sent me with other young Brothers to Africa for a year. When the time of military service was completed, I returned to Fatick, Senegal, with the consent of my Provincial Superior. I taught for 13 years at Fatick, a small college that had only a hundred students.
After a year of spiritual renewal in Rome and France, I left for Dakar, to Saint-Pierre Secondary School, where I spent 15 years as a teacher and then as the Director of the school. The school, then, had 18 Primary classes with 900 students and 10 secondary classes with 500 students. The staff, teaching and non-teaching, was almost entirely Senegalese. The school is open from 8 a.m to 22 p.m. First, the children and students attend classes daily, then from 6 p.m, young adult workers attend evening classes and at the end, from 8 p.m to 10 p.m, adults come for the catechism to prepare for baptism.
In 1993, the Provincial Superior of Senegal asked me to go the Juniorate at Thies that had 30 juniors, to form these young aspirants to religious life. It was for me a new mission and a more delicate one. In addition to the smooth running of the Juniorate, this mission compelled me to be attentive to each person, accompanying them in their spiritual journey.
Since 2000, I am on retirement. I take care of a small printing press. With the help of teachers, we produce schoolbooks for students from kindergarten to 10th standard, ensuring that prices of the books remain within the reach of all. Our printing also caters to printing of the documents for the Catholic missions.”
(Provincial News Letter, France, No. 173)