Wednesday, February 23, 2011

AFRICA: BENIN: ARCHBISHOP ENTRUSTS SANCTUARY TO FRIARS

Agenzia Fides REPORT – With a solemn Mass on Sunday, 13 February, Bishop Antoine Ganye, new Archbishop of Cotonou, entrusted the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Mercy in Allada to the pastoral care of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Conception.
The Marian Centre in Allada, created in the diocesan Marian Shrine on 1 October 1997 by Archbishop Isidore de Souza, under the direction of Fr Alfonso Maria Bruno, lasted a decade, achieved exponential growth prior to the opening of the beautiful church with a bell tower, which occurred on 15 April 2007.
The then Archbishop Marcel Agboton, later reorganised the Sanctuary, where a community of priests and missionary men and women religious were living. He appointed a pastoral minister from the diocesan clergy of Cotonou. After an experiment lasting more than three years, Bishop Ganye wanted to return to the old form, entering into a canonical convention with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Conception. The religious institute also will celebrate his twenty-year presence in Benin on 13 December.
The Superior of the community of Allada, Father Michele Michele Iorio, was appointed rector of the Sanctuary. This gesture has been welcomed as a sign of ecclesial communion and effective cooperation between the diocese and the religious, as the Apostolic Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Benin, planned for November approaches.

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