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The first Marist Brother from the Antambahoaka tribe

26/01/2007: Madagascar - Photo gallery

The most important event at the end of 2006 for the Marist Province of Madagascar was the profession of perpetual vows by Brother Alphonse Tiamaro, originally from the town of Mananjary, a port on the east coast of Madagascar where the Malagasy people from the Antambahoaka tribe live. It was in this town that Bishop Tabao, the second bishop of Mananjary, was born, a great composer of hymns and popular songs that the people sang during their trips and on the town buses.

Despite the remoteness of these Marist centres, which are found on the High Plateaux, and the poor state of the roads, the ceremony took place with joy and enthusiasm, presided over by the bishop. All the young Church of Mananjary filled the cathedral: the crowd, the religious sisters, the brothers, friends, many priests and the bishop. It was a beautiful testimony for this Church that is still forming, of a person giving himself totally to God and thus revealing to the people of his tribe where the love of God can lead you. In the liturgy, the bishop took care to respect the ways and customs of the Antambahoaka and you could feel with the faithful a particular fervour because it was one of theirs who was giving himself definitively to God. The most intense moment was without doubt when the parents blessed their son; it was an emotional time for all, for the brothers, the faithful and still more for Alphonse whose consecration to the Lord was blessed by his parents. In fact the whole family and all the Church committed themselves in this new alliance with God.

At the end of Mass, all those present were invited to an abundant but simple meal, also respecting local customs and colours. Four people were invited to cut the cake: His Lordship the Bishop, the Brother Provincial, a religious, Sister Veronica and the godmother of Brother Alphonse with Alphonse himself. The young brothers enjoyed animating the songs and dances during the afternoon.

It was an important event for the Church and this diocese that is still growing and also for us Marists, because Brother Alphonse is the first Marist Brother from this tribe. We also wish abundant graces on Brother Alphonse and his family and also on the young Church of Mananjary and the Marist Province of Madagascar.

Brother Jean Juste Rakotondrazafy

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