We had the opportunity to contact with the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Madagascar, Mr. Ignatius, to inquire about his activities and thus to inform the Friends of the Orthodox Mission on this beautiful island of Africa in Madagascar.
The nostalgia of Orthodoxy
Madagascar is ecclesiastically under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa...
Patriarch Mr. Theodore, with a parental interest, monitors and in any way sympathizes with the blessed function of the Orthodox Mission, which is carried out with a lot of trouble and struggles by the venerable cleric, the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Madagascar, Mr. Ignatius.
The people of the area are quiet and peaceful. They follow religiously from the old time, various ancestral pagan religions and from Christianity, various Protestant Confessions and the Roman Catholicism. In recent years, they have shown a particular zeal for Orthodoxy.
Orthodox mission began, with the unforgettable missionary Archimandrite, father Nektarios Kellis (the first subsequent Bishop of Madagascar, Mr. Nektarios) and continued for four years now, with vigilant and systematic work by the intimate Bishop Ignatius (Sennis).
Today, the Orthodox are about 7500. Following the Sacrament of the Holy Baptism, they come to Orthodox Church. The pleasure is that the desire, the search for our Apostolic and Holy Fathers faith, is on the upside.
The indolence of intentions, the wealth of Orthodox Worship attract them.
Sacred Churches – Parish
After strenuous pursuits, with donations of the Mission Friends, the built churches, because there are and makeshift, amount to 58. Twenty five (25) native clergy (deacons - priests) have also been ordained. The clergies, the catechists with two lay members of the Church of Greece, offer much in Mission, help in the work of catechism and preparation of the newly - baptized.
In the area under the care of the Bishop, there is also a School of Ecclesiastics, in which the candidate clergies attend for two years.
Ecclesiastical - Spiritual guidance
"Verify them in faith ...".
With particular interest, the Bishop takes care of the spiritual guidance of believers and newcomers. Thus, the divine services, the study of the Holy Bible and the lives of the Saints, are carried out.
The translation work is carried out in various versions in the local language.
Charity - Social work
"In the training and instruction of the Lord". The Orthodox missionaries, imitating the work of the illuminated Cosmas of Aitolos who founded schools, cared for the education of young people. Breakfast services are available for 800 children ... Supply of food and clothing to cover basic needs once a week for 950 families.
Also operates in the area, medical house. Praiseworthy is the voluntary work of 8 doctors from Cyprus who during the summer months help significantly the work of mission. They are sent out with the blessings of the Metropolitan of Kition, Chrysostomou.
Another remarkable project is the home of the aged in the area of the Episcopate. The same building complex includes a library and a meeting room.
In Madagascar, with the grace of God, there is fertile ground for the development of the missionary work, but clerical and lay collaborators from Greece are needed. Well-meaning believers with experience of ecclesiastical life are "useful" in all kinds of ministry, the needs are many and imperative and every humble offering is transformed into a blessing.
Island of East Africa.
Population: 24,430,325 inhabitants (estimate 2016).
Religion: Various ancestral pagan religions 48%, Christians 45%, Muslims 7%