The presence of our Institute in Africa began in December 1971 at Ambam in South Cameroon. This opening to the African continent was a response to the Superior General of PIME who was asking for a collaboration in the pastoral work that the PIME missionaries had been carrying out since 1968, along with Fidei Donum priests of the Diocese of Treviso (Italy).
The first sisters were Mother Clara Bellotti and Sr. Ernestina Ambrosini. Sr. Sandra Croci and Sr. Rosanna Palaz0zolo both of them arrived after a few months later.
In May 1972, we began our apostolic work with enthusiasm and hope at Ambam, one of the biggest missions of the young Diocese of Sangmelima.
From the beginning of our presence the situation of the first evangelization in North Cameroon could not leave us indifferent and with joy we accepted the invitation to start a presence in the North, at Bibemi, in the vast Diocese of Garoua.
Now we are 28 sisters coming from Italy, India, Brazil, Bangladesh, Guinea Bissau and Cameroon. Starting from 2001, our missionary family has been enriched by the presence of the first African sisters.
We are especially committed to the pastoral work and visits to the villages, health services, promotion of women and work with handicapped children. We run a hostel for young girls who come to study at Ambam.
We started our presence in Guinea Bissau in 1980.
Sr. Odete Christ and Sr. Francisca De Andrade from South Brazil, together with Sr. Renata Napolano and Sr. Maristella De Marchi from Italy were the pioneers.
In 2004, we began to accompany and form the local youths who considered themselves called to be a part of our congregation. At present, we have a local sister who already continues her formation in Cameroon.
The delegation of Guinea Bissau comprises of 11 sisters coming from Italy, Brazil and India. We carry out our missionary activity through the first proclamation and at the health service of women and children, especially twins. We work for the promotion of women and some sisters accompany the self-management state schools offering training and assistance to the local teachers.
Working together with the local Church for the evangelization and human promotion, we try to discover the seeds of the Word already present in the different cultures of the people of Guinea and we proclaim the values of the Gospel that speaks at the depth of the human heart, thus providing an essential contribution to the transformation and education of the mentality in favor of a culture of dialogue and peace.
In 2006, at the invitation of Msgr. Claude Rault, Bishop of the diocese of Laghouat-Ghardaia, the PIME began a new presence in Algeria at Touggourt.
Thanks to the witness of PIME of the necessity of a local Church in a context fully Muslim, we have also interrogated ourselves about this kind of presence. Following the visit of the Superior General, Sr. Theresa Pathickal to Algeria and the presentation of the project to the IX General Chapter by Msgr. Claude Rault, we welcomed in 2006, the proposal of this new missionary challenge as a gift and call to a new style of “being” a presence.
In April 2009, during the visit by the Superior General, Sr. Rosilla Velamparampil, the Archbishop of Algiers Mgr. Bader also invited us to his diocese. We responded to his invitation after an attentive discernment. On 29th September, 2009 Sr. Serena de Stefani left for Algeria.
The organism of Algeria is made up of three communities: Algiers (8/5/2012), Hassi Messaoud (18/10/2012), Mascara (23/11/2014).
In Algiers we are entrusted with the management of the diocesan house, in which the sisters welcome groups of the vast majority of Muslims, mainly young people who are interested in the humanitarian activities and open to a solidarity association. Various activities flourish around the house either social promotion or within the ecclesial community.
In the community of Hassi Messaoud, we started to visit the families and came to know that the parents were silently suffering who have handicapped children. We started to help them by by going to their houses and bringing the handicapped children to our house and setting up a hall for activities by being together with their families in their difficulties.
At Mascara we collaborate in the management of a centre for the promotion of women and youth, tailoring for the women, a small dispensary, yoga classes; We participate in the Charity project for nursery school teachers and we visit the sick persons.
We are totally engaged in a dialogue of life and works with people of different faith. We witness the possibility of a peaceful coexistence with Muslim people, offering a different outlook to the people and the Islamic world.
We want to deepen the spiritual dimension of our charism, in this context where the memory of Charles de Foucauld, the Tibhirine monk and other religious gave their lives.
The Church to which we belong and to which we serve is truly a small flock that tries to live the values of the kingdom and passes through moments of profound changes.
For our relationships with our Muslim brothers and sisters, we feel this presence in Algeria “as a gratuitous and meaningful response to the appeal of today’s mission ad gentes, in which we are called to witness the fraternity, in the immense religious world today” ( From the IX General Chapter, 2006).