The Provincial Delegation in Burkina Faso
The Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw)
and the Province of St. Bernardine and St. Angelo in Italy (Abruzzo-Molise)
In response to “Duc in altum” [put out into the deep], the invitation that Pope John Paul II addressed to the Church and the world during the 2000 Jubilee, the Province of Abruzzo decided to open a Mission in Burkina Faso. This initiative was also in response to a request made by the Most Reverend Basile TAPSOBA, then Bishop of Koudougou, Burkina Faso.
After a period of discernment, the Provincial Chapter approved the plan in July of 2001. The first three friars left for Burkina Faso the following October. For various reasons, two of the original friars soon returned home and the Province sought help from other Jurisdictions. In September of 2002, the Province of Warsaw signed an agreement with the Province of Abruzzo to assume responsibilitỳ for the mission, relying on the collaboration of the Province of Abruzzo.
The Jurisdiction has eight solemnly professed friars; nine simply professed friars, two friaries and one filial house.
The village of Sabou in Burkina Faso lies within in the Diocese of Koudougou, about ninety kilometers [fifty-six miles] from the capital, Ouagadougou. A community of Friars Minor Conventual has lived there since 2001. The community has two main ministries: a parish apostolate and social service at the Saint Maximilien Kolbe medical center.
The parish encompasses a very large territory with about 180,000 inhabitants (40,000 Catholics and ten pastoral zones that may one day become new parishes), sixty villages and ten catechetical centers.
The Medical Center has become a beneficial reality where many sick people, especially children, have found relief and longed-for recovery. The hospital currently serves a population of 120,000.
The friary serves as an initial formation house (postulancy). The friars provide courses for the city’s youth, for example: learning English. They also carry out̀ pastoral activity in the area, do vocation promotion and work with the Militia of the Immaculata (M.I.).
Franciscan Missionary Center
General Secretariat for Mission Animation