“PERLECTA petitione Prioris Vice Provincialis cum Consilio Provinciae die VI mensis Julii a.D. MMXVII admota, necnon re mature perpensa deque Consilii Generalitii consensu ad normam LCO 256, die XIII mensis Septembris a.D. MMXVII habito, FORMALITER ERIGIMUS NOVAM PROVINCIAM ORDINIS IN AFRICA OCCIDENTALI hisce clausulis: TITULUS: Provincia appellanda est PROVINCIA “S AUGUSTINI” IN AFRICA OCCIDENTALI… ”
It is by this decree signed on October 7, 2017, on the feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary that the Master of the Order of Preachers, Brother Bruno Cadoré, in accordance with LCO 256, formally erected the new Province of St Augustine in West Africa. Indeed, the Master of the Order has responded positively to the formal request of the Vice-Provincial Council of the Vice Province-Saint Augustine dated July 6, 2017, and accepted by the General Council in September 2017. Thus, the Province of St. Augustine in West Africa becomes the second Dominican province in Africa, after the province of Saint Joseph the Worker of Nigeria and Ghana.
The first Prior Provincial of the new province is Brother Benjamin Sombel SARR. Brothers Clément AHOUNDJINOU, Antoine Augustin MISSODE, Georges ALAHOU and Paul Dago N'DJEMEHISSA are diffinitors and councillors; Brothers Pierre-Paul MISSEHOUNGBE and Joachim SOME are the substitute provincial councillors. Brother Brice BINI is the socius of the provincial and the regent of studies. The first provincial chapter will take place in 2019 after the general chapter. A diffinitor must therefore be appointed to accompany the prior provincial to the next elective general chapter of 2019.
Located in the Francophone zone of West Africa, the entity that will later become the Province of Saint Augustine, was founded by the former province of Lyon, France. On its erection as a Province, the youngest province in the Order has 81 brothers, among whom 47 priests, 1 deacon, 30 brothers in initial formation and 3 Novices. The current Archbishop of Cotonou, in Benin Republic, His Grace Roger Houngbedji, OP, is also a son of the new province. The average age of the brothers is 42 years (2 brothers are over 80 years, 6 are between 60 and 70 years, about 10 are in their fifties, 5 are in their forties, about 60 are between 24 and 39 years).
The new province has four convents and two houses in four countries:
Senegal: Saint Dominic Convent of Dakar (founded in 1957, convent 1969-1980, reduced to a house then raised to a convent again since 2016), and a filial house in Saint Louis (2017)
Côte d'Ivoire: Saint Dominic Convent of Abidjan (house 1961, convent 1969), Convent of Saint Thomas Aquinas of Yamoussoukro (house 2004, convent 2015)
Benin Republic: Saint Dominic Convent of Cotonou (house 1973, convent 1992), which houses the novitiate
Burkina Faso: Saint Dominique house of Yamtenga, Ouagadougou (2012), and a future filial house (2018) in Doulougou as part of the university.
The Master of the Order will conduct the canonical visit of the new province - the second visit of his mandate, from January 29 to February 7, 2018.
The Inter-Africa (IAOP) congratulates our brothers of the new Province of St. Augustine in West Africa, assures them with its collaboration and our prayers.
Which would be the third province of the Order in Africa or the next Vice-Province?
fr. Gabriel Samba, op.
(11 October 2017)