Since 2011, fulfilling the request of the General Chapter of 2006, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart are ruling a missionary mission in the center of Mozambique, in the town of Amatongas.
This missionary work, supported by the General Council, is currently conformed by four brothers: Br. Lucas, a Canadian from the Province of Brazil, is the headmaster of the high school; Br. Marcio, Brazilian, is responsible for the children’s home (boarding school); Br. Chris, American, is responsible for the administrative management; Br. Kit, from Zimbabwe, coordinates the farm.
This Mission is located in the premises of an old Franciscan mission, closed after the civil war that took place between 1975 and 1992. As a result of the different occupations that the buildings went through in this period, they became ruined.
At the end of 20th century, the country returned to the Church its properties, and so the premises of the old Franciscan mission, which returned to the Diocese of Chimoio. The bishop, Don Francisco, started seeking a Congregation to create an educational work there. This is when the Brothers of the Sacred Heart showed up!
Since their arrival, the brothers have tried to create an educational and promotion structure for the population of the area. The district of Manica, to which Amatongas belongs, has a population of about 200,000 inhabitants, and the town of Amatongas about 6,000.
The following works are developed currently in the mission:
- Parish Church: Presided by the diocesan clergy, it is the center of the ecclesial life. In addition to the Sunday Mass, it is also the center of catechesis and numerous ecclesial meetings.
- Amatongas High School: Directed by the Brothers. The continuation of the Primary School that is in the town. It educates students from 7th to 12th grade. About 1,200 students study there in the morning and the afternoon. It is evolving from being a community school to a private school, because of the extreme politicization of the teachers that prevents giving a Sacred Heart identity to the school.
- Hogar San Quisito: It is a boarding school where 180 students live. Of these, 60 are orphans who can now access to quality education. At the beginning of this term, a separate section in which 20 girls reside has been inaugurated.
We have a subsistence economy, so the mission has to produce everything necessary to survive. For this reason, we have:
- Fields (machambas) for the corn, basis of the daily diet of the inmates, as well as tomatoes, beans, etc.
- A pig farm, whose meat is a protein nutritional supplement. Ours is one of the few boarding school in which some meat, chicken and pork, is offered to the residents.
- A cow farm for the production of milk that is sold in order to gain monetary resources.
- A bakery for the production of wheat flour, consumed in the Mission.
- A convenience store where basic products are sold to both inmates and the population of the area.
- A mill, both for the food of residents and the population of the area.
- Several wells and deposits, that allow the Mission to have water as long as we have electricity. The population of the area does not have this privilege –they have to use community wells with manual pumps.
This amazing and challenging missionary work is a gesture of prophetic solidarity of the Institute and of every Province supporting our work. It also intends to strengthen the missionary spirit of solidarity among the youth from different parts of the world. Soon we’ll be posting some testimonies of young volunteers from Spain!