A SHORT HISTORY
- Foundation of the Institute and Mission of the Brothers in Senegal
The Congregation of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, founded in Lyon by Father André Coindre in 1821, arrived in Senegal on 13 August 1958. This was possible thanks to the missionary spirit of our Canadian brothers, notably those of the Province of Granby. From the first years of their mission on Senegalese soil, our founders showed their concern about the next generation by opening a Postulate-Novitiate in 1963 at Nianing, several kilometers from Mbour on the road to Joal.
- Source of candidates
The Postulate-Novitiate welcomes candidates from the entities of West Africa (Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Guinea-Conakry), those of Central Africa (Chad and Cameroon), and those of Oceania (since November 2019). For a long time, our house of formation offered its hospitality to the Brothers of Saint Gabriel and the Missionary Brothers of Saint Joseph for the initial formation of their young men. That made it possible to experience many years of collaboration in inter-novitiate formation.
- Length of initial formation
Formation lasted two years in Nianing. After a more or less long period of postulancy, entry to the Novitiate occurred during a ceremony of taking the religious habit of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. Thus, nothing distinguished the novice from the brother in temporary or perpetual profession in what concerned the religious habit. At the end of two years of initiation and discernment, those who were accepted pronounced their first vows for one year, renewable six times before definitive commitment. The second phase of formation followed in Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire for a span of three years. It was the period of scholasticate, when the young professed completed their initial formation by studies in religious and pedagogical sciences at the African Lasallian Center recognized by CAMES (The African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education) in collaboration with the Catholic University of West Africa.
- The educational work of the Brothers in Senegal
Today, thanks to the intuition and prophetic spirit of our predecessors, the Brothers’ education and mission has found workers in the service of the Lord’s vineyard in Senegal and in the other entities cited above. Through the education provided within their institutions, the Brothers assure the transmission of religious, human, and intellectual values for the formation of “all people and every individual”. For us, to be Brothers of the Sacred Heart today “is to believe in God’s love, to live it, and to spread it; it is to contribute as religious educators to the evangelization of the world, particularly through the education of children and youth” (cf. art. 13, Rule of Life).
The educational work of the Brothers in Senegal has contributed to the formation of many Senegalese and African citizens. Many executives and leaders of the country, from all faith traditions, went through one or another of the Brothers’ educational institutions. We think of the alumni of Cours Sacré-Cœur in Dakar, Saint Michael’s College, Sacred Heart College in Ziguinchor, Pius XII College in Kaolack, and Cardinal Hyacinthe Thiandoum College in Dakar, to cite only those schools. This educational work contributed also to the formation and awakening of many priestly and religious vocations, thanks to collaboration with the dioceses and other congregations. The visible signs of this long experience of education are apparent nowadays whenever Senegalese Brothers celebrate their golden jubilees (four since 2015).
- The Formation Directors of the Novitiate from inception to our days
From the beginning in 1963, here is the list of the successive formation directors for the postulants and novices:
Brother Eudes COMPTOIS (Canadian) (1963-1967)
Brother Yves GLOUTNEZ (Canadian) (1967-1975
Brother Etienne COLY (Senegalese) (1975-1980)
Brother Théodore DIOUF (Senegalese) (1980-1985)
Brother Gabriel DIOUF (Senegalese) (1985-1991)
Brother Joseph Mbissine NDONG (Senegalese) (1991-1996)
Brother Dominique NGOM (Senegalese) (1996-2003)
Brother Paul Michel THIAKANE (Senegalese) (2003-2017
Brother Romuald Matar GUEYE (Senegalese) (2017-….)
Part of the Novitiate living environment
Formation on our origins and predecessors by Brother Jesús from Spain
A short visit of encouragement by the provincial of Senegal