January 23, 1999

What's New

Several documents were posted this week to the Letters & Documents Section. Unless otherwise noted they are availabe in English, French and Italian. They can be accessed directly from this news page:

Decree of Establishment: New Structures

General Conference 16-26 May 2000 (also availabe in Portuguese)

Information on Fr. General's visit to South Africa

Information on Fr. General's visit to Mozambique

One of the new sections planned for this year has been added: Who are the SCJs? This is available in all five languages. It also offers links to those provinces who currently have an active web site. Along with the new section the site has changed its format and added a new letter of introduction.

Zolie Mpbabanie (CU) wrote noting an error in his Paris email address. Please make note of the corrected address which is:

What's Happening

Preparation to Final Vows
Latiin America SCJ Final Vow Group, Curitiba, Brazil

12 SCJs from Latin America are preparing for final vows in Curitiba, Brazil (RBM) in a month long program running from 4 January to 11 February.

Eight of them are from BM: José Paulo Kohlbeck, Sildo César da Costa, Sérgio Luís da Costa, Nilo da Silva Stein, Valério Eller, Joselito Siqueira de Araújo, Pedro José Nogueira and Kleber Ferreira de Oliveira; one is from BS: Valdeijânio de Souza Melo; one from Chile: Mario Emilio Rodriguez Castillo and two come from Venezuela: Emidio José Godoy Infante and Carlos Enrique Caamaño Martín.

The themes being studied are:

  • Review of personal vocation experience
  • Life and work of Fr. Dehon
  • Union with Christ
  • Life of love, oblation, reparation
  • Prophets of love and ministers of reconciliation
  • Eucharist
  • Fr. Dehon and the missions
  • Fr. Dehon and social commitment
  • Documents: Fraternal life in Community, Vita Consecrata
  • Vows; religious life in Latin America.
The course on The Social Doctrine of the Church began on January 11, 1999, at the SCJ Institute of Theology, owned and operated by the South Brazilian SCJ Province, in Taubaté, Brazil. There are 42 participants in this year's course: 6 priests (4 of them scjs), 6 scj scholastics, 9 religious women, 13 laywomen and 7 laymen. Among the participants are two scjs priests from Spain, a sister from Italy and another from Burundi presently working in Brazil.

Fr. Carlos Alberto da Costa Silva, a member of the general administration, offered an Introduction to Social Doctrine. The program will conclude on January 29, 1999.

In Memory of Frater Philippe Rakotomarolahy, scj (LU)

The following photo and obituray was sent by the SCJ Madagascar Community for use on our web site.
Frater Philippe Rakotomarolahy, scj 

He was born in Ambatofinandrahana (FIANARANTSOA) on September 9,1964. 

The son of Philippe Rakotozafy and Marie Madeleine Ramavo (both still living). 

He had 5 brothers of whom he was the youngest. He did all of his primary studies in the public schools of his village (EPP CEG COLLEGE). According to the testimony of one of his brothers, it was contact with the Sisters of Jeanne Delanoue who encouraged him in his religious vocation. 


05 Oct. 1989: Entered the minor seminary of Kianjasoa - Fianarantsoa. He graduated from there in 1991. 

1991-1992: Pre-postulant at the House S.Coeur de Tananarive 
1992-1994: Postulatancy and Novitiate at Ndoungué - Cameron 

August 12, 1994: First profession 

1994-1997: Philosophy at the Grand Seminar d' Ambatoroka 

1997-1998: Training course (regency) at Our-Lady of Fatima-Fianarantsoa 

Oct.-Nov. 98: 1st Year of Theology at the Catholic Institute of Madagascar (Ambatoroka) 

02.01.1999: Frater Philippe dies at 10:00 PM at Gerad and Roubic hospital in Tananarive 

In November Fr.Philippe became weak. The doctor thought it was stomach problems but treatment did not improve his condition. A thorough analysis revealed very advanced tuberculosis. He begin aggressive therapy. On Christmas Day, as a side effect of the treatment, Fr. Philippe developed epilepsy. There began moments of clearness, epilepsy, comas and great difficulty in speaking. On January 2nd, the day of his death, Fr.Philippe was at times lucid and was conscious of the gravity of his situation. He offered his life for the perseverance of his classmates. 


1. Philippe was someone who was always smiling. He had a gift for hospitality. He listened well and shared his life with others.. Children had a special place in his heart. He was well known by the children of Ndoungué, Ambohipo and our parish of Ambohimirary. He said to one of our Fathers that he always wanted to share his joy with his brothers in community. 

2. A young confident religious. At the novitiate he was responsible for the dairy herd. He was good at it, thanks to help from Father Mateus (assistant novice master at that time). All the members of the novitiate community were pleased with his work. One of the Fathers there said: "He was always merry. And in his work he tried to give good example to the young candidates of the congregation, I never heard him say that he was tired. Although it really showed." He put his practical talents at the service of others in the theater and in influencing the young students of Ankatso Antananarivo and the candidates at Ankazobe - Fianarantsoa. 

3. A young religious open to dialogue: In a spirit of dialogue he was very willing to listen but also willing to stand up for what he believed. Thanks to this spirit his companions would often consult him when some difficulty arouse in the community . His spiritual director said: " Philippe? A young religious in sincere search for the divine will that he wished to put into practice ". 

4. A young patient religious: "Do whatever he tells you " (Jn 2,5) sums up his life. To us he seemed to accept his illness as God's will. Philippe accepted graciously the sufferings caused by his diseases. Last year he underwent a surgical operation because of an infected wound. He accepted all the treatments patiently. When asked about his health, he would answer "I do not know!." The young Malgaches scjs will always remember his wish to: "Offer my life for the sanctification of our priests. I carry my sufferings for the life of our scj congregation in Madagascar." 

For our part let us pray for the repose of this soul as he has prayed for us.
( From Fr. Pasquale Marinucci (IM),
superior of the SCJ Madagascar Community