Religious Order’s Work Appreciated as Members Hold First Ever General Assembly in Africa

Orionists at the Opening Mass for their 5th General Assembly in Ivory Coast

The contribution of the Little Work of Divine Providence (Orionists) in the evangelization ministry has been acknowledged with appreciation as members of the international religious congregation with presence in eight African countries are holding their first ever General Assembly on the African soil.

“The work (by Orionists) is great because people everywhere are rushing to the hospital; the technical school has been set up for the professional training of our young people, and the sanctuary is a place of prayer for so many people from all over the Ivory Coast," the Vicar General of Grand Bassam Diocese in Ivory Coast, Fr. Jean Kouassi Bonzo said during the opening mass for the fifth General Assembly of the Orionists held last Sunday, October 13 at St. Peter Claver’s Parish, Bounua, south east of the country.

“We appreciate the quality of this work and we wanted, by our presence, to express our gratitude to the Orionist fathers,” Fr. Bonzo added, emphasizing the impact of the presence of the members of the religious institute also known by its founder and first leader, Italian-born St. Luigi Orione.

Guided by the phrase in the writings of their founder St. Luigi Orione “Only charity will save the world,” the Orionists focus on evangelization and promotion of the poor through charitable works.

In Ivory Coast, the Orionists are in the south in Bonoua and Anyama, and in the north in Korhogo where they run schools, youth vocational training centres as well as a centre for the disabled.


In the central part of Kenya, the congregation runs the Orione Community Training Centre (OCTC) that cares for cognitively challenged children.

Coming half-way through the term of the General Council, the Assembly is meant to take stock of the activities of the Congregation and identify areas that need improvement, the Congregation's Superior General, Fr. Tarcisio Vieira, has confirmed.

“The General Audit Assembly allows us, halfway through the 6-year mandate that the General Council receives from the General Chapter – to verify what has been done and what has not been done enough, so that we can plan ahead and catch up with them for the remaining 3 years," Fr. Vieira has been quoted as saying.

Media reports indicate that the Assembly, which has brought together delegates from 30 countries including “48 provincial delegates of priests, religious men and women, and lay people,” will verify three main aspects of the Congregation’s mission, that is, “formation, community life and the expansion of the charism of the congregation.”

For Fr. Vieira who was elected as the eighth successor of the order’s founder Don Luigi Orione in 2016, the “great (sic) challenge of the congregation in the world remains that of carrying the Gospel of charity everywhere, as Don Orione wanted it,” something that he attributes to lack of enough vocations.

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“We know that this is a great mission and we do not always have enough staff. So, the great challenge remains the vocational challenge, that is, finding people available to join us in carrying out this mission,” the 55-year-old Brazilian-born Fr. Vieira said.

The Assembly, which is the first ever to be held in Africa by the Congregation started on October 12 at Our Lady of Guard in Grand Bassam Diocese, Ivory Coast and is scheduled to end on Sunday October 20.

In Africa the Orionists first settled in Ivory Coast before spreading to Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique and Togo.