Some of the Projects supported by AIM
Secretariat of the AIM
The Congregation of Benedictine Nuns of the Eucharistic King (Philippines)
In speaking of this Congregation we are pleased to give some news from Sr Mary Placid who has long been at the Secretariate of AIM at Vanves. Sister Mary Placid has in fact become president of this body recently organised into a Congregation of nuns.
In 1929, with the support of Bishop Santiago Sancho, Mother Edeltraud Danner, from the Congregation of the Benedictine Missionary Sisters of Tutzing (Germany), opened a house in the Philippines with the special purpose of bringing together two forms of life: contemplative nuns observing the enclosure and sisters carrying out charitable activities. In 1986, by decree of Rome, the active sisters became autonomous. The nuns became the Benedictine Nuns of the Eucharistic King (BNEK), whose Congregation was approved in 2021 and comprises about 100 sisters.
The Congregation includes three abbeys: Vigan, Cogon, San Rafael. In 2020, at the request of the Bishop of the Diocese of Tagum, the Cogon community sent seven sisters to found a monastery there.
The young Congregation held its General Chapter in the monastery of San Rafael (Calapan) from 25 to 30 September 2022, with 16 participants. The president, who visited Vanves at the end of 2022, is in good health and has taken on her responsibility with all the qualities which we know so well.
The Institute for Monastic Theology of the Association BECAN (Nigeria)
The Association BECAN (Benedictine and Cistercian Association of Nigeria) is a forum for continuing dialogue on the way of life for Benedictine and Cistercian monks and nuns in Nigeria, The Association has created a formation course for monks and nuns open to all the monasteries of English-speaking Africa, occurring during two continuous months in two years.
It was originally affiliated to the private university Madonna, run by the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit. The students were lodged at the Pilgrimage Centre Elele, run by the same missionaries, but it seemed opportune to find another location to help conserve monastic life during the course. A search for affiliation to an African Catholic Institute to deliver the courses and diplomas is under way. The association has decided to establish a place for formation in the guesthouse of the monastery of Ewu-Ishan.
The first formation session took place in August and September 2022 and was attended by 20 students. All the teachers are members of the association.
The Inter-Congregational Theological Studium (STIC)
Monastery of Mvanda (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
The monastery of Mvanda is organising the Inter-Congregational Theological Studium for members of Benedictine and Cistercian communities who have finished their noviciate. The studium is open also to other religious and to associated laity who wish to deepen their faith and knowledge.
The course is spread over three years and functions in three ten-day sessions per year. It concludes with an examination-session for regular students. The theme of the course is anthropology, fundamental theology, fundamental moral theology, canon law, patrology, Christian revelation and African traditions.
For the year 2022-2023 the sessions are programmed for November (philosophy), January 2023 (introduction to St Augustine), April 2023 (New Testament).
Benedictine-Cistercian Union of Mexico (UBCM)
The Benedictine-Cistercian Union of Mexico (UBCM) is composed of all the 13 Benedictine and Cistercian communities, masculine and feminine, canonically established in the national territory of Mexico, and is based on the principle of communion, solidarity and mutual service between the communities involved. It is therefore an organism of collaboration to promote the Benedictine life, help in the building-up of the Church, but also collaborate in the integral development of the Mexican people.
As a result of Covid, the formation-sessions proposed annually for the association were suspended for three years. Now that the restrictions have been lifted a session of five days occurred in July 2022.
Benedictine Sisters of Twasana (South Africa)
At the request of Mgr Thomas Spreiter OSB, Vicar Apostolic of Eshowe, the Benedictine Missionary Sisters of Tutzing began to recruit local candidates with a view to establishing a community of sisters under the Rule of St Benedict. The first candidates were accepted on the 29th December, 1929. Sister Victorine Mandl, a Tutzing Sister, was charged with the formation of the candidates.
The Roman Congregation Propaganda Fide officially recognised the Benedictine community of African sisters, newly founded, in its rescript of 5th December 1933, which included an authorisation to open a noviciate. On 3rd January 1985 the sisters elected their first superior from their own members, Sr Johanna Ntuli.
The Motherhouse, Twasana, is 80km from Vryheid (Kwa-Zulu Natal). Beside it stand a secondary school and a boarding-house for girls, run by the sisters. The sisters have six other missionary houses. Many of the sisters have apostolates in the parishes and schools. They have a farm which caters for their needs but also helps the local population by offering them work or food at lower prices.
The formation-house built in 1999 threatens to collapse. The walls are fissured and the foundations are moving. The sisters have left the house for fear that it might collapse during a storm, very frequent in the summer. The young who are in formation are lodged in a building already occupied by other sisters, and there is not enough space for the two groups. The architects reckon that the house could be put on a solid basis by a framework and some other works.
Benedictine monks of Makkiyad (Kerala, India)
The Benedictine monastery of St Joseph at Makkiyad in the north of Kerala was founded in 1962 by five Indian monks who decided to leave Sri Lanka to establish a monastery in India. It belongs to the Sylvestrine Congregation. The Priory of Makkiyad has founded six monasteries Vanashram (Karnataka), Iritty (Kerala), Shivpuri (Madya Pradesh), Teok (Assam), Navajeevan (Andhra Pradesh) and Kizhakkumbhagan (Kerala) in 2022. The community consists of fifty-seven brothers, of whom eighteen are simply professed.
The community is in charge of certain number of educational activities in the school of the Holy Face and the St Joseph Institute of philosophy. The community also runs a retreat-centre frequented by thousands of people each year. The St Joseph Institute of philosophy has been affiliated to the Atheneum of Sant’Anselmo in Rome. At the present time it includes fifty students, young Benedictine monks, but also students of different dioceses and Congregations of the Latin, Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankar rites destined for the priesthood. This offers them the opportunity of apprenticeship in different fields, thanks to exposition, pastoral ministry and other parascholastic and extra-scholastic activities.
The growing number of students makes it essential to enlarge the library. The current space cannot be enlarged, so that it is essential to move the library to another place. The old library will be converted into small rooms for individual retreatants. The walls and roof have already been re-made. It still remains to fit out the interior, paint, electricity, sanitation, air-conditioning, etc.
We thank all those who support financially our work with communities. You can make a gift by cheque or by bank transfer.