“He who ventures nothing for God will achieve nothing great for him either.” Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673 – 1716) ventured a great deal, and today
Montfortian Brothers, inspired by his spirit, are achieving great things too. They are not performing miracles, and yet in their actions and prayers they bear witness to
the beauty of the consecrated life, which they have chosen for the love of God. The Brothers of Christian Instruction of Saint Gabriel devote themselves to the education of children and young people. “Education is our special charism”, says Brother Mathai Moolakara, who heads their monastery in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. They run schools and organise retreats. Faithful to Church teaching, they fulfil their mission with perseverance and prayer. And they are attracting new vocations. When they began in Morogoro in 2009, they had just three novices.
Now they have 23 from seven different countries. Worldwide, this congregation of pontifical right now has 1,300 members in 33 countries. Like Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, they pray the Rosary daily. Pope Saint John Paul II himself referred to Louis de Montfort as his “reference point in life, who gave me light in all the decisive moments of my life”; and took his papal motto, “Totus Tuus” (“All yours [O Mary]”) from Saint Louis. Saint Louis described his congregation as a “family of divine providence”. And the brothers in Dar es Salaam display this same trust in Divine Providence.
They beg alms and give to the poor, they work in the fields and share the fruits of their labour with needy families, they pray with young people and go into villages to visit the sick and elderly. In short, they bear witness to God’s loving mercy. For years they lived by the fruit of their own labour, but with growing numbers of brothers the land does not yield enough, and costs are rising. Yet they still want to continue teaching the young, and they would like more brothers to join their mission, but these would need a solid training. They are asking us for €4,600 for their novices. Once again they are trusting in Divine Providence. Not that they have not put their hand to the plough themselves. In the coming years they are planning to become self sufficient by cultivating more land and growing more bananas, maize and vegetables. And they also plan to develop their present chicken coop into a farm, with rabbits, 10 cows and 20 pigs, hoping to be able to live from the income generated by this livestock rearing. But first they need help for the next two years. They have a bold vision for God and the mission – and we can help them with our prayers and whatever we can give.