Finally! They are four: an Italian Superior General, a Beninese Vicar General, an Indian and a Polish General Councilors. It is the new Leadership team that will ensure the unity of missionary activity of the Society of African Missions for the next six years. The composition of this team reflects the international nature of the SMA which brings together members, young and old, from around the world. All are united by their common response to the call of the Spirit, making the proclamation of the Good News to the poor, their ideal of life.

Yesterday, missionaries left the West to evangelize the distant lands of the southern hemisphere; today, the Churches of these mission lands have missionaries in their turn and participate, with the universal Church, in the challenges of the mission today. Fr. Antonio Porcellato, Superior General, made an important point in his message addressed to Pope Francis at the audience on May 17, delegates to the 21st General Assembly when he said: "For example, we must provide the necessary qualified personnel and sufficient financial resources to provide adequate training to the approximately 300 seminarians. In addition, as we renew the priority interest for Africa and people of African origin, we believe it is important to continue our presence in Europe and America with renewed missionary zeal. We would like to face these challenges with the hope that comes from the Gospel. "

In his response, the Holy Father encouraged the African Missions to go forward, to continue the work of the Lord in the footsteps of Bishop de Brésillac and Fr. Augustine Planque, faithful its charism of primary evangelization "Among the most remote rural populations, where the Christian community is still fragile, or even non-existent". This task, the new Superior General and his Council, will strive to fulfill with faith and hope.

Who are these new SMAs who will lead the Society for the next six years?
Originally from the diocese of Treviso in Italy, Fr. Antonio Porcellato was born on March 28, 1955. He joined the SMA in 1974. Ordained a priest in 1980, he was posted to Abidjan (Ivory Coast) where he obtained a degree in pastoral theology at the Catholic Institute of West Africa (ICAO). He was appointed parochial vicar at the parish of St. Paul in San Pedro until 1985. After 10 years in Italy as a vocations animator, formator and Provincial Councilor, he joined the team of fomators at the de Brésillac Center of the International Spiritual Year, in Abomey-Calavi (Benin) from 1995 to 1996. It was the beginning of a long sojourn in Africa that would lead him successively to the SMA house formation in Ibadan (Nigeria) as a spiritual director then Vice-Superior of the SMA African District-in-formation (ADF) in Lome (Togo) from 2001 to 2007. In 2007, Fr. Antonio was elected Vice-Superior of the SMA Italian Province. He was then in charge of missionary and vocational animation in the community of Feriole near Padua (Italy). On April 30, 2013, he was elected SMA Vicar General. Within the Council, he was involved in a reflection on the spiritual heritage of the family of African Missions, he collaborated with other institutes and missionary groups with the same SMA charismatic inspiration. The 2019 General Assembly has just made him the 16th Superior General of the Society of African Missions. He is the first Italian to assume this office, succeeding Fr. Facthna O'Driscoll, an Irishman.

Fr. François de Paul Hounguè is from Benin. He was born in Cotonou on the 2nd of April, 1971. He joined the Society of African Missions (SMA) in October 1994. On the 2nd of December, 2002, in Ibadan (Nigeria), he made his permanent commitment to in the SMA and was ordained priest on July 5, 2003 in Cotonou.As a priest, François de Paul worked for four years among the pygmy people of Bayaka de Bélemboké (Central African Republic) successively as parochial vicar in charge of the mission and then with the pygmy project in the diocese of Berberati. From 2007 to 2009, he studied and obtained a degree in dogmatic theology in Boston (United States). Back in the Central African Republic, he was appointed as the superior of the St. Peter Claver Center SMA formation house running the preparatory and philosophy programs of Bimbo in Bangui until 2011. His formation work took him to the Philippines where he was the superior of the house of Philosophy and Theology located in Manila. It was while he occupied this position that he was appointed Vice-Superior of the SMA Bight of Benin District-in-formation with its headquarters in Ibadan (Nigeria). Following the appointment of François Gnonhossou (SMA General Councilor) as bishop of Dassa-Zoumè (Benin), François de Paul was elected General Councilor by the Plenary Council held in Chaponost on 5th of June, 2015. Within the Council, he was in-charge of interreligious, inter-cultural and ecumenical dialogue, as well as Justice and Peace and Integrity of the Environment. The delegates to the 2019 General Assembly elected him SMA Vicar General.

Fr. Salem Irudaya Selvaraj Francis Rozario comes from the Diocese of Salem in India. He was born on the 13th of December, 1975. He joined the Society of African Missions in 1992. After his philosophical studies at Karumathur in India, he did the International Spiritual Year program in the Philipines from 1996 to 1997. He did his theological studies at Saint Coeur de Marie of Anyama Major Seminary (Ivory Coast), he took his final oath of membership to the SMA in 2002 before being ordained in 2003. He was then appointed to Nigeria where he worked in the diocese of Kontagora as parochial vicar at the parish of New Bussa (years?) 'Agwara. From 2006 to 2010, he studied and obtained a degree in Bible studies from the Pontifical Biblical Institute of Rome. He was appointed to the formation staff of SMA formation House in Ibadan and taught at Sts. Peter and Paul Major Seminary of Bodija (Nigeria). In 2013, he was elected SMA General Councilor where he undertook various responsibilities: formation, media, and was involved in raising awareness against human trafficking. He is also interested in the question of exorcism, seeking out how Christ, who rose at Easter, constitutes the paradigm of human liberation. He notably published two books on the History of SMA in Nigeria. Delegates to the 2019 General Assembly elected him General Councilor.

Fr. Krzysztof Pachut was born on the 24th July, 1978 in Limanowa (Poland). Ordained priest on the 12th of July 12, 2008, he was appointed to Central African Republic in the parish of Monassao. He was the Vice-Superior of the SMA District-in-formation of Poland, and in charge of the missionary and vocational animation from 2013 to 2016. He is currently on a sabbatical year. The General Assembly of 2019 elected him General Councilor.

The General Assembly begins the last week of its work devoted, according to the methodology of appreciative discernment, to the (Do it) stage of all subjects: mission, formation, spirituality and lifestyle, leadership, finances and structures.