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Diocese of Antsiranana
(Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean)
People of St. Michael's
Photo No. : P050727-3
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Extension at St. Michael's
Photo No. : P050727-4
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Mgr Benzies House
Photo No. : P050727-5
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Ambilobe women drawing water
Photo No. : P050727-6
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St. Michael's Project on Track
July 27, 2005

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] The project to extend St Michael's Church, Ambilobe, is progressing well.

"The masons have now reached the roof level," said Bishop Roger F.H. Chung Po Chuen. "By God's grace we will see the finished church ready for the September 4 ordination of four priests and four deacons during the dedication service."

The Rev Canon David Cohen of Australia, a former missionary in Mauritius, will be the guest preacher at the service.

His wife, Mrs Kathi Cohen, will lead a Mothers' Union seminar during the week.

The dedication service will be a major event in the life of the Diocese of Antsiranana. Ambilobe parish will serve fresh Zebu beef at the celebration - five bulls will be slaughtered.

Bishop Chung added: "People will be coming from the rain forest, for example from Antsavalinina village. The Rev Jean Modeste is from that exotic village, in accessible terrain in a vanilla-growing area, and his congregation will join him in a three-day walk."

The retirement home of the former bishop, Bishop Keith Benzies, has been transformed into the Regional Centre for the Diocesan Mission to the Antakarana people. The new American missionary, David Hamilton, will serve as Deacon under the Rector of St Michael's, the Ven Alphege Rakotovao.

"David has especially come to Madagascar to work with the Antakarana people," Bishop Chung said. "He felt God called him to this particular evangelism ministry to this unreached tribe in Madagascar."

The bishop thanked the diocese's supporters for their prayers and donations.