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Diocese of Antsiranana
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Confirmation candidates in Sirama
Photo No. : P060516-1
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Children at Sirama
Photo No. : P060516-2
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Children at the Mgr Keith Benzies Centre
Photo No. : P060516-3
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Bishop Confirms 150 in Diana Region
May 16, 2006

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] The three weeks following Easter have seen the three Parishes of Ambanja, Sirama and Ambilobe in the Diana Region celebrating confirmation services with 150 newly-confirmed children and adults partaking at the Lord's table.

The Parish of Ambilobe, where the late Bishop Keith Benzies planted a fertile mission, also added seven new evangelist-pastors – five men and two women – to its ministry team. The newly-renovated and extended St Michael’s Church in Ambilobe hosted 800 people during the Easter celebrations.

The Ven Alphege Rakotovao, the parish priest, was overjoyed with the double capacity of the new church, which now allows people to worship inside instead of outside the church. The American missionary, the Rev David Hamilton, who is attached to the Parish, is giving much effort to evangelisation in this Antakarana region.

The children's ministry has also grown with the empowerment of women, giving more attention to educating children in the church. Mgr Keith Benzies House, which the bishop was to use as his retirement dwelling, has now become the Anglican Mission Centre in the Antakarana Region. The house was left unused for some time, and had to be cleared of bats before it could be reoccupied.

A spiritual training centre will hopefully be established in the building in the near future. A rice mill has been donated to the Ambilobe parish and it promises to help fund more mission in the area and also giving work to women.