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Diocese of Antsiranana
(Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean)
The New St. Laurent School
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A plaque at Matsabory Leidama
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Blessing the rice mill
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The Rev Octave Sola leads singing.
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Big Events Mark Growing Mission in Diocese
October 18, 2006

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] The Diocese of Antsiranana recently held five major events, ranging from the dedication of a new school to the laying of a foundation for a new church on land donated by the Muslim community.

The events took place during a visit in which the diocese welcomed Mrs Marjorie Pye and Anne Middleton from the UK. Mrs Pye was a long-time friend of the late Rt Rev Keith Benzies, former bishop of Antsiranana.

The events were:

** A confirmation service presided over by Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza in Bemaneviky Church, during which the dedication of the New St Laurent School took place. The Rev Thophile Botomazava, a former teacher will administer the school. He will also run the Alpha Course in the parish.

This was indeed an ecumenical occasion ? the Roman Catholic priest, Father Emile, came to rescue Bishop Roger Chung and his team, who had been caught in a slimy mud road in the middle of the night after heavy rains in the Malagasy rain forest.

** The ground donated by the Muslim community to the Anglican Church was ready for the laying of the foundations of the new St Alban?s Church, Matsabory Leidama, in the suburb of Ambilobe in Antakarana town. Deaconess Evangelist Pastor Vitasoa Rolline took a major role in the setting up of this mission in the Antakarana region. The Church will also be used as a kindergarten school when built.

** The Rice Mill project initiated by CNEC Australia, with its new director, Mrs Kim van den Hengel (whose predecessor, the Canon David Cohen visited Antsiranana Diocese), has now been set up in the Parish of Daraina.

This project provides work to a few women and also helps the self-reliance initiative by the local church community. The Church is part and parcel of an ongoing society and the proactive activities of empowerment draw the diocese closer to the Millennium goals objective. The Rev Octave Sola runs the rice mill as the project helps the diocese reach new levels of fighting poverty.

** The new Bishop Keith Benzies Memorial Chapel is still to be completed but the diocese had a dedication service as the diocese remembered the extraordinary witness of the episcopacy of Bishop Benzies. The chapel has still to be roofed but the students rejoiced at the new worship space which will soon be available. A former derelict hut will become the house of prayer and contemplation in the quiet Malagasy semi-rain forest of Daraina.

** The Ruth women?s project laid the foundation stone of the craft shop which will be built beside the main church on the market street of Antsiranana.

Mrs Pye laid the foundation stone of the shop with Bishop Roger Chung and Ruth's chairperson, Mrs Marie Jeanne Bemaniry. Products are expected to be sold in friendly countries where the women?s is valued and appreciated. Alice Chung, Ruth's honorary president, coordinates the distribution of the products through visitors who visit Madagascar from overseas.