The Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill evolved from the Trappist monastery of Mariannhill, founded by Abbot Francis Pfanner in South Africa on the 26th of December 1882. Soon these contemplative monks began missionary work among the indigenous people and opened many missions further and further away from their original monastery.
Since the active life of a missionary was not compatible with the strict Trappist rule, the Apostolic See separated the monastery and its mission-stations from the Trappist Order in a decree of 2nd of February 1909 and thus prepared the way for the gradual evolution of a new Religious Missionary community, the Missionaries of Mariannhill.
Acknowledging our historical and spiritual roots, we are both Religious and Missionaries who live in community. As Religious, our Trappist roots lead us back to St. Benedict, and as Missionaries we are connected with the early missionaries of Mariannhill and their tireless leader Abbot Francis Pfanner. The Benedictine motto of ‘Ora et Labora’ combines these two traits of our Congregational history and is our legacy.
In the foundation of our Congregation the lay Brothers played an outstanding role by being faithful to the charism and by their skill and labour. Through their contribution the Monastery with its mission stations became centres of faith and development.
Our Congregation became a clerical institute of pontifical right on 21st of March 1936. Its members were given the mandate to proclaim the Good News “Ad Gentes", as it was called in later years.
About our charity
The Congregation has the task:
- to cooperate in the spreading of the Gospel among those who do not yet or no longer believe in Christ;
- to help establish, build up and renew the Local Church under the authority of the local bishop;
- to work for justice and peace, the liberation of people and the integrity of creation;
- to offer assistance and solidarity to individuals and groups who are at the margins of society;
- to promote ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue in order to give a common and better witness to the unifying power of the Gospel;
- to keep alive and deepen among the faithful the sense of responsibility for the whole Church;
- to promote vocations for the missionary tasks of the Church and support it spiritually and materially.
Mariannhill - Canada is very active in those fields, especially through the publication of 2 magazines, the formation of lay missionaries and the formation of youth for mission experiences abroad.