Roman Catholic Church: Montfort Missionaries

Roman Catholic Church

Montfort Missionaries


The Montfort Missionaries is a missionary religious congregation within the Roman Catholic Church. The community was founded by Saint Louis de Montfort in 1705. The congregation is made up of priests and brothers who serve both in the native lands and in other countries.

The Montfortian Family comprises three groups:

The Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith confided evangelization of British Central Africa to the missionaries of the Company of Mary.

On 28th June, 1901, the first three missionaries of the Montfort Fathers arrived at Blantyre and on 25th July began their first mission in Angoniland. The Vicariate Apostolic of Nyasa, erected in 1897, had jurisdiction over part of modern Zambia and was entrusted to the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers). A Vicariate was a form of territorial jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church centered in missionary regions and countries where a diocese has not yet been established.

In 1903, the mission became the Prefecture Apostolic of Shire (a ‘pre-diocesan’ missionary jurisdiction where the Catholic Church is not yet sufficiently developed to have it made a diocese) and was formed from the The Vicariate Apostolic of Nyasa (who had jurisdiction over parts of modern Zambia and was entrusted to the White Fathers).

One of the Monfort Missionaries, Rev. Father Prezeau, former missionary of the Diocese of Kingston, Canada, was elected the first Apostolic prefect. Already four stations had been founded, and numerous schools established in all directions spread the Christian doctrine.

On 14 April 1908, Pope Pius X erected the prefecture into the Apostolic Vicariate of Shire.