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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Francophone Catholic Achievements in Igboland, 1883-1905
Author:Okafor, Eddie E.
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Catholic Church
Religion and Witchcraft
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/history_in_africa/v032/32.1okafor.pdf
Abstract:During the second half of the 19th century, the French Catholics competed vehemently with the British Protestants for the conversion of African souls. Two different French Catholic missions operated in Nigeria, viz. the Society of the African Missions (Société des missions africaines or SMA) and the Holy Ghost Fathers (Pères du Saint Esprit), also called Spiritans. This paper examines the origins, background, activities and accomplishments of these early French-speaking missionaries who pioneered the spread of Catholic faith among Nigeria's Igbo people between 1883 and 1905. The fact that future French missionaries were trained in speaking the Igbo language played an important role in the success of the French Catholic missions. Especially the publication of an Igbo grammar and English-French-Igbo and French-Igbo dictionaries made an outstanding contribution to the development of the Igbo language. The paper concludes that the French Catholic missionaries and their successors made more converts; established more schools, hospitals, convents, and churches; and trained more local teachers, catechists, nuns and priests in Nigeria alone than in all the other countries of Africa combined. Bibliogr. [ASC Leiden abstract]