International

Montfort in the World
Go into the world and preach the Good News

From the earliest years of his seminary training, Saint Louis de Montfort wanted to go to the far off missions of Canada and preach to the native people there. He dreamed of being among the people who had gone there to settle and also the native people to help spread the Gospel message. His dream kept him always looking ahead, but he served as a missionary in his homeland.

Saint Louis de Montfort joined mission teams in the first years after his ordination to the priesthood. At the time this was one of the most popular “tools” being used to help renew the church in France and bring back the many people who had grown lax in the practice of their faith. Montfort was famous for his preaching and the strength of his message. He learned to preach in such a way that all who heard him felt as is he was speaking directly to them. Still he yearned to be able to preach more freely about the Wisdom of God and how we can follow Jesus like Mary. In 1706 Pope Clement gave him the title, Missionary Apostolic, which enabled him to go throughout France and preach the Good News.

Montfort dreamt and prayed for others who would join him on such a mission. His first followers came from among the diocesan clergy and were men who were drawn to Montfort’s energy about the Gospel and love for the church and its people. In time these formed themselves into the company of preachers for which Montfort had already written a rule. Today these men who follow in Montfort’s path and “walk in the footsteps of the poor apostles” are members of the Missionaries of the Company of Mary, although the community is more commonly known as the Montfort Missionaries.

Missionaries are men who go where there is a need to preach the Gospel message and to walk alongside the people as they work to build up the church. Company because no missionary works alone. He belongs to others through his vows and all that he has serves the mission of the Church and, primarily, the people to whom he is sent. Together with other members of the community the missionaries work as a team to continue Montfort’s work of renewing the Church and evangelizing the poor.

Mary is the model disciple for the Church. She was the first to say “Yes” to the will of God and through her we are able to follow Jesus today. Her example of following Jesus in his ministry, of listening and prayerfully guarding all that happened in her heart, and her steadfast love for Him are all characteristics of a Montfort Missionary. As a company we walk with Jesus as did Mary, giving life and love to the Good News in the flesh and blood reality of every place we serve.

Consider your baptism. Remember that you are called to preach the Good News, too. Look to Mary to show you how to “do as he tells you.” And take one step to build up the Kingdom of God as one who lives for God Alone.

In June 2009 the Mission Diocese of DaruKinuga in Papua New Guinea celebrated the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first Montfort Missionaries from Canada in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea. Today the Church here is vibrant, having taken its roots in the Melanesian culture and in the spirit of Vatican Council II. Members from India, Indonesia and Africa belonging to the three Montfortian congregations work here hand in hand to build on the solid foundation laid by the Canadian Missionaries under the leadership of Bishop Gilles Cote SMM. Our Sisters and Brothers already have members from Papua New Guinea join them and a time may soon come when we have priests too from the native land. A well-established pastoral plan guided by the communitarian spirituality provides ministry in pastoral, educational and health care with special attention to the physically challenged and those affected by HIV. Please visit us at our website: www.missionfrontier.org to know more about our work in pictures that tell it without too many words.
The Vice-Province of Germany is a small one, whose members work in parishes and in teaching posts, as well as in the support of various missionary ventures through the Mission Procure. The Province produces a Marian review, "Mutter der Kirche" (Mother of the Church), which has many thousands of subscribers.


The Montfort Missionaries first went to Canada in 1883, when it became very difficult, because of the new laws in France, to conduct a seminary in France. They settled some distance from Montreal, in a place which eventually became known as Montfort. From small beginnings, the group there grew into one of the largest Provinces of the Company of Mary, being designated a Province in 1947. The United States Province was split off from it in the 1950s. For some time they had a mission among the North American native people in Vancouver Island on the West coast.

Today the Canadian Province continues to serve the people of Canada, particularly the French-speaking, through parish missions and retreats, special courses in Scripture, Mariology, etc. They conduct a Marian shrine, the Shrine of Mary, Queen of All Hearts, in Montreal, and have a flourishing Pastoral Centre in Drummondville.
The United States Province of the Company of Mary was formed from the Canadian Province in the 1950s. It is mainly confined to the Eastern States. The Province has two retreat or pastoral centres, one at Bayshore, NY, and one at Litchfield, Ct, where there is also a Marian shrine, Lourdes in Litchfield. Another Marian shrine, Our Lady of the Island, is maintained at Eastport, Long Island, NY. The members of the Province carry forward the mission of the Congregation through preaching (a mission team gives parish missions), the conducting of retreats, the pastoral care of visitors to the shrines, work in a number of parishes, and publishing. The Province produces a review, "Queen Magazine", and publishes the works of St Louis Marie de Montfort and other books related to Montfortian spirituality, through Montfort Publications at Bayshore, NY. The Province is responsible for a small mission in Nicaragua.
The seeds of the Montfortian presence in the Philippines were planted in 1984 with the coming of an international group of Missionaries: a Canadian, an Italian, an English man and a Colombian. This was the answer to the request of Cardinal Sin (Archbishop of Manila) to Fr. Gerard Lemire, SMM (Superior General) that the Montfort Missionaries come to Manila. By God’s Providence after 25 years, this Delegation is blessed with 11 Filipino ordained priests, 9 scholastics and 7 postulants. The confreres are involved in vocation promotion and formation of candidates, running a parish, doing apostolates with the laity especially the propagation of the Montfortian Consecration through the TotusTuus Journey, and mission team who do itinerant missions in the island of Cebu and other apostolates to the poor.
The General House of the Company of Mary is located, like those of many other Congregations, in Rome. But there also exists in Italy the largest province of the Company of Mary, with residences in many parts of the country. A wide variety of apostolates is carried out in the Province, including the publishing of a number of Marian and Missionary reviews and other works, the preaching of missions in the parishes, and the care of a number of parishes. Many members of the Province work in the Foreign Mission field, principally in Malawi (the Diocese of Mangochi), Peru and Madagascar.
The Montfort Missionaries first went to Malawi (then known as Nyasaland) in 1901, and began missionary work in the South of the country, in the Shire River region. Today, four Provinces continue to send missionaries to Malawi: the French, Dutch, Italian and Great Britain and Ireland Provinces. The French and British/Irish work mainly in Zomba diocese, the Dutch in Blantyre diocese, and the Italians are responsible for the diocese of Mangochi. The work is mainly in parishes, but they also maintain a number of Pastoral centres, and the Italian missionaries produce various publications at Balaka. There are today a few Malawian students who have joined the Congregation, and are at present preparing for the priesthhood, as well as three ordained Malawian priests.