Christian presence in a Muslim milieu: the missionaries of Africa in the Maghreb and the Sahara

Christian presence in a Muslim
milieu: the missionaries of Africa in the Maghreb and the Sahara.

International Bulletin of Missionary
Research; 10/1/2004; Shorter, Alylward

For more than 130 years, the Society of Missionaries
of Africa has maintained a Christian presence in the Muslim
world. This experience has resulted in the development of a
distinctive approach to Islam that renounces overt proselytism
and espouses a dialogue of life. Founded in 1868 by Charles
Lavigerie (1825-92), Missionaries of Africa, popularly called
White Fathers because of their white Arab dress, are still working
in the Maghreb and the Sahara. They work also in sub-Saharan
Islamic countries such as Mali, Niger, Chad, and Sudan, as well
as in the Near East, in Jerusalem.

Lavigerie’s Vision for Muslim Mission

Lavigerie’s interest in Islam began in 1860, when,
as director of the work of the Eastern Schools (a French Catholic
organization for supporting missionaries in the Near East),
he visited Lebanon and Syria to bring relief to Christian survivors
of a massacre carried out by the Druze. His first impressions
of a Muslim jihad were inevitably negative, but he was impressed
by the humanity and culture of the exiled Algerian leader the
amir Abd-al-Qadir, whom he met on this journey. About the same
time Lavigerie met Abbe F. Bourgade, who had established a college
for Muslims, Jews, and Catholics in Tunisia. Bourgade was the
author of three books that proposed a Socratic dialogue with
Islam. (1) The books envisage Islam as a preface to the Gospel.
Left to God’s providence, thought Bourgade, Islam would eventually
bear fruit in Christian truth. (2) Lavigerie did not favor such
a dialogue, but he recommended the books to his missionaries.
(3) He probably thought that a religious encounter between Christianity
and Islam would eventually be possible.

A year after becoming archbishop of Algiers in
1867, Lavigerie founded the Society of Missionaries of Africa.
They were to disarm Islamic disdain for Christians by adopting
the Muslims’ external manner of life their clothing, food, language,
poverty, and nomadism. (4) In 1868 Pius IX made Lavigerie apostolic
delegate for the Sahara and (French) Sudan. Lavigerie’s responsibilities
were thus extended to the enormous territories that lay beyond
the narrow confines of the Diocese of Algiers.

Lavigerie’s approach to Islam was far from bookish
or theoretical. It derived from his ongoing experience of the
Muslim milieu. From the outset he claimed the right to love,
and pray for, the Muslims of Algeria, not merely to be a chaplain
to French settlers, soldiers, and officials. Soon after his
arrival in Algeria a succession of calamities occurred: an earthquake,
followed by drought, a plague of locusts, and a cholera epidemic,
accompanied by famine. Some 90,000 people died of cholera, and
a further 20,000 of starvation. The French took no extraordinary
measures to deal with the crisis, but Lavigerie set up camps
and took in nearly 2,000 orphans, 800 of whom died of cholera.
(5) The anticlerical administration suspected Lavigerie of proselytism
and feared a fanatical Muslim reaction. Lavigerie, however,
with the support of Napoleon HI and French public opinion, took
his stand on freedom of conscience and the freedom to practice
charity. He forbade any of his refugees to be baptized, except
for babies in danger of death, and he was able to claim that
not one of the surviving 1,100 orphans had been baptized. (6)

A large number of children were still in Lavigerie’s
care when the famine was over, and requests for baptism grew.
Lavigerie acquiesced for those he considered worthy. (7) About
1,000 were eventually baptized. Some of this number were sent
to populate the two Christen villages established in the Chelif
Valley in 1872 and 1874. By 1906, however, the two villages
numbered only 360 Christians in 36 families. (8) The villagers,
who now owned the land, merged with the French settler population,
as did most of the other baptized orphans. (9) Lavigerie, who
saw these young Algerians as a Christian elite for the evangelization
of the whole continent, was disappointed. As he explained later,
the Christian villages of Algeria made not the slightest impact
on surrounding Muslims but were costly and ineffective ghettos.

Efforts in Kabylia, Algeria

From his first arrival in Algeria, Lavigerie was
attracted by the mountainous region of Kabylia. The so-called
Kabyle myth held that the area had originally been Christian
and that its people might be disposed to return to the religion
of their ancestors. (11) In fact, these mountain dwellers had
been virtually untouched by Roman civilization, let alone Christianity.
The Kabyles had developed their own amalgam of Islam and traditional
beliefs, and they had no desire to be Christians. In 1871, after
the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War, the Kabyles
conducted a serious uprising that took the French several months
to suppress, and Lavigerie’s missionaries went to Kabylia in
1873 in a climate of hostility. Twenty years later, Kabyles
told the White Fathers that they were still hoping for another
uprising. (12) During that time the mission stations of the
White Fathers increased from two to seven. At the turn of the
century another two stations were founded in the Saharan Atlas.

In order not to play into the hands of the anticlericals,
as well as to avoid offending Muslim susceptibilities, Lavigerie
forbade any open proselytism. There were to be no boarding schools
or public catechumenates. Day schools could be started, and
a small number of boarders were allowed at the mission stations,
but religion was not to be taught in school. Instead, there
was to be a solid moral formation implicitly inspired by Christian
principles. Catechism could be given to those who requested
it, but there were to be no baptisms without the authorization
of the parents and of Lavigerie himself. (13) Babies, however,
could be baptized at the moment of death. “We talk as little
as possible about religion,” wrote a missionary in 1892. (14)
Dispensaries and hospitals were to be opened, and the whole
purpose of the missionaries’ social and humanitarian action
was to create a favorable climate for ultimate conversion to
Christianity. It was a long-term strategy that Lavigerie believed
would take at least a hundred years to bear any fruit.

The missionaries’ primary contact was with children
and young people outside the parental culture. Few adult baptisms
took place. By 1900 there were thirty-nine Kabyle Christians,
and ten years later just under three times that number. (15)
These believers were grouped in tiny Christian communities at
five of the mission stations. They were an outgrowth of the
mission schools and had no influence on the wider community.
It is fair to say that, although there bad been a missionary
insertion into Kabyle society, the missionaries failed to provoke
an interest in Christianity. (16)

Although adult conversions were few, there were
many baptisms of dying babies. For example, between September
1904 and September 1905 thirteen adults and thirty-five children
of Christians were solemnly baptized in the whole of the Algerian
Province, but there were nearly a thousand baptisms of infants
in danger of death. (17) “Our neophytes are the dying,” wrote
one missionary in Kabylia. (18) The surreptitious baptism of
dying babies was not merely a function of the pessimistic salvation
theology then in vogue, but it was seen as the creation of a
Kabylian Church Triumphant. These “Holy Innocents” were now
intercessors for Kabyles on earth.

As they saw it, the missionaries’ first aim was
to “destroy Muslim fanaticism,” to undermine faith in Muhammad,
and–even more implausibly–“to detach North Africa from the
Arabs and Islam.” (19) Although they were forbidden to indulge
in polemics themselves, polemical literature was recommended
reading, such as Michel Nau’s The Qur’an Against the Qur’an.
(20) The missionaries in fact had no preparation for their encounter
with Islam. They did not know classical Arabic and were thus
unable to read the Qur’an, even when they obtained permission
to do so from higher authority. Their knowledge of the Kabyle
language was also far from perfect. (21)

French anticlerical legislation threatened the
mission schools in Kabylia in 1904. Without government support
many schools were forced to close. Finally, in 1913 a ministerial
decree closed all the remaining mission schools. (22) Henceforward,
with Henri Marchal as superior, there was a more religious encounter
with the Kabyle community. “We talk of God to people of good
will. We encourage a real prayer of the heart…. Many souls
are uneasy with their [Muslim] religion, but we do not imagine
they will come to us.” (23)

Lavigerie thought that God was positively at work
among Muslims, and although he believed baptism to be necessary
for salvation, he was in no hurry to baptize individuals. Individual
need was to be subordinated to that of the collectivity. To
this extent his salvation theology was less pessimistic than
that of his missionaries. (24) Lavigerie was implacably opposed
to Jansenism, and he must have been aware of the church’s condemnation
of the Jansenist proposition “Outside the church there is no
possibility of grace.” (25) Nevertheless, the theological climate
of the time would not have allowed him to reflect very profoundly
on this truth with reference to Islam.

The Timbuktu Mission

The Sahara Desert captivated French minds as a
place of mystery and adventure. The French ambition was to cross
the Sahara and link Algeria to the French Sudan (covering modern
Mall, Burkina Faso, and parts of Niger and Chad). Lavigerie
shared this fascination and aimed to send missionaries across
the desert to strike a blow against the slave trade that operated
out of Timbuktu. The Sahara was geographically complex, peopled
by a number of ethnic groups both sedentary and nomadic, all
professing a form of Islam. Laghouat was occupied by the French
in 1852. To the south lay the seven towns of the Mzab. In the
southwest were the oases in Gourara, the Tuat and Tidikelt,
inhabited by Arabs, Berbers, the enslaved descendants of the
original inhabitants (Harratin), and large numbers of more recently
enslaved Negroes from the south. To the far south lay the mountains
of Hoggar, the homelands of the warlike Tuareg and Ahaggar.

Only in 1894 did French armies from the south
occupy the fabled town of Timbuktu. In the meantime, the White
Fathers, who were establishing posts in the northern borderlands
of the Sahara, opened a station in the Mzab at Metlili in 1874.
(27) From there a party of three missionaries set out to cross
the desert in January 1876, only to be massacred by Ajjer Tuaregs,
near El Golea. Seven years later a second party of White Fathers
took a different route, setting out from Ghadems in December
1881. They were massacred two days later by a coalition of Tuareg
tribesmen. Lavigerie had hesitated to let them go after news
of the annihilation of the Flatters expedition earlier in the
year, but he allowed himself to be persuaded that it was safe.
(28) After this disaster the Sahara was abandoned for several
years. Gradually, as the French army moved south, the White
Fathers returned to the Saharan oases in the 1880s and 1890s,
reopening four mission stations. Not until the advent of Colonel
Henri Laperrine in 1901, the friend and former comrade-in-arms
of Charles de Foucauld, was the road to Timbuktu and the Niger
opened in 1904-9. (29) Meanwhile, in the oases of the northern
desert, the White Fathers pursued, with tireless devotion, the
same evangelization policies as their brothers in Kabylia: education,
medical work, and the avoidance of overt proselytism.

In 1891 the Prefecture Apostolic of Sahara and
Sudan was made a vicariate, and the province of Kabylia was
attached to the dioceses of northern Algeria. At the same time,
Lavigerie consecrated a coadjutor bishop who became vicar apostolic
in his own right when Lavigerie died in November 1892. The coadjutor
was Joseph-Anatole Toulotte (1852-1907). Lavigerie expressed
misgivings about Toulotte soon after appointing him. (30) He
was a fastidious scholar and reclusive ascetic, but not a leader
of men. His immediate task as vicar apostolic was to organize
the first caravan to the French Sudan, through Senegal to the
Niger in 1894. The explorer-missionary Prosper Augustin Hacquard
(1860-1901 ) was appointed its leader. (31) Toulotte led the
third caravan to the French Sudan in 1896 but returned, broken
in health and “aged by twenty years.” (32) He resigned the following
year, to be succeeded by Hacquard.

With the benefit of French military protection
and subsidized travel, Hacquard and four companions reached
Timbuktu in May 1895. Very soon the missionaries were asking
themselves what they were going to do there. (33) In fact, the
mission in Timbuktu settled down to being a carbon copy of mission
stations in the northern Sahara: education, medical work, and
the ransoming of children enslaved by the Tuareg. The school
was a failure, but the orphanage overflowed. (34) It was even
suggested that Timbuktu should be joined to the ecclesiastical
circumscription of Ghardaia if a trans-Saharan route was opened.

One of the White Fathers, Auguste Victor Dupuis
(1865-1945), was strongly attached to Timbuktu and became deeply
immersed in its languages and cultures. He knew Arabic, Songhay,
Tamachek (Tuareg), Bambara, and Peuhl. By 1900 he had, together
with Hacquard, produced four books on the Songhay language alone,
and others were to follow. (36) In the midst of all this erudition,
however, he lost sight of his priestly role. Hacquard feared
that Dupuis was “going native.” (37) Known as Yacouba, Dupuis
had a reputation that had spread along the whole course of the
Niger. (38) In 1904, when faced by superiors with the order
to leave Timbuktu, he decided that another vocation was calling
him. Soon afterward he married a Peuhl wife, a Muslim, and raised
a family of seven children. He became a government interpreter,
adviser on native affairs, and even, for a short time, commandant
of Goundam, but his main claim to fame was to have founded a
native faculty of higher studies at Timbuktu. Yacouba remained
a legendary figure, the benevolent patriarch of the holy city.
Always loyal to the Christian faith, he practiced his priesthood
by legitimately giving absolution to the dying. In 1945 he himself
died. (39) Although bishop and missionaries remained on good
terms with him, it was felt necessary to close the Timbuktu
mission in 1906. (40)

Guerin’s and de Foucauld’s Sahara Ministry

Hacquard drowned in the Niger in 1901, the victim
of a swimming accident. (41) The Sahara was then separated from
the French Sudan, as the Prefecture Apostolic of Ghardaia, with
Charles Guerin (1872-1910) as prefect. At the time of his appointment,
Guerin was only twenty-nine years old. His extreme goodness
and his attraction for asceticism were a recommendation. As
prefect apostolic, he lived poorly, occupying two small rooms,
and sleeping on planks supported by tin trunks. (42)

Guerin’s appointment coincided with the arrival
in the Sahara of two other important figures, Henri Laperrine
(1860-1920) and Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916). Laperrine,
a career soldier with considerable African experience, had been
appointed “commander of the oases,” with orders to occupy the
newly captured Tuat in the western desert and to create a force
for controlling the southern Sahara. (43) Charles Eugene, Vicomte
de Foucauld, had also served as an officer In the French army
in Algeria and Tunisia. In 1882 he resigned his commission and
for two years explored Morocco in disguise. After receiving
the first gold medal ever awarded by the Geographical Society
of Paris, he crossed the Algerian Sahara from Morocco to Tunis
in 1885. Back in Paris in 1886, he underwent a religious conversion
and later became a Trappist monk, spending nine years in Palestine
and Syria. He was ordained priest and returned to Algeria as
hermit and missionary in 1901. (44)

Probably no other individual associated with the
Sahara has so caught the public imagination as Charles de Foucauld,
known as Brother Charles of Jesus. Guerin received him with
joy and allowed him to establish a hermitage at Beni-Abbes in
the Tuat, on the Moroccan border, where he was pastor to the
military and spoke to the slaves about Jesus. (45) In 1902 Guerin
approved his foundation of the Little Brothers of the Sacred
Heart of Jesus, following the rule of St. Augustine and linked
to the fraternity of Montmartre, Paris. They were to practice
perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, poverty, and solitude
in a missionary environment. (46) De Foucauld’s aspirations
fluctuated between active missionary work and the life of a
hermit. He longed to evangelize Morocco and the Tuareg, but
unlike Lavigerie’s missionaries, he thought that military pacification
and French civilization were necessary preliminaries. (47) For
their part, the White Fathers believed that his contemplative
tastes rendered him unfit for the life of an active missionary.
(48) Guerin kept up a tireless correspondence with him and managed
to visit him in person in May and June of 1903. (49) Guerin
esteemed de Foucauld for the spiritual influence he radiated,
rather than for any missionary enterprise. “His unalterable
sweetness, his inexhaustible charity, taken with his joyful
character, have absolutely won all hearts,” wrote Guerin to
Livinhac, the superior general. “The oratory of Beni-Abbes is
a precious treasure for us all.” (50) To de Foucauld himself
he wrote: “I count absolutely on the very abundant graces which
flow to our Society from the blessed shrine of Jesus at Beni-Abbes.”
(51) In his report for 1903 Guerin called Brother Charles of
Jesus a “true priest who possesses the spirit of Jesus” and
wrote of the respectful admiration de Foucauld received from
soldiers and natives. “The marabout [holy man] of Beni-Abbes
is everywhere known.” (52)

In spite of repeated efforts to make converts
and find members for his brotherhood, no one was prepared to
share de Foucauld’s austerities. In his solitude, he began to
envisage his role as that of “universal brother,” united with
Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, in the midst of the Muslims.
It was an apostolate of presence, an evangelization that renounced
proselytism, and was a spiritual encounter with Islam. (53)
It was a view of his apostolate that came more clearly into
focus at Tamanrasset, and Guerin worked hard to make it possible,
by securing from Pius X in person in 1907 the permission de
Foucauld needed to celebrate the Eucharist alone. (54)

In 1904 de Foucauld accompanied his friend Laperrine
on an exploratory journey to the Hoggar. At first Guerin was
doubtful, but he soon saw the value of the information that
de Foucauld could give him on the country and on the beliefs
and customs of its inhabitants, with a view to founding possible
mission centers. (55) De Foucauld founded a second hermitage
at Tamanrasset in the heart of the Hoggar in 1905 and thereafter
divided his time between the two. He translated the Bible into
Tamachek and created a Tamachek lexicon and dictionary. Guerin
referred to de Foucauld proudly as “[my] missionary in Tuareg
country.” (56) In February 1909 de Foucauld proposed the foundation
of a mission station in the Hoggar, but it was rejected because
of the current anticlerical legislation. (57)

Guerin died of typhoid in 1910 at the early age
of thirty-eight. (58) De Foucauld was murdered at Tamanrasset
in 1916 by a group of disaffected Tuaregs and Harratins. (59)
Not only was his spiritual message the inspiration for new religious
congregations, but it also had an impact on the Missionaries
of Africa and their thinking about Christian presence among
Muslims. De Foucauld wrote letters to other missionaries besides
Guerin, among them seven to Henri Marchal (1875-1957), whom
he met personally in 1913. (60) It is probable that de Foucauld
was an influence on the new pastoral strategy toward Muslims
that Marchal introduced in the Society of Missionaries of Africa.

Marchal’s Strategy of Love and Dialogue

In 1905 Henri Marchal was appointed to the Sahara
and joined Guerin at Ghardaia. An Arabic scholar himself, he
came to the conclusion that missionaries needed qualified teachers
if they were to make progress in their knowledge of Arabic and
Islam. (61) From 1909 to 1912 he was regional superior of Kabylia
and emphasized the need for a relatively open form of evangelization.
(62) From 1912 to 1947 he was assistant general of the society.
De Foucauld’s practice of being spiritually united with Muslims
at their Friday prayers was in the line of Marchal’s own developing
ideas. Muslims, he argued, should be kept open to the action
of God’s grace, but that grace should not be presumed. This
approach implied that salvation did not depend on membership
of a visible church. The economy of salvation was on a larger
scale. In fact, Marchal distinguished between conversion to
God, conversion to Jesus, and conversion to the church. Some
Muslims might feel called to discover Jesus and, in a few rare
cases, to accept the social consequences of church membership.

After World War I Marchal was instrumental in
setting up the Institut des Belies Lettres Arabes (IBLA) in
1927. Established at Tunis, this institute taught Arabic, the
Qur’an, and Islamic theology, law, and history. Fifty-one Missionaries
of Africa were admitted as students between 1927 and 1949. They
were joined in 1932 by de Foucauld’s Little Brothers of Jesus.
(64) After the Second World War two centers were created: IBLA
at Tunis remained a center of research and publications, while
the formation program moved to La Manouba. In 1960 the latter
was recognized by the Vatican and eventually moved to Rome,
becoming the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies

In 1937 Marchal organized a conference at Bou
Nouh in Kabylia, attended by all the mission superiors and the
director of IBLA. The conference produced some important conclusions.
The goal of the missionaries’ educational establishments was
not proselytism. The importance of learning Kabyle and of studying
Islam was stressed, but there should be no haste in promoting
individual conversions to Christianity. (65) During his long
life, Marchal published more than thirty works, probably none
more important than Les grandes lignes de l’ apostolat en afrique
du nord, which appeared in its final form in 1938, and L’invisible
presence de l’eglise, in 1950.

The theological implications of these works are
a logical development of Lavigerie’s principles. (66) Like Lavigerie,
Marchal was a pastoral realist, and he was convinced that the
starting point for any missionary work among Muslims was a profound
knowledge of the cultural milieu. According to Marchal, the
first priority was not to prepare individuals for baptism but
to promote the essential religious truths. Baptism was not to
be conferred except after a prolonged catechumenate and under
conditions that ensured perseverance. No specific Christian
instruction was to be given outside the catechumenate. There
should be a general religious education of the people. Marchal
believed that God is positively at work among Muslims and that
their religious culture should not be destroyed. There should
be no more denigration of Muhammad or demonstration of the falsity
of Islam. The aim was not primarily to administer baptism but
to save souls. For Marchal, there were many salvific truths
from the Bible in Islam, and Muslims, he believed, could be
saved through them if they were understood in the light of supernatural
faith. The errors of their religion did not outweigh these truths.
The duty of the missionaries was to awaken consciences, the
sense of sin, contrition, humility, and conversion of heart.
They were to invite Muslims to greater confidence in God’s mercy
and to lead them patiently into the love of God, of which interior
prayer is the sign and the instrument. Concretely, he hoped
that Muslims themselves would be apostles to their fellow Muslims.
In short, Muslims would become Christians without knowing it.

This was not to say that Marchal was a syncretist
or that he wanted to leave Muslims on their own to become “good
Muslims.” The Qur’an was not a praeparatio evangelica (preparation
for the Gospel) in the way that Bourgade suggested. The essential
truths cannot be understood in a merely Muslim sense. Rather,
they must be endowed with supernatural and salvific power. The
missionary task was to influence the social milieu in this sense,
through kindness, service, and Christian witness.

After Marchal

Although there were critics who did not believe
that a Christian spirit could be injected into a Muslim community,
Marchal’s reflections became the official policy of the Missionaries
of Africa at the time. Furthermore, they were a stimulus for
the dialogue of life and spiritual encounter espoused by the
Missionaries of Africa after the Second Vatican Council (1962–65)
at their successive General Chapters between 1967 and 1992.
The White Fathers identified with the legitimate aspirations
of the Algerian people in their rebellion against the French
colonial authorities in 1946-62. Of the nineteen Catholic missionaries
including priests, religious, and a bishop–who gave their lives
during and after the conflict in 1956-94, ten were White Fathers.

After political independence, the departure of
the French settlers and administrators, and the dismantling
of church structures, the Catholic mission in Algeria deepened
its spiritual relations with Muslims. Although there are very
few Catholics today in Algeria, the White Fathers are accepted
as part of the country’s historical fabric. The rural Christian
communities have disappeared, but many young Algerians are reacting
against violence in the name of Islam by joining underground
Christian communities in the towns. Although there is a mistrust
of the Western world, Algerians generally distinguish between
Christianity and Western politicians who happen to be Christian.
Overt proselytism by more recently arrived missionaries of other
churches is even meeting with success in Kabylia. The concept
of a two-way dialogue implies that Christian faith can also
develop through encounter with Islam, including the challenges
that Muslims pose as interlocutors. Muslims have even begun
creating their own structures for dialogue and have invited
Christians to take part in various colloquiums. The raison d’etre
of the Algerian Catholic Church is now simply to be in relationship
with Muslim society as a “covenant of love” between them and
the God of Jesus Christ. (67)


(1.) F. Bourgade, Les soirees de Carthage (Paris,
1847), La clef du Coran (Paris, 1852), and Passage du Coran
a l’Evangile (Paris, 1855).

(2.) Aylward Shorter, Christianity and the African
Imagination (Nairobi: Paulines Publications, 1996), pp. 49-50.

(3.) Francois Renault, Cardinal Lavigerie: Churchman,
Prophet, and Missionary (London: Athlone Press, 1994), p. 90;
Georges Goyau, Un grand missionnaire: Le Cardinal Lavigerie
(Paris: Plon, 1925), p. 256.

(4.) Charles Lavigerie, Instructions aux missionnaires
(Namur: Grands Lacs, 1950), p. 252.

(5.) Joseph Cuoq, Lavigerie, les Peres Blancs
et les Musulmans maghrebins (Rome: Missionaries of Africa, 1986),
pp. 14-21; Renault, Cardinal Lavigerie, pp. 93-98.

(6.) Cuoq, Lavigerie, p. 18; J. C. Ceillier, “Les
Missionnaires d’Afrique et le dialogue interreligieux: Quelques
jalons historiques” (paper presented to the Colloque de Paris,
December 2002), p. 2.

(7.) Cuoq, Lavigerie, pp. 51-52; Ceillier, “Les
Missionnaires d’Afrique,” p. 3.

(8.) Rapports annuels (White Fathers), no. 1 (1905-6):

(9.) Jean Tiquet, Experience de petite colonisation
indigene en Algerie–les colons arabes-chretiens du Cardinal
Lavigerie (Algiers: Maison-Carree, 1936).

(10.) Lavigerie, Instructions aux missionnaires,
pp. 99-100.

(11.) Renault, Cardinal Lavigerie, pp. 178-84;
Ossilia Saadia, “Catholiques et Musulman Sunnites, discours
croises, 1920-1950: Approche historique de l’alterite religieuse”
(doctoral thesis, Univ. of Lyon, 2001), pp. 91-97. Reference
UE 1007 in the Archives of the Generalate of the Missionaries
of Africa, Rome (henceforth AGMAfr.).

(12.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 64 (1894):

(13.) Cuoq, Lavigerie, pp. 51-73; Ceillier, “Les
Missionnaires d’Afrique,” pp. 3-4.

(14.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 57 (1893):
19. The remark was made at the College of St. Charles at Tunis,
but it reflects the attitude in Algeria.

(15.) Ceillier, “Les Missionnaires d’Afrique,”
p. 4, quoting Cuoq.

(16.) Cuoq, Lavigerie, pp. 85, 92.

(17.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 121 (1905),
Annual Statistical Table for Algeria Province. There were 995
infant baptisms in extremis.

(18.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 76 (1897):

(19.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 57 (1893):
58; also no. 101 (1903): 239; no. 148 (1908): 327.

(20.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 97 (1903),
Supplement, p. 27.

(21.) Cuoq, Lavigerie, pp. 39, 90; Chronique trimestrielle,
no. 68 (1895): 2.

(22.) Rapports annuels, no. 9 (1913-14): 73.

(23.) Rapports annuels, no. 6 (1910-11): 81-83.

(24.) See discussion in Saadia, “Catholiques et
Musulman Sunnites,” pp. 91-97.

(25.) Extra ecelesiam nulla conceditur gratia;
Lavigerie, Instructions aux missionnaires, pp. 71-72.

(26.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 101 (1903),
Sahara Province Report, pp. 233-40.

(27.) See Renault, Cardinal Lavigerie, pp. 185-94,

(28.) Ibid., p. 262.

(29.) Fergus Fleming, The Sword and the Cross
(London: Granta Books, 2003), pp. 177-78, 223-25, 239-41.

(30.) General Council Minutes, 1897, p. 445, AGMAfr.

(31.) General Council Minutes, 1893, p. 249, AGMAfr.

(32.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 136 (1907),
Supplement, pp. 143-79.

(33.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 72 (1896):

(34.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 93 (1902):
153; no. 100 (1903): 156-57.

(35.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 100 (1903):

(36.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 93 (1902):

(37.) Hacquard to Livinhac, October 25, 1900,
071 348, AGMAfr.

(38.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 102 (1903):

(39.) See Dupuis Dossier, DS d 268, AGMAfr.; William
Seabrook, The White Monk of Timbuctoo (London: Harrap, 1934).

(40.) Rapports annuels, no. 2 (1906-7): 36.

(41.) Segou Mission Diary, vol. 1, 1895-1907,
April 4-21, 1901, pp. 133-37, AGMAfr.; Eugene Marin, Algerie,
Sahara-Soudan: Vie, travaux, voyages de Mgr. Hacquard des Peres
Blancs (Paris: Berger Levrault, 1905), pp. 625-27.

(42.) Notices necrologiques, 3:29-36, AGMAfr.

(43.) Fleming, The Sword and the Cross, pp. 156-66.

(44.) Ibid., pp. 25-131.

(45.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 97 (1903),
Supplement, pp. 9-14.

(46.) Charles de Foucauld, Lettres et carnets,
ed. Jean-Francois Six (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1966), p. 160.

(47.) Ibid., pp. 168, 198; Fleming, The Sword
and the Cross, pp. 180-81, 187-88.

(48.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 137 (1907):

(49.) Charles de Foucauld, Correspondence sahariennes,
ed. Philippe Thiriez and Antoine Chatelard (Paris: Editions
du Cerf, 1998).

(50.) Guerin to Livinhac, June 3, 1903, in de
Foucauld, Correspondences sahariennes, p. 188.

(51.) Guerin to de Foucauld, June 29, 1903, in
de Foucauld, Correspondences sahariennes, pp. 196-97.

(52.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 101 (1903):

(53.) De Foucauld, Lettres et carnets, p.160;
Saadia, Catholiques et Musulman Sunnites, pp. 290-95.

(54.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 148(1908):279;
Fleming, The Sword and the Cross, p. 214.

(55.) Guerin to de Foucauld, March 3 and April
21, 1904, in de Foucauld, Correspondences sahariennes, pp. 252,

(56.) Chronique trimestrielle, no. 139 (1907):

(57.) General Council Minutes, February 15, 1909,
p. 830, AGMAfr.

(58.) Notices necrologiques, 3:29-36, AGMAfr.

(59.) Fleming, The Sword and the Cross, pp. 278-79.

(60.) De Foucauld, Correspondences sahariennes,
pp. 941-52.

(61.) Ceillier, “Les Missionnaires d’Afrique,”
p. 5.

(62.) Ibid., p. 6.

(63.) Cuoq, Lavigerie, pp. 76-77; Jean-Marie Gaudeul,
Encounters and Clashes: Islam and Christianity in History (Rome:
PISAI, 2000), p. 310.

(64.) Ceillier, “Les Missionnaires d’Afrique,”
p. 7.

(65.) Ibid., pp. 9-10.

(66.) This account is based on Cuoq, Lavigerie,
pp. 74-110; Ceillier, “Les Missionnaires d’Afrique,” pp. 9-11;
and Saadia, “Catholiques et Musulman Sunnites,” pp. 299-36.

(67.) Henri Teissier, Chretiens en Algerie, un
partage d’esperance (Paris: Desclee de Brouwer, 2002), pp. 47-48;
Armand Duval, C’etait une longue fidelite a l’Algerie et au
Rwanda (Paris: Mediaspaul, 1998), quoting Bishop Pierre Claverie,
p. 136.

Aylward Shorter, M.Afr., is Principal Emeritus
of Tangaza College in the Catholic University of Eastern Africa,
Nairobi, Kenya, and former president of the Missionary Institute,
London. He is currently working on the history project of his
missionary society.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Overseas Ministries Study Center

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