Meet The People Behind
The Mission St. Therese of the Infant Jesus
Noeline & Marc-Antoine
Noëline is our cook, laundry and house cleaning lady. A fervent Catholic and dedicated employee of the Mission. Always joyful, she helps coordinate all the ladies activities at the Mission: from the lady’s Rosary Group, to the bakery, the sewing workshop, the girls group, etc., as well as the choir.Her little son: Marc-Antoine is the “Mission’s mascot.” He is a good student of the Trinitarian Sister’s Pre-school called Les Poussins de Dieu (God’s little chicks.)
Charlin & Raissa
Charlin is our Grounds Keeper. He does “everything”. From cutting the lawn and keeping up the garden, to helping with construction and doing all kind of maintenance work, repairs, painting etc. Raissa is a part-time. She does the cleaning of the lower buildings that contain the big chapel, sacristy, library, bakery, sewing and carpentry workshop, etc. Charlin and Raissa are receiving their catechism and are scheduled to be baptized and married in the Church in May/2015. They have two children: Rochelle, 7 years old, and Chardin, 3 years old. Chardin is Fr. Fragelli’s godson and Marc-Antoines inseparable friend.
Roline & Josias
Roline (left) works part time too. She comes in, every day, and makes fresh bread and all kinds of pastries for the Mission’s events. Roline is also responsible for the Mission’s choir.
Josias (right) is our mason. He is not an employee, per se, but he is so often at the Mission for the different projects, that he is considered part of the staff. He is a hard worker and always in a joyful mood.
Martha-Therese has been with the Mission since the beginning. Our best at catechism, we sent her to spend the summer of 2014 with our Sisters Adorers, in Germany (Picture on right.) She came back transformed and wishing to dedicate her life to God. To avoid her going back to where she lived (not the best living conditions for a young lady) Noëline, who is her Godmother, took her under her wings. She lives therefore with Noëline, at the Mission. She goes to school during the day, and in the evening she helps Noëline in different tasks at the Mission. Martha-Therese has also been a valuable instrument for coordinating and holding together the choir and the girl’s group. She has done a great apostolate with them. (Picture on left: Martha-Therese with two newly baptized.)
François de Sales and Dieu-VivantLast year we started – ad experimentum – a formation program for our older Altar-Boys. Those most committed to the Mission. We started with François de Sales and Dieu-Vivant. They have their own living quarters and refectory, and the program is going very well so far! They go to school during the day, and in the afternoon they help at the Mission with different tasks. They are both responsible for the two Sacristies, and they prepare the daily Mass and weekly adoration. They also help coordinate the Boy’s Group and many activities at the Mission. If this program continues as well as it has been, and if finances allow, we will take on other young men, having in mind of course, their future life at the Seminary or as Oblates
Rev. Canon H. Fragelli
Canon Fragelli was sent to Gabon in November 2012 to restore the Mission that had been inactive for several years. Canon Fragelli likes to preach. His favorite subject is the Blessed Mother and Catholic doctrine. He preaches every day at Mass and any occasion that presents itself. “Faith comes through hearing” taught us Saint Paul. His official title today is: “Prior of the Mission Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus and responsible for the apostolate of the Institute of Christ the King in the diocese of Mouila.” He is also the Chaplain of the Prison of Mouila.
THE ALTAR BOYS
A nice group of about 20 boys and young men that have been with us since the begging (most of them). They attend catechism every week; attend an altar-boy practice every week, and help in many tasks at the Mission. They all make part of the Mission’s boy’s group called: Les Coeurs Vaillants (The Brave Hearts). More recently they formed a soccer team that will eventually compete with the other schools in towns. They chose the name for their team: Les Panthères du Christ Roi (The Panthers of Christ the King).
THE MEN’S GROUP
The “Men’s Group” now has a name: Saint Joseph’s Companions. They help at the Mission in different capacities. From manual labor to PR work, or simply being ushers at the different Mission events. We had two retreats for them in 2014.
Andreas Heidemann was the first volunteer to come to the Mission. He came in 2013 and then again in 2014. On both occasion he was of great help. The Gabonese loved him. He left great memories behind. We all miss him. Besides a lot of help (work), we also took him to see the Elephants at Nyognié Park, then to watch the Wales in Libreville, and an excursion in the river Ngoé to meet the… hippopotamus. Check out Mission Report # 4 and Mission Report # 7
Miss Natalie Zivnuska
(From Saint Louis, Missouri, USA)
Miss Natalie came on October of 2013 for a whole month. She taught the ladies at the newly built Mission Bakery, how to make bread and all kinds of pastries. She caused such an impression upon the girls that they named that bakery after her: “Miss Natalie’s Bakery”.She also helped organizing our first Church Picnic.
Check out Mission Report # 5
(From Saint Louis, Missouri, USA)
Miss Kate came with Miss Natalie in October of 2013. She taught sewing and embroidery to the ladies. She also helped tremendously consolidate the ladies group at the Mission. She is greatly missed by all of them and they named the gallery in front of the sewing room after her: “Corridor Miss Kate.”
Mr. Nicholas Verzino
(From Dallas, Texas, USA)
Mr. Verzino, or “Nick” as he preferred to be called, worked hard in several Mission Projects. He was specially loved by the children for the goodness of his heart, but also because of the freebees and other games he brought and played with them. He also built, in the Mission’s carpentry, several games for them. One, made of wood blocks, is still called by the boys: “Mr. Nick’s game” He is missed.Check out Mission Report # 6
Rev. Canon Paul Antoine Lefevre
(Vice-Rector of our Seminary in Florence, Italy.)
Canon Lefevre, though Fr. Fragelli’s teacher at the Seminary, was one of his best friends. They are of the same age. So Fr. Fragelli invited him to visit him at the Mission. He came for a short 3 week visit during the summer of 2014 and his visit was a real blessing to the Mission. Besides helping like any volunteer, he gave spiritual direction to many at the Mission and was the celebrant in the re-inauguration of the Mission’s chapel. (Picture). His priestly example of dedication, piety and humility touched everyone. Check out Mission Report # 7
Mayeul Aldebert and Geoffroy de Pampelonne.
It was a joy to have these two young French volunteers at the Mission. They are first cousins. During their one month of volunteering they helped so much! Mostly, very sportive-like, they were great with the young boys of the Mission. They also had a great time in the many adventurous excursions we organized for them.
Roger and Maya Vargas
Roger, an old friend of Fr. Fragelli, came with his wife Maya to visit him, volunteered for a whole month and a half at the Mission. A natural Chef, Roger, seconded by his good wife Maya prepared all kind of Indonesian typical dishes, occasioning the visit of several of the Missions friends, as for example Minister Bakita and his wife. Maya created a vegetable garden for the Mission, and Roger made a Power Point presentation about the Mission (in French). It was hard to see them leave. They are missed.
FRIENDS & PUBLIC RELATIONS
Our first neighbors are the Trinitarian Sisters. At their request Canon Fragelli has preached them retreats, and they are often invited to the Mission for lunch or dinner, or to participate in the Missions Feast Day Celebrations.
In between the many Mission projects and tasks, Public Relations and being part of the local community are a crucial part of Mission work. We have thus visited, invited and received several times the visit of our Bishop and other Priests of the diocese, our Governor, the Prefect, the Mayors, Military authorities, the local Minister, the many Directors of the Electrical Company, the Telephone Company, the Bank, the Post Office, as well as the different Commander of the Police forces, and many others.