• On October 13th 2018 the meeting of the IMS Steering Committee was held

    On October 13th 2018 the meeting of the IMS Steering Committee was held. The day before, a preparatory meeting was held with the IMS sections (General, Belgium, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Madagascar, and Central America); there were rich exchanges about different topics that interested the sections and the groups.

    After her speech, Sister AULIAC (Chemin Neuf Community) wanted to pay tribute to Father MENARD (Society of the Priests of Saint Jacques), who was the administrator then the president during the past 21 years. The participants then detailed the results of the work carried out during the past year, before addressing the decisions.

    Sister AULIAC was elected President of the IMS and Father SERCK (Mutual Fund of the Religious of Belgium) was elected Vice-President. Monseigneur MUGAMBI (Kenya Conference of Bishops) and Father PECQUEUX (Congregation of the Eudists) were named administrators.

    The decisions are quite favourable towards the IMS members, particularly with the contribution of 5 countries decreasing (transition from zone B to zone C), facilities of the implementation of the Social Funds procedure and measured indexations of the contributions.

    The next Steering Committee is scheduled for November 7th 2019.

  • Father Ménard gives up his seat

    President Michel Ménard chose this year to retire. A reception was held on 17 September 2018 : many IMS administrators, the presidents of the various entities of the USM, the representatives of conferences and the staff of the Union Saint-Martin including those of the General Section paid tribute to him.

    56 years of commitment to the Church, including 20 years directly for the benefit of the International Missionary Benefit Society ! Father Michel Ménard has continued, and significantly developed, the international influence of the Association. There are now around 800 congregations, institutes and dioceses which are currently members of the IMS, i.e. 30,000 churchmen/women and priests residing in 140 countries. Assistance is given for thousands of cases every year, which might range from the purchase of a box of drugs costing €2 to a medical evacuation costing €50,000 and between these two examples, classic medical consultations, hospitalisations, the purchase of glasses, etc. The second objective of President Ménard has also been reached : the churchmen/women and priests whose healthcare costs are borne by the Association, can thus better devote themselves to their mission. Finally, faithful to his principles of generosity, the President has maintained a constant effort to support the most disadvantaged groups and the most expensive cases. His messages of solidarity have been relayed widely and constantly.


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  • The IMS present at the AMECEA

    Accompanied by Brother VIGNAU (IMS secretary- general ) and Mr SACHELI (Operational and Development Manager), Sister TECLA (manager of the East Africa section in Nairobi) presented the IMS during the 19th session of the AMECEA (Association of the Episcopal Conferences of East Africa) that took place in Ethiopia (Addis Abeba, July 2018).

    Nearly 400 participants including the majority of the bishops from 9 countries were gathered, as well as the secretaries of 2 dicasteries and representatives, in order to talk about themes of diversity, equality, dignity and peace.

    The audience appreciated the IMS message. Indeed, health issues are a real problem in the area, especially because health cover devices are limited or inappropriate.

    Meetings continued in 2 nearby countries: the IMS was presented in Rwanda and Burundi through meetings and exchanges with nuncios (or their representative), dioceses and congregations. The principle of solidarity has been well understood and the adaptation of the services appreciated by the bishops and the superiors who have to ensure the social protection of their members.

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  • Change of presidency

    Following the resignation of Father Michel MENARD as President, Sister Elisabeth AULIAC has been providing cover for him since June 2018.

    During the next Steering Committee in November 2018, the managers will vote to elect the new President.

  • Père Michel MENARD, Président de l’EMI s’est rendu en Afrique en janvier 2018

    Père Michel MENARD, Président de l’EMI s’est rendu en Afrique en janvier 2018. Accompagné de Frère VIGNAU (secrétaire Général EMI) et de M. SACHELI (responsable opérations EMI) il a pris part aux activités du 50 EMI anniversaire. Née en 1965, l’Association d’Entraide a installé dès 1967 ses deux premières sections en Afrique (section Ouest Afrique à Abidjan ; section Afrique Centrale à Yaoundé). A Yaoundé, la section EMI fonctionne grâce à la volonté de la Province des Spiritains, précisément le responsable Père Albert ASSAMBA, appuyé dans la mission EMI de tous les jours par Sœur CHARO et Sœur MARIE-ANNE. Une centaine de collectivités étaient présentes ces 19 et 20 janvier (supérieurs, économes…du Cameroun, Gabon, RDC, Tchad, Guinée Equatoriale, République du Congo, RCA, Kenya) pour assister aux messes, présentations, interventions. Les activités se sont déroulées de manière parfaite et ont été complétées par des rencontres entre le Président MENARD et le 1er secrétaire du nonce apostolique, la Conférence des Evêques, et la visite d’hôpitaux (Le Jordan, Saint Martin de Porrès)
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  • The Central Africa Section celebrates its 50 years

    Father Michel Ménard, President of the EMI, visited Africa in January 2018. Accompanied by Brother Vignau (Secretary General of IMS) and Mr Sacheli (IMS operations manager), he took part in the activities of the 50th anniversary of the IMS.

    Founded in 1965, the Mutual Assistance Association, in 1967 set up its first two sections in Africa (West Africa section in Abidjan; Central Africa section in Yaoundé).

    In Yaoundé, the IMS section operates thanks to the efforts of the Province of the Spiritans and more precisely the person in charge, Father Albert Assamba, supported in the everyday IMS mission by Sister Charo and Sister Marie-Anne.

    A hundred communities were present on 19 and 20 January (superiors, bursars, etc. from Cameroon, Gabon, DRC, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, CAR, Kenya) to attend the masses, presentations and listen to the speakers. All the activities went very smoothly and were supplemented by meetings between the President Ménard, 1st Secretary of the Apostolic Nuncio and the Conference of Bishops, and by the visit of hospitals (Le Jordan, Saint Martin de Pores).

    In his homily, Father Assamba recalled the gospel of the day, about illness, attention and care: “Now Simon’s mother-in-law had gone to bed with fever, and they told Jesus about her straightaway. He went to her, took her by the hand and helped her up. And the fever left her and she began to wait on them.” 

    The Father continued thus : “the patient may be the countries in which there is not yet a social security system, and where the IMS appears as Jesus, who helps the bishops and superiors to fulfil their canonical obligation to take care of the health of missionaries and members of the clergy. The patient is also the man or woman of the church or the priest. Jesus represents the IMS who goes to them, takes them by the hand, helps the pastoral worker to get up and to restore their health so they can continue to serve. Because health is our primary physical asset. It is health which allows priests and men and women of the church to fulfil the mission that God has entrusted them with”.


  • L’EMI réunit son Comité Directeur et son Assemblée Générale

    Sorry, this entry is currently available in French.

  • Training course IMS

    From October 9th until October 17th, a training course took place at the Central Office of the IMS. This session was addressed to 2 francophone sections and aimed at passing on knowledge about the IMS management at the Section level, as well as the use of the ICOD information system.
    -West Africa Section: Sister Dena, Sister Yvonne, Mrs N’Guessan.
    -Central Africa Section: Sister Charo, Sister Marie-Anne, Father Barthélemy.
    Have intervened as instructors :
    -Mr Bruiet, Mr Colasse, Mrs Correia, Mrs Cote, Mrs Goffin, Mrs Konoba, Mr Sacheli.

  • Golden Jubilee of the IMS West Africa section


    The International Missionary Benefit Society (IMS) celebrated its 50 years of presence in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) from 8 to 10 September 2017. After the Eucharist led by Monsignor Séraphin ROUAMBA (Archbishop of Koupela, Burkina Faso), Monsignor Joseph SPITERI (Apostolic Nuncio, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire) opened the ceremony, repeating the words of Pope Francis: “everything that is shared multiplies”. Meetings and conferences were then chaired by Monsignor Séraphin ROUAMBA and Monsignor Bénoît ALOWONOU (President of the Conference of bishops of Togo).
    The IMS, an association governed by Swiss law was created in 1965, resulting from the wish by French monks/nuns to benefit from a health care coverage system abroad. As recalled by Sister Elisabeth AULIAC, Vice-President of the IMS, the principle of solidarity grew quickly in Africa with the creation of local sections and a very clear objective:
    To make available to superiors and bishops a system able to meet their canonical obligation, aimed at ensuring the good health of their members. At his public audience of 13 May 2015, Pope Francis moreover spoke, saying:

    “I reserve particular greetings for the members of the International Missionary Benefit Society. Dear friends, I strongly encourage your service in the Congregations and Dioceses to facilitate access by their members to health care and thus promote their dedication to the mission”.

    Father Michel MENARD, President of the Association is able to appreciate the path travelled: today 770 congregations and dioceses (nearly 29,000 priests, monks and nuns) maintain the IMS’ spirit of solidarity, a “daughter of the church”, according to the words of Monsignor Bénoît ALOWONOU. They pay a contribution that is adjusted in line with the particular country and receive assistance following each health care procedure provided for their members (medical consultation, hospitalisation, eyewear, pharmacy, etc.).

    This Golden Jubilee of the IMS West Africa section therefore brought together a hundred people from Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Niger, representing the dioceses and religious congregations of these countries.

    The specific needs of the members of this region and how best to adapt the services were recalled at this meeting. The partnerships with hospitals providing hospital care, mainly in Abidjan were particularly commended, such as the quality of care. One of the objectives of the next few years will be to expand this high-quality care network in the countries of the region and to continue to make the IMS known to the autochthonous dioceses and communities, trying to align it as much as possible to the needs and the budget of the persons concerned.

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  • Travel of the President of the IMS to Africa

    Father Ménard, President of the IMS, was in Africa between April 24th and April 30th. Accompanied by Brother Vignau (administrator) and Mister Sacheli (operations manager), he attended the MISAL (European meeting of the missionary societies) in Abuja (Kenya) where he presented the IMS (its history, organization and operating mode) and informed the superiors.
    He visited the archdiocese of Abuja and two colleges of the Marist Brothers where he informed about the IMS. Finally, representatives of groups belonging to the IMS came to inquire.
    In Nairobi (Kenya), the President met the cardinal, the bishops of the conference as well as superiors, bursars and managers of local groups in order to raise awareness among them about the cost of the medical care in their country in relation to the IMS practices of solidarity. Then, he visited the IMS local section to greet the staff and thank them for their work.