The Monastery of Agbang
raised to the Dignity of an Abbey

Dom Cyrill Schäfer, OSB, Sankt Ottilien


AgbangThe month of August was quite eventful for the monastery of Agbang situated in the North of Togo close to the border to Benin. On August 5, Prior Bernard Anaté inaugurated a new computer center for the monastery school. The constant problem of electricity has been finally solved thanks to a solar based power system. Abbot Blasio Park whose Korean monastery Waegwan had financed a considerable part of the new center attended the ceremony personally. The primary school has in this way been boosted for the development to a secondary school (lycée).

The following day, the Transfiguration of Jesus, which the monastery of the Incarnation sees as it Patronal Feast, the local bishop of Kara, Msgr. Jacques Longa, consecrated the new Church of the abbey, assisted by the bishops of Dapaong and Sokodé. The new abbey church, like the former chapel, has an octagonal form and reminds in this way of the classical African round hut. It has seats for more than 70 monks (right now, there are about 30 monks) and 200 faithful. On big feast days, more faithful can be seated along the outside of the circular building. The construction was financed through the monasteries of Münsterschwarzach (Germany), Schuyler (U.S.A.) and Uznach (Switzerland). On 8th August, after the chapter had shared its long-term reflections and preparations with Jeremias Schröder, abbot president of the Missionary Benedictines, the monastery was raised to an Abbey.

AgbangabbeOn 10th August the first Abbot was elected and confirmed: Fr Romain Botta OSB, 48 year old, who has been Congregation Secretary since 2012. The newly elected father of the community speaks many languages and has seen much of the world: He received his secondary school education in Tanzania. Afterwards he was superior of Tigoni Monastery in Kenya. He studied philosophy and theology in the U.S.A. and finally spent four years in Germany as Congregation Secretary of the Missionary Benedictines.