About Us

Who we are

The Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill (CMM) also known as the Missionaries of Mariannhill is an international religious missionary community of both brothers and priests. Rooted in the Gospel and our tradition, we are committed to the Church’s mission of evangelization Ad Gentes. We are contemplatives in action. We place great emphasis on, community life, spirituality and a strong sense of mission. These three are the foundation and source of strength for our ministry.

We consider not only our local community but also our worldwide Congregation as a family in which we share our lives, our talents and our resources.  A community firmly grounded in prayer and work is the center of missionary radiation.

What we do

As Missionaries of Mariannhill we actively participate in the missionary mandate of the Church by cooperating in announcing the Gospel, especially among those who do not yet, or no longer, believe in Christ.  We strive to help build up and accompany local Churches, dedicating ourselves to work for integral human development.  We commit ourselves to keeping alive and deepening among the faithful a sense of responsibility for the whole Church.

As religious missionaries we live in community according to the evangelical counsels, imitating Christ and giving witness to the unifying strength of the Gospel.  Our patrimony includes the example of Abbot Francis of total self-giving.  The ancient motto “Ora et Labora” encourages us to be praying workers and working worshippers – contemplative missionaries.

Why we do it

Mission has its Foundation in God who wants all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. So God sent Jesus Christ to redeem everyone and make all peoples into one people of God. To continue God’s mission, Christ endowed the Church with the Holy Spirit. The Church therefore is for all people the sacrament of salvation. Therefore the Church is essentially missionary.

As Missionaries of Mariannhill we share in the missionary task of the Church. Inspired by and in fidelity to Abbot Francis Pfanner and the early Mariannhill community, we take up our missionary intention and approach, our zeal, courage and perseverance and cooperate in building up and renewing the Church.

We consider our missionary vocation as a call and a gift of the Spirit of God, who distributes to each as He wills. Therefore remain faithful to this call. We trust that Christ has entrusted us with the necessary gifts to continue His work of salvation of all people.

Where we come from

The Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill evolved from the Trappist monastery of Mariannhill, founded by Abbot Francis Pfanner in South Africa in 1882. Soon these contemplative monks began missionary work among the indigenous people and opened many missions further and further away from their original monastery.

Since the active life of a missionary was not compatible with the strict Trappist rule, the Apostolic See separated the monastery from the Trappist Order in a decree of 2nd of February 1909 and thus prepared the way for the gradual evolution of a new Religious Missionary community, the Missionaries of Mariannhill.

Acknowledging our historical and spiritual roots, we are both Religious and Missionaries who live in community. As Religious, our Trappist roots lead us back to St. Benedict, and as Missionaries we are connected with the early missionaries of Mariannhill and their tireless leader Abbot Francis Pfanner. Our Benedictine motto of ‘Ora et Labora’ combines these two traits of our Congregational history and is our legacy.