Remembering Fr. Planque


Fr. Augustin Planque was born on 25th July 1826 and went to his heavenly reward on 21st August 1907.


An image of Fr. Augustin Planque dated 28th August, 1881. Picture appeared in Sr. Claude-Marie Echallier's book 'The Fortitude and Faith of an Apostle' on the life of Fr. Augustine Planque. 

On July 25th, 1826 Fr. Augustin Planque was born in the village of Chemy, an agricultural heartland situated 13 kilometres south east of Lille, close to the border with modern day Belgium. He was born at a time when France was still recovering the 1789 Revolution and the Napoleonic wars of the early 1800’s.

Augustin was the first son of Pierre Joseph Planque and Agustina Caillerez. He had three older sisters and six younger brothers.

The family had a fifteen hectare farm. From an early age, Augustin worked alongside his family in the fields and, as the oldest son, was expected to take over the family farm. However, the young Augustin had other ideas.



Map of France. Image courtesy of


He became a priest and taught philosophy yet he still had a yearning for mission in Africa. During March 1856, Fr. Augustin responded to a report on Africa which appeared in the Universe newspaper. It was penned by Mgr. de Brésillac, a missionary who had spent some years in India and wished to begin a new mission in Africa. Mgr. De Brésillac used the article to call for support to form what would become the Society for African Mission (SMA). It changed the course of Augustin’s life.

In November 1856, he left his homelands and headed to Lyon where the SMA would be founded the following month.

In 1859, Mgr. De Brésillac died of Yellow Fever while on a pioneering mission to Sierra Leone. Agustin, at the age of 33, took on the care of the SMA in Europe.

From these early years he realized the need for Sisters. He founded the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) in Lyon in 1876.

Fr. Planque went on to dedicate his entire life to the missions until his death on August 21st, 1907 at the age of 81. His remains are interred at the SMA Seminary in Cours Gambetta, Lyons.

Those early mustard seeds planted and carefully tended to by Fr. Augustin Planque have born great fruit. Today, 750 Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles are present in 19 countries and continue to live out the missionary dream of Fr. Planque through education, healthcare and  pastoral support.


"I have nothing more at heart than to see God’s Kingdom spread on these foreign shores."

                                                                                                              - Fr. Augustin Planque


    • Click here to visit the website of the OLA Generalate in Rome.
    • Click here to find out more on Fr. Planque.
    • Click here to visit the SMA website.