I have been the rector of our small community in Manouba on the fringes of the city of Tunis since 1999 after one year finding my feet and trying to relearn some French, gone very rusty from the days of Fr. Bob Coupe's classes, and some local arabic, thanks to the White Sisters. We manage a mixed primary school of some 700 muslim pupils from the ages of 5yrs to 12-13yrs.
The school is one of a good handful under the direction of the Diocese of Tunis, another of which is run by the Salesian Sisters in the north, near Bizerte. Our community is part of the Maltese Delegation of the Irish Province. We provide pastoral service to various convents, to the English speaking parish, and to the Polish community: a member of our community is from the Warsaw province.
Our mission is to be Christians among muslims, and Salesians to our staff and children. This involves the more difficult witness to our Faith: We must LIVE it rather than PREACH it. Conversions are rare, but respect for Christian inspired values is widespread and cultivated throughout the Diocesan school system.