Arrival: Tanzania!

Fr. Jim Donohue.

In the last post, I mentioned that the JIMEXS hats were well received. The sun is hot and constant, so head protection is needed by everyone, not just the follicle challenged. In this photo, the seminarians are gathered outside the residence where the philosophy and theology students live. There is another residence building where the aspirants—those discerning about entering our community in a year called the Propaedeutical Year—live with Fr. Daniel.

Anord (pronounced Arnold) is one of the new aspirants. Beside him, adjusting his hat, is another aspirant, Emmanuel.

This is Adrian, another one of our new aspirants. I have an English class with the aspirants each day. Fr. Daniel meets with them to discuss various topics from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and different aspects of our community history.

Here is a better photo of Emmanuel. Notice that he is wearing a Chicago Cubs t-shirt! (He did not know what a Chicago Cub was…it is probably better this way!)

Balthazar—yes…the name of one of the wise men in Matthew’s Gospel—is a brother candidate who is with us for a few months before he begins a two-year catechetical program in Musoma Diocese where our two parishes are located.

David (on the left) is another brother candidate who will accompany Balthazar to the catechetical school. This school has a very intense program with their days starting with 5:00 a.m. prayer. Wow! To the right is Gervas (1st year Theology).

Sylvester is another aspirant. I showed him some cartoons of Sylvester the Cat, which he found amusing…or, at least, pretended to find amusing!

It was great to see our cooks, Pendo (left) and Maria (right). Pendo just had a baby boy whom she named after Fr. Andrzej! I pay the tuition for Pendo’s little boy, Gratitude (beginning 4th grade on January 2), and Maria’s little boy, Florence (beginning kindergarten on January 2). Notice that they have their new Under Armor shirts!

The Vatican’s documents on the formation of young men for the priesthood and religious life focus on four different aspects of development: Spiritual, Academic, Human, and Pastoral.

There are places in formation where one of these areas may be the major focus. For instance, spiritual development is most important during the stage of Novitiate, and pastoral development is most important during the pastoral/diaconate stage. One of the Action Resolutions from the General Chapter was to spend more time focusing on the “Human Development” of the seminarians while they are pursuing their academic studies.

I thought about different possible ways to meet this Action Resolution and settled on using Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I was able to purchase a 7 Habit textbook that two people can share and a 7 Habit personal workbook for each person.

At the time of writing, we have already met three times on Saturdays. The aspirants and the philosophy students (10) meet with me for one hour and then the theology students (11) meet with me for one hour. I have used this in many classes, especially in a course called Effective Leadership. So far, so good.

My arrival coincided closely with all the seminarians returning from their pastoral assignments and summer vacation. So, we decided that we would celebrate being together with a dinner at the Morogoro Hotel. It was a great evening experience to catch up and to get ready for a new academic year.

Stephen is a volunteer from Poland who is living with us for a few months to help people learn more about using their computers.

More to come on

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