Fr. Jim Arrives In Tanzania! (II)

Fr. Jim Donohue.
After Fr. Andrzej Duda, C.R. picked me up in Dar es Salaam, we drove to our formation house in Tungi, which is a village just outside of Morogoro. I met our new aspirants when I arrived.
Starting from the left: Faustine Makoye, Karoli Kavishe, Alexander Baraka, Joseph Amani, and Paschal Rwigana. They are doing well and seem to be a good group.
Upon our arrival, after about a five-hour car ride from Dar es Salaam, I was greeted royally by the aspirants and seminarians (Emmanuel Ntula, Leonsi Simoni Inyasi, and Brayan Edward Gigo) who were present at the formation house.
From left: Faustine, Brayan, Paschal, Karoli, Emmanuel, Joseph, and Alexander.
It is hard to know what “stance” to take when you are being dressed in the ceremonial robe and in the midst of the singing and drums! I did not know whether to try to look regal or humble! There was plenty of singing, so I had a great deal of time to work on both poses! I heard the Swahili greeting “Karibu, Padre Jim!” (“Welcome, Fr. Jim”) too many times to count. It really is a bit overwhelming to be greeted so warmly and kindly, especially after long travels. Before I knew it, they had whisked my suitcases into my “old” room. I had left some luggage from previous trips, and I began to unpack and sort out some things before I leave next week for Buhemba to minister at St. John Paul II parish.
Most of the seminarians are either on vacation or completing summer pastoral work. Right now, we have 10 seminarians under temporary vows. When the fall semester begins, we will have 5 seminarians studying theology: Vitalis Masika, Emmanuel Ntula, Joseph Juma Chacha, Brayan Edward Gigo, and Mario Rutajula.

Joseph, Emmanel and Vitalis.

Mario and Brayan.

The other seminarians under temporary vows will continue their fall studies in philosophy: Leonsi Simoni Inyasi, Francis Peter, Petro Francis, Selestine Matutu, and Gervas Sililo.

Petro and Selestine.

Leonsi, Francis and Gervas.

There are also 6 seminarians who have not yet been on novitiate, so they have not yet made their temporary vows: Valentino Chatanda, Livinus Galeba, Audax Maganya, Benedicto Kaonjela, Cleophace Kajuna, and Jerome Jonas.
From left: Audax, Benedicto, Livinus, Cleophace, Jerome, and Valentino.

Not living in the formation house at present are three brother candidates: Michael
Charles Mabuluja, C.R. (who ministers at St. John Paul II Parish in Buhemba), and
Br. Lamech Mtiama and Br. Michael Nyamsege (who are in their second year
studying at a catechetical school).

And, of course, we have three Tanzanian-born religious who have taken their
perpetual vows and are now involved in full-time parish ministry: Fr. Philip
Justinian Makondo (Butiama parish), Fr. Yohana Michael Henrico Kachwele
(Buhemba parish), and Br. Mosses Katikiro (Butiama parish).

For my part, I settled into my old room with the mosquito netting over the bed.

I also had some visitors as soon as I arrived. Over the years, some friends, and faculty members and alumni at Mount St. Mary’s University, have given me money to help people that I encounter in Tanzania. Tito is a young man who is finishing his last year of high school (Form Four) at Alfagems Secondary School in Morogoro. He is about to take his final exams that determine if he will be eligible to go to university for further study. He is very bright and does extremely well at school, but his family cannot pay the whole tuition. Tito contacted me before I left the U.S.A. and asked if I might help him again this year. His family was able to pay half the tuition, and with the help of my friends, I was able to give him money to pay the rest. When I met with him, he told me something that he remembered something from our first conversation. (Of course, I had forgotten!) He said, “You have helped me, so when I can, I will surely help other people. I promise this to you!” This made me think of all the people that have helped me over the course of my life, and how I hope to repay their generosity and trust in me in my service to others.
Tito and his mother.
Later that day, Tito and his mother returned with a gift for me. They had given a gift to Fr. Andrzej in the morning, but they did not know that I was here. They told me that they wanted to give me a gift as well! It was in a bag, and I had no idea what it could be…yes…it was a chicken. We ate well that night!
More to come on

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