Fr. Jim Arrives in Tanzania! (I)

Fr. Jim Donohue.

I was originally scheduled to arrive in Tanzania at the end of June so that I could participate in Fr. Yohana Michael Henrico Kachwele’s ordination. However, my own stupidity and bureaucracy interfered! I ended up arriving at the beginning of September. I began working on my missionary permit right after Easter and did not successfully receive my permit until mid-August. Most of this was my fault…or at least the fault of the lack of instructions. After successfully—I thought—submitting my application, I waited for an email. At the beginning of June, I began to wonder why the email response was so slow in coming. I went through some older emails and discovered that there was a “dashboard” that has a 30-day expiration for an application…which had passed. So, I made a new application. The “dashboard” had three headings: application, pendings and payment.

For the next two months I kept updating information from “pendings” only to have more required updates. I sent several emails asking what I was doing wrong because I could never seem to get to the “missionary permit.” Never a response! Fortunately, my cousin Barbara lives across the street from a Tanzanian, Terry, whose brother used to work in the Tanzanian embassy in Washington. She emailed him, and finally I got an email, telling me that I was clicking on the wrong category at the beginning of every application. Instead of clicking on “individual” I was supposed to click on “group.” Oh my, I never thought of myself as a “group.” I know that I have put on weight, but a “group?” Really?

To make a long story short—and it is a really long story—I finally received approval in the middle of August. I ended up changing my flight twice. I was packed for two months…full speed ahead, but nowhere to go! The funniest part is that periodically, they would ask for my work permit number. Of course, I did not have one. I would explain that I was a missionary working voluntarily with no pay. So, I received a message, saying enter a “—” for work permit number. I did this, but then later a message would ask me to remove “—” and enter my work permit number. I was starting to despair until one day a message appeared to enter the work permit number provided. I did this and was approved within one hour. The next day I was able to make the payment for the permit, and one week later I was able to print out the permit! Alleluia!!!


But I am here! I left Dulles airport in Washington on August 31 and arrived in Dar es Salaam on September 1.

The flight is 14 hours from Washington to Dubai, a one-and-a-half-hour layover, and a five-hour flight to Dar es Salaam. There is an eight-hour time change in Dubai (moving forward) and a one-hour time change in Dar es Salaam (moving backwards). So, by the time I got here, I didn’t know what day or time it was! My time clock is off, but everything else is good.
When I arrived, I stayed at the Hotel Blue Sapphire for a few days. It is tough to get your “body clock” back in order. You feel very tired, but somehow you cannot sleep. It usually takes about two days to feel somewhat normal.
Fr. Andrzej Duda met me there and drove me to Morogoro. I’m not sure how long I will stay there, but I will go to Saint John Paul II Parish in Buhemba for my ministry.
Fr. Andrzej at Jordan University College where our seminarians study Philosophy and Theology.
From the left: Fr. Andrzej, Fr. Maciej, Fr. Phillip (who was a deacon in this photo), Fr. Daniel, and Fr. Yohana (who was professing his perpetual vows in this photo).

Br. Mosses (Mother Mary of the Precious Blood of Jesus Parish) and
Br. Michael (St. John Paul II Parish).

Looking back, it has been a world-wind of a summer. I needed to move out of my office and out of the house that I had lived in for 25 years.
I also needed to finish up the school year (grading papers), and I had wonderful opportunities to speak on various occasions at the Mount before my departure.
Fr. Jim delivering the commencement address at the 2022 Mount graduation exercises.
Fr. Jim with President Trainer receiving an honorary doctorate and recognition as professor emeritus.
More to come on

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