Fr. Toby Collins, CR visits Morogoro – Part 2

Fr. Jim Donohue.

Among many, one great contribution that Fr. Toby made was that he gave the input for the seminarians’ day of recollection which began Friday evening and concluded on Saturday afternoon.

The day of recollection concluded with Eucharist at noon. Fr. Toby had two all-star servers with him: Benedicto and Anord.

After lunch we began to get ready for a feast that would honor our guest, Fr. Toby, as well as celebrate Vitalis’ name’s day and Fr. Jim’s 41st anniversary of priesthood. Joseph and Audax worked the grill for the goat, with some help from Fr. Toby.

Sylvester was our DJ. He knows what to do and he enjoys his work as well!

The “environment” committee did a wonderful job with the set-up of tables and chairs so that we could eat in small groups.

The guest of honor with his new Tanzanian shirt…looking good, Fr. Toby!!!!

Fr. Toby Morogoro 2-16

There was plenty of food for everyone, including our young guests…children of our cooks.

Fr. Toby and Fr. Jim pose with two young people who came for a “Come and See” visit. At the time that Fr. Toby was present, we had seven “Come and See” candidates who are interested in joining us. Four are brother candidates and three are priesthood candidates. We will have another 7-8 candidates later in June. Most of them stay for three weeks so that they can “see” us, and we can “see” them. But most importantly, all of us want to “see” what God is calling them to be and to do.

It really is amazing to be in a place where there are so many people considering a vocation to religious life as a priest or a brother. While Fr. Toby was in Morogoro, we had “quite a crowd”: 3 priests (Fr. Toby, Fr. Daniel, and Fr. Jim), 9 theology seminarians, 4 philosophy seminarians, 1 brother with temporary vows, 8 aspirants, and 7 “Come and See” candidates, and one other person who is interested in our community, for a total of 33 people in the house. We only have 24 chairs in the dining room, so we had to “borrow” chairs from various rooms and squeeze a bit here and there. But we were able to make it work! You might imagine that our food bill also increased for a few weeks, but it is worth it for the future of the community.

I mentioned that it was also Fr. Jim’s 41st anniversary of priesthood on April 29th. The “old guy” got a few gifts, but none nicer than this card and this photo.

In the top left is a photo of my parents on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. To the right is a photo of me on my 20th birthday…the photo was taken at the Knotty Pine restaurant. I remember that I was with Fr. Bob Liddy, C.R. and Kevin Donelson to celebrate. Below that photo is one of me when I started teaching at Mount St. Mary’s in 1996. Yes, I always carried a hockey stick to class. Below that photo are two of my brothers, Brian and Bill.

In the top right, there is a photo of me shaking hands with Pope Francis when we met at the General Chapter in Rome in 2017. Beside that is a photo of me with two long-time friends, Charlie and Susan Lenfest. Below that is a photo taken in 2012 when I was in Poland with Fr. Phil Reilly, C.R. If you look closely, you will see a young Fr. Daniel who was getting ready to move to Tanzania! Who would have ever thought that we would be together again after meeting all those years ago?

Handmade cards are clearly the best! Thanks to Benedicto for taking the time to make this special card for me!

I will leave you with your own thoughts about this framed photo that I was given by Francis!

Fr. Toby Morogoro 2-23
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Fr. Toby Collins, CR visits Morogoro – Part 3

In order for Fr. Toby to have the “full experience” in Tanzania, I invited him to the liturgy at Jordan University College when 5 of our theology seminarians received the Ministry of Lector and 2 of our theology seminarians received the Ministry of Acolyte.