Lameck Juma is a brother candidate in our Tanzanian Mission. He is from Butiama Parish. Currently he is in Butiama and is residing in the parish while Br. Mosses and Fr. Phillip are in Poland.
Lameck studied at the St. John Paul II Catechetical School in Komunge, in the Diocese of Musoma. It is a very intense program to prepare catechists—the lifeblood of parishes here in Tanzania. Br. Michael Mabuluja (with whom I live in Buhemba) is a graduate of this school.
We have another brother candidate studying there now; his name is Michael Jackson Nyamsegenya.
Fr. Yohana and I had the honor of participating in Lameck’s graduation before Christmas. There were about 30 graduates of the program from the Diocese of Musoma. Bishop Michael Msonganzila was present to receive the graduates’ pledge to be faithful catechists in the diocese.
I must admit that I did not know what I was about to participate in, but from our first arrival I realized that this was a “big thing!” Whenever I see the “dancing girls and (some) boys,” I know it will be BIG!
Everyone was getting ready for the procession for Mass just as we arrived. A quick donning of our vestments and Fr. Yohana and I were ready to join the procession!
They had various tents set up for the altar and for participants because of the heat. It would not be possible to sit in the sun unprotected for this period of time. It was about 95 degrees Fahrenheit or 35 Celsius that day!
Look who oversaw the incense for the celebration…yes, Michael Jackson!
Another honor for the Resurrectionist community is that Fr. Yohana was asked to proclaim the gospel…which he chanted most beautifully!
After the homily, the catechists presented themselves to the Bishop.
Each new catechist knelt before the bishop to commit him/herself to proclaim the gospel and to help people to understand it.
There was much well-deserved rejoicing after the reception by the bishop.
After the liturgy, I discovered that Lameck had finished first in his class at the catechetical school and was chosen to address the bishop about improvements that needed to be made at the school. The chief request was to have running water for showers. The bishop responded that things move slowly, but that he would work on this.
People had many gifts for the graduates. I never thought about bringing a goat as a gift, but I am new to Tanzania!
Of course, there was much celebration afterwards! Everyone wanted to get into the photos!
More to come on www.resurrectionists.ca
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