Trip to Buhemba (II)

Fr. Jim Donohue.
I found out that the seminarians’ vacation is not totally about “time off.” In Tanzania, they are expected to visit and to help out at their local parish when they are on “vacation.” Emmanuel and his brother, Phillip, wanted to show us their home parish and to visit with their pastor.
Albert (a first-year seminarian who is Emmanuel’s cousin), Phillip, Emmanuel, and Fr. Andrzej with Emmanuel’s pastor.

So, we drove a short distance to the parish. The parish was planning for a big celebration on Saturday, so “all hands were on deck” to help prepare. Amazingly, the parish has other seminarians in addition to Emmanuel and Phillip. Some are from the Fransalian Missionaries (Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales) and some are studying for the local diocese. The pastor has been a priest for four years and went to Jordan University College, so he knows our community. In fact, he was one of Fr. Andrzej’s students when he taught a few courses at Jordan.

Emmanuel with one of his Fransalian classmates who was completing his pastoral work at the parish.
Inside Emmanuel’s home parish church.
As a Resurrectionist, Emmanuel knows where to find a good painting!
Exterior of Emmanuel’s home parish.

In the background, you can see Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake in the world.

Fr. Andrzej and I continued our journey to Mwanza, where we stayed at St. Dominic pastoral center. 

After Mass and breakfast, we set off again on the journey to Buhemba. It is now Saturday, and we heard that Mario, Francis, and Gervas were all in Mwanza, either completing their pastoral work or vacation. In addition, Fr. Yohana was travelling to Mwanza to attend an ordination. 

So, our plan was to meet with the three seminarians for a snack or lunch. It turns out that Gervas was already on his way to Buhemba, and that Francis was helping at the ordination. But we managed to contact Mario, who invited us to visit his home for a morning snack. (Fr. Andrzej and I started to kid that we were becoming like hobbits with a second breakfast each day!) We met Mario and drove to his house and, once again, were met with incredible hospitality.

Mario and his mother and father, with family shrine in the background.

We drove to Fr. Yohana’s house but just missed him as he left for the ordination of his classmate. So, we drove Mario to the parish church, but not before we picked up Yohana’s brother, George. When we arrived, we saw Francis in the parking lot. He and Mario hurried to participate in the ordination. Later that night, Yohana told us that he was in the procession and saw us in the parking lot! 

At this point, the safari was almost over. Fr. Andrzej and I continued from Mwanza to Buhemba, but first we stopped in Butiama to greet Fr. Phillip, Br. Mosses, and seminarians Jerome and Peter. Jerome was just starting his pastoral practice and would soon be joined by Francis at the parish. Peter completed his pastoral work and was just about to begin his vacation at his home in Bunda. 

Fr. Daniel is on his well-deserved vacation right now, so we did not see him. He recently turned 40…I told him that he is now “one of us!”

More to come on www.resurrectionists.ca

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