Welcome to Sadbhavana : Carmelite Provincialate

Vicariate (Tanzania)


Dedicated to
St. Therese of Child Jesus

Begun in 1983 as a Inter-Provincial venture of all Indian Provinces, it was officially handed over to the Karnataka-Goa Province on May 8, 1992 and raised to a Regional Vicariate on March 20, 2002.

“Tunakushukuru Mungu Kwa kutulinda miaka hii yote katika bara la Afrika”


We thank God for his bounteous care over the years in the Continent of Africa. God bless Africa and God bless Tanzania. Dream happens and ignites thought and then strains towards making it a reality. Tanzania mission was a dream, dreamt by the Order long ago; the dream is slowly unfolding itself. The little seed planted by our province in the continent of Africa has grown and today is giving out nourishing fruits to the Church and people in Tanzania.

MISSION:
The evangelization of the world, so intimately part of the very nature of the Church, in as much as it is to be accomplished primarily through love and prayer, has always been a priority in our Order's apostolic work. Our Holy Mother Saint Teresa passed on to the Order the ardent missionary zeal that burned within her heart and it was her wish that her friars should also undertake missionary activity. This missionary zeal should be faithfully fostered; all should have the missions very much at heart as is put in the vision statement of the province, and vocations to the missions should be encouraged throughout the Order.

TANZANIAN MISSION:
Carmelite presence in Tanzania goes back to 1983. At the request of the late Bishop Adrian Mkoba of Morogoro to the Propaganda Fide for some religious priests to work in his diocese the latter contacted our Generalate in Rome. As a result, the Generalate requested the Indian provinces to embark on the mission in Tanzania as a common venture. Accordingly, Fr. Patrick Mootheril, then Definitor General in charge of the missions with Fr. Paulinus Maloth of Manjummel province visited Tanzania to study its possibility. After the initial survey, they contacted the Indian provinces for missionaries. Consequently, Fr. Walter Lobo from Karnataka-Goa province, Fr. Francis Kiliyampurackal from Malabar province, Fr. Cletus Nadeeparambil from Manjummel province and Br. Francis Devasahayam from Tamilnadu Delegation landed in Tanzania on 25th September 1983. Fr. Francis Kiliyampurackal had to leave the Missions on health grounds.

Others went to Kipalapala Language Center to study Kiswahili. At the completion of the language course they were given the Parish of Mikumi, very close to the wild animal park. The Carmelite Community in Mikumi was officially established on 16th July 1984. Br. Francis returned home soon after. Fr. Felix Moras from our province joined the remaining missionaries in June 1985, and Fr. Cletus returned to his province after a while. Despite the initial agreement, the provinces failed to replace the personnel to the Mission except the Malabar province, which sent Fr. Bernard Thattaparambil in 1988.

With this situation, the Generalate insisting on the ideal of establishing the Order in Tanzania appealed to Karnataka-Goa Province to take over the Mission. Meanwhile, Fr. Richard Castelino joined the missionaries in 1989. On May 8, 1992 the mission was officially handed over to Karnataka-Goa province. However, Fr. Bernard Thattaparambil agreed to continue to work in the mission until 1994 despite the mission being entrusted to K.G. Province. The mission is ever grateful to him.

BEGIN ANEW:
Ever since the Order requested the Karnataka Goa province to shoulder the full responsibility for the Tanzanian Mission, our Province has stood up to the task and the results are there for every one to see. The first decision was to promote future missionaries even from among the first professed young students, who opted each year to do their theology in situ and get acculturated to the African context in view of spending their life there as missionaries. In spite of the financial constraints and the hazards of deadly illnesses rampant in Tanzania our missionaries have shown themselves more than adequate to the task assigned to them. On the other hand the effort at empowering the missionaries with higher studies was taken up as a priority, so that their response to the challenges of that country and the mission may be efficient. Today quite few of them have been postgraduates and qualified in various branches of knowledge. Quite a few of our friars are also called upon to offer courses at the seminaries and other centers of learning. The morale of the missionaries, the thrust and commitment to work for the over all uplift of the people as well as to promote local vocations has given confidence to the long term viability of this mission and the Order has recognized it as a quasi autonomous regional vicariate since 2003, entrusting the decision making process to those in touch with the ground realities.

FOUNDATIONS
Mission at a Glance

Members:

  • Priests : 23

  • Theology Students : 06

  • Philosophy Students : 04

  • Novices : 02

  • Aspirants : 04

  • Form Students : 25

  • Communities : 06

  • Parishes : 05

  • Substations : 21

  • Schools : 02

  • Tailoring Centres : 01

  • Publications : 01

Dioceses in which we serve:

  • Morogoro

  • Mbeya

  • Songea

Our Prioritieses

  • Our presence and witness to Carmelite Charism

  • Recruitment of local vocations and establishing the Order

  • Missionary work with its socio-pastoral dimensions

IN THE BEGINNING:
Morogoro is situated on the highway that runs from Dar Es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. On July 16th 1984 our friars after becoming fluent in Kiswahili and acquiring a working knowledge of Kiluguru, the local language took charge of a vast parish of the Diocese in Mikumi, situated at the far end of Mikumi National park. The parish compound, once a den of Lions, the grazing ground of Giraffes, and Deers became the habitation of three sons of St. Teresa. Up to that time a priest used to come from distant Morogoro once in a week for liturgical celebrations. While at Mikumi, the Carmelites made efforts to improve the quality of life of the people by making provision for the basic amenities, and helped to build “Mikumi Health Center” for the diocese in 1986. The mission was handed over to the diocese in KIHONDA - MOROGORO

In the mean time the good Bishop offered a plot of land at Kihonda, Morogoro, where the house was founded in 1988 to be the head quarters of the Carmelites working in the region. Kihonda is 6 kms from Morogoro town, originally a village of Morogoro, off Dodoma road. How ever new population concentration has arisen in Kihonda. Morogoro town is originally the center of Uluguru land, the home of the Waluguru people. Being an industrial area and due to development there has been an influx of people from other neighboring regions, that Morogoro is now a multi tribal town.

Ever since the Carmelite friars came to Tanzania to work as missionaries they have not ceased to involve themselves in socio uplift programs. These programs are oriented towards all sections of society. The main aim is to help the marginalized and the neglected of the society to improve the quality of their living and thinking by providing different services. Hence a vocation home, a technical school was added to the complex. The spiritual services at our chapel are very much appreciated by the people and the youth too feel they have some one to pat on their back and encourage them.

The spiritual inputs that we time to time organize in our premises for the educated laity, the priests and the religious have benefited the life of the people. Venturing into educational sector, the mission has begun a Carmel primary school in the campus, where students are given an environmental friendly set up away from noise pollution and busy set up.

MALOLO MOROGORO:
Malolo mission was founded in the year 1991. It is located at very unique geographical set up, surrounded by famous Uduzungwa Mountains. Malolo comes under Kilosa district in Morogoro region. It is situated about 220 kms, west of Morogoro town, 130 kms to the south on the banks of river Ruaha, the fertile fields of Onions, and 21 kms, away from the main Dar Es Salaam-Mbeya highway. Iringa and Dodoma regions share its boundaries and the distance from district head quarters is 200 kms. The beautiful landscape, the green fields decked with cultivation and ever-flowing River at a small distance makes Malolo to seem like “land flowing with milk and honey”.

Initially a parish, parochial house Nursery and a hospital were built. Now having realized the importance of secondary education we have built Carmel secondary school. The initial Catholic population was a meager 25 souls, but now over the years there is a full pledged parish with more than 100 catholic families. Besides, there are at least 5 active missionary out-stations. The friars help the farmers, teaching them the scientific farming.

KOLA HILLS MOROGORO:
A house for the philosophy and theology students was inaugurated on the 1st of November 2002, in Morogoro, about 10 kms off the road to Dar Es Salaam, patron of the house being St. Edith Stein. This house is the third house in the diocese of Morogoro. The main aim of the house was to cater to the needs of our scholastics studying at the neighbouring Salvatorian Major Seminary, the common venture of the religious in Tanzania. A beautiful chapel was added to the campus on the 24th of May 2003. In addition, the house caters to the spiritual needs of those people who want to make their retreat, spend days in silence and in adoration.

KIROKA, a parish situated in the mountainous region about 20 kms from Morogoro town, is served by the members of the Kola-Hills community. It has eight sub stations with 3500 faithful. In order to cater to the spiritual needs of the people; the village leaders built the church in 1973. The parish is under the patronage of St. Kizito, one of the well-known Ugandan martyrs. Kiroka parish is not new to the Carmelites. The Carmelite pioneers served the faithful of Kiroka parish decades back. Due to lack of personnel the parish was returned back to the diocese. Again in 2003, the Bishop of Morogoro requested the Carmelites to render their services in the same parish. So, Kola community was entrusted with the responsibility since the community was looking for a parish for the pastoral experience of the Scholastics. Since then, Kola community is taking care of this parish.

UYOLE - MBEYA:
On the request of authorities, that all energies should not be concentrated only in one Diocese, the friars moved further south, to the Diocese of Mbeya, 980 kms from Morogoro. They took the parish in Irambo, and Igoma, which are now given back to the Diocese. Since the year 1999 our friars are working at Uyole, at St. Jacob's Parish. In the year 2000, canonical novitiate house was founded. Malisho community at Uyole. It was a great milestone in realizing the dream of establishing native Carmel on Tanzanian soil. There we have put up a Center for the empowerment of women, youth and the less privileged. In pursuance of that goal on 18th Dec. 2004, the community inaugurated a Tailoring School.

MBEZI LOUIS - DAR ES SALAAM:
Mbezi Louis parish is located on the Morogoro - Dar es Salaam highway, some 20 kms away from the city. Parish belongs to the Dioceses of Dar Es Salaam. On 12th March 2000, His Eminence Cardinal Polycarp Pengo officially gave the Mbezi Louis parish to the Carmelites, created from the neighboring parish. This Parish has 6,500 Catholics. The parish is also having six substations and a primary school. Among the pious associations, society of St. Vincent De Paul has been very effective to reach out to the needy in the area. It caters to the needs of 50 poor families, giving them food, clothing and medical facilities.

MPANDAGINDO - SONGEA:
Long-standing dream of beginning a mission in Songhea, almost on the frontier of Mozambique was realized on 14th of December 2003 on the feast of St. John of the Cross. His Lordship Norbert Mtega, the archbishop of Songea gave the Mpandagindo parish to the Carmelites. Earlier the Benedictines served the Mpandagindo mission.

BUNDA CARMEL - MUSOMA:
Cloistered Nuns monastery was first established on the 21st of November in the year 2001, at Bunda very close to the Serengeti National Park, in the diocese of Musoma. The nuns, all from the Indian carmels of southwestern association, arrived there at the invitation of the local Ordinary Bishop Justin Samba. The place for the monastery was Bunda, a parish almost 70 kms from the town of Musoma, off the road to Mwanza. In the beginning the members were given a house that was of the parochial house of the parish, the priests being shifted to another place where a new structure of the parochial house and the church were under construction. The sisters build a new monastery, which was blessed on the 16th of July 2005.

VOCATION AND FORMATION
A genuinely Carmelite formation of its members is of paramount importance for the vitality and future of the order, and to realize the mission of announcing the good news to the poor. It must embrace the candidate's whole being which demands both the active involvement of the subject and the aid and support of the formative community (cf. Cc. 108, 109).

The priority of our mission is to bring Christ tot eh lives of the people. We know it could be better done by implanting the Carmelite presence in Tanzania. To achieve this objective, promotion of local vocations was a must. Initially the missionaries began recruiting those who have completed standard VII, and efforts were made to recruit those who have completed at least secondary education. A full time vacation promoter is always appointed and is assisted by the local vocation promoters and the scholastics. The vocation promoter is responsible to visit the parishes and schools of the dioceses of Tanzania, make a selection of the promising candidates, and study each one individually and in due time the candidate is admitted to the Orientation Course. The Orientation course is a training of the candidate for a year who will be initiated to the English language, Christian doctrine and instructions on the rudiments of religious vocation. In addition, the other stages of Formation such as Aspirancy, postulancy, novitiate, philosophy, regency and theology are also established.

However, the missionaries gave utmost importance to the recruitment and formation the vacations were in decline due to many a factor. The systems were changed in the vocation promotion and formation. And after long years of Carmelite establishment in Tanzania by the Karnataka-Goa province of India, the first Tanzanian priest is going to be ordained, God willing, in the month of July 2006. It is a gift of the Tanzanian mission to the Silver jubilee celebrations of the Karnataka-Goa province.

SOCIO-PASTORAL DIMENSION
“I CAN DO ALL THINGS IN HIM WHO STRENGTHENS ME”. The affirmative and hopeful words of St. Paul will help us to relive the mysteries of incarnation, God made man. Paul, one of the greatest missionaries of the early Church was able to do and achieve what he desired because he gave himself fully and totally to the cause of Christ and he considered Christ alone to be his strength. Moreover, no doubt because of this he was successful in his missionary endeavors.

Social development is not new to the Carmelites. From the day the Carmelite missionaries stepped on the land of Tanzania, they have taken into consideration also the upliftment of the poor and involved themselves in the social development sector. First, the remotest village like Malolo saw a dispensary where people were treated for various diseases such as malaria, typhoid, etc. A kinder garden was also built to cater to the basic education of the children where the children had to walk miles to go to the government run schools.

Besides, in the region of Mbeya, towards the southern part of Tanzania, under the able guidance of the pioneer Fr. Walter Lobo, damming and tapping the potable water from the mountainous sources and distributing the same for the water starved villages was taken up on a massive scale. Tens of villages surrounding the Irambo and Igoma parish in Mbeya were supplied with clean water and the beneficiaries were poor people in these villages. Even today, the people very much remember the great work done by the missionaries of supplying the drinking water. As the days and years were running the missionaries ventures into yet a greater task of involving themselves in the educational sector.

In 1997, Tanzanian government developed a Basic Education Master Plan (BEMP) to guide development in basic education provision. The launching of the Primary Education Development Plan (PEDP) 2002-2006 in 2001 was an earnest beginning of a concerned government effort to revitalize the education system under the umbrella of the Education Sector Development Program (ESDP). The plan is now firmly on the ground with visible success and outcome. Having realized the importance of secondary education, the government of Tanzania ventured into a Secondary Education Master Plan (SEMP) 2001-2005 that was developed between 1998 and 2000 as part of overall Education Sector Development Program (ESDP). It sought to develop Secondary education systematically. Hence, the Carmelites too very recently i.e in the year 2004 ventured into this sector putting up Schools in Kihonda - Morogoro and Malolo- Morogoro, where hundreds of students are benefiting from the educational institutions run by the Carmelites. A primary school also is run in the parish of Mbezi-Louis in Dar Es salaam, by the parishioners, managed by the Carmelites. The aim is to achieve the following objectives:

  • To provide qualitative and holistic education and it aims at integrated personality development and at teaching skills.

  • To provide an incentive and moral boost to parents to educate their children (who could not do so for many years) at their door step.

  • To contribute towards the eradication of ignorance, directly and indirectly diseases and poverty.

  • Complementing the plan of government in implementing successfully the Secondary Education Development Plan.

Dreaming does not cost much but realizing the dream yes! In Uyole Mbeya, Carmel Social Center for the empowerment of women, youth and the less privileged was set up. As a result 'tailoring center' was begun for the women and hundreds of women are benefiting from the same. God willing, with the continuous support of the well-wishers many other social upliftment programs will be realized. Nathan C. Schaeffer said, “ At the close of life, the question will not be how much have you got, but how much have you given. Not how much have you won, but how much have you done. Not how much have you saved, but how mush have you have sacrificed. Not how much you were you honored, but how much have you served”. The Carmelites continue to serve in various fields at this part of the world.

“ The spirit of Christ is the spirit of the missions, and the nearer we get to him, the more intensely missionary we must become” Hendry Martyn. Many of our houses also very much cater to the spiritual needs of the people. In Morogoro, Mbeya, we have set up spirituality centers for those spending their time in God search. And that is the apostolate of the Carmelites to make the good God known and loved by the people of Tanzania.

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