MAGAGOA, SAME, TANZANIA
May 12, 2016, was a very special and historic day for the Catholic community at Mgagao outstation in the Catholic Diocese of Same in north eastern Tanzania. More than 500 parishioners and well-wishers from neighboring parishes gathered festively to celebrate the blessing of their new rectory, to witness the dedication of their new parish church, St. Andrew Parish, and to witness the formal installation of the first pastor, Rev. Fr. Mathew Ambrosi, CSSp. According to Fr. Mathew this was”the greatest day ever of my life”.
The joyful ceremonies, which included the confirmation of 27 youths, were presided over by Most. Rev. Rogart Kimaryo, CSSp., the Spiritan bishop of the Diocese of Same, along with numerous diocesan clergy and Spiritan missionary priests.
The Same Diocese encompasses 10,000 square kilometers with a population of 562,300. Seventy thousand are Catholic. The present twenty-nine parishes are served by 56 priests.
The Spiritan Office for Mission Advancement (SOMA) of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit-U.S. Province helped to realize this special occasion by providing a grant of $4,400 towards acquisition of the parish water catchment system and water distribution tank. Additionally, through friends of the Spiritans an additional $3,800 was secured for rectory plumbing improvements. These modest supports facilitated the possibility of opening up this new and vibrant parish in a remote and drought prone area of the Diocese of Same.
Fr. Michael Begley, CSSp., Director SOMA commented that “this is a great example of how a former mission station, under missionary care, gradually, over time, develops into the formal structure of a parish with some help from U.S. Catholics”. He further stated that “it would be great if we could help the new pastor to secure a suitable used Suzuki Vista which costs $7,600”. Donations for this cause are most welcome at spiritans.org.