Good Shepherd Sunday

Dear friends and brothers,

On the occasion of the World Day of Prayer for Priestly Vocations, which is celebrated today, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday, I wish to greet you with joy and tell you about the life of the Seminary in the past few months.

This year we were able to celebrate Easter throughout the Holy Night, with the baptism, by immersion, of many children. It was a great joy for all the brothers, after last year, as a precaution, we avoided celebrating the Vigil in the various parishes for fear of uncontrolled contagion.

As some of you may know, the President of Tanzania, John Magufuli, passed away about a month ago and was replaced by the former Vice President, Ms. Samia Suluhu, a Muslim, who became the new President and is ruling the country, in her first steps, with authority and common sense, hoping for new international relations and greater transparency at the administrative level, as well as openness regarding the press and information in general.

As far as we can see there should be no major changes in the approach to the pandemic. The new President, while acknowledging the Covid problem and hoping for the collaboration of her government with the World Health Organization, always presents herself in public without a mask as do all the ministers. Therefore, there are no lockdowns, curfews or confinements, which are unthinkable in a poor country like Tanzania. In addition, the impact of the Corona virus has been greatly mitigated by the young average age of the population and by other factors, including perhaps the usage of the anti-malarial medication which proved to be effective against the virus.

Returning to the past few months, after the Epiphany, 5 new deacons were ordained by Archbishop Ruwa’ichi: Paulin and Denis of Tanzania, Moses and George of Kenya and Gabriel of the Ivory Coast. God-willing, they will be ordained priests next July. The parish priests are happy with their availability and obedience and some of them have requested they continue serving the parish after being ordained priests.

Another seminarian, Hamilton, who is completing his licentiate studies in Rome, will also be ordained a deacon on 8 May. He will be ordained a deacon in Rome, albeit for the diocese of Dar es Salaam.

We are pleased to inform you that Fr. Jose Giron will be returning to Dar es Salaam in June. He delivered the dissertation for his license in Sacred Scripture and cleared the final exam on 15 April.

In recent months, 3 other new seminarians have also entered, all from Tanzania, given the stalemate due to the pandemic: Patrick, from Dar es Salaam, and Bernard and Paulo, from Arusha. The current total of seminarians is 26, of which 5 are on mission, 3 studying in Rome, while the others (18) reside in the seminary where they are studying philosophy and theology.

On the 25th of February we welcomed our Archbishop, Jude Thaddaeus Ruwa’ichi, who presided over the celebration of the Admissio of 3 seminarians, Joseph and Gildas, from Tanzania, and Angelo, from Sudan, into the seminary. The Archbishop rejoiced for the spirit of the seminarians and insisted in his homily on the grace of God which greatly overcomes the alleged merits of men. Also insisting on the need for evangelization, and the need for the Church to announce once more with strength the Gospel of salvation.

He then stayed with us for dinner, enjoying the various songs that the seminarians had prepared for the occasion. We truly feel partakers of one Spirit and we recognize in him the heart of a father and a shepherd.

Shortly before Palm Sunday, a painful event also occurred for all of us in the seminary, namely the death of the younger sister of a seminarian. She was just 29 years old, she had lived in material and also moral misery for many years and for about a year she had been suffering from a disease that had led to consumption. But the wonderful thing was that before she died she was reconciled with her parents and family, asking for everyone’s forgiveness for her sins. It was truly a passage to Heaven, a holy death. We are sure that the Lord welcomed her to himself like poor Lazarus.

The construction project is coming along well. We are confident to start with the foundation by June. We waited a long time for the project to be reviewed and completed, so as not to have incur problems during the construction. In this regard, we are also preparing a Fundraising Dinner in the end of June with about 500 guests to support the start of construction. The Archbishop has already arranged for the diocese to donate 40 thousand euros.

Finally, I want to thank all of you who help us day by day, with your constant prayers and with many small or large donations, which allow us to continue forming missionary priests for the New Evangelization, after almost 15 years since the beginning of the Seminary, in September 2006!

May the Lord reward you and support you in your battles!

We pray for you every day and we ask you to continue praying for us.

We all sincerely wish you a Holy Easter Season!

Fr. Michele Tronchin, Rector

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