Home / Uncategorized / News & Events / The Official Inauguration of the Construction of Nazareth Senior Seminary, Mwendakulima – Kahama.

The Official Inauguration of the Construction of Nazareth Senior Seminary, Mwendakulima – Kahama.

I.     Introduction

The Catholic Church in Tanzania is seriously on the move towards the establishment of a new Senior Seminary to be called Nazareth Senior Seminary located at Mwendakulima, Kahama Diocese. After the first necessary stages, that is, the birth and approval of the idea of constructing a new seminary deliberated through a series of meeting including the RBS/KKNS Preparatory Committee Meeting held on 24th January, 2019; then the Permanent Council’s Meeting held on February 2020 and finally the Extraordianary Plennary Assembly held on 18th March, 2020; the next step has been eagerly awaited for. Thanks be to God that the 05th July, 2020 marked another important stage towards the realization of our dream. It was on this date that the official inauguration of the construction of this senior seminary was held. What was just a dream is by God’ graces slowly by becoming a reality. Though there is still a long way to go before the official opening of the seminary, but this is another important step to be cherished in the history of the Catholic Church in Tanzania. Thus, the entire Family of God in Tanzania really thanks the Lord for His blessings, especially for letting us begin this long but necessary journey.

II.  Who were present?

This event was blessed by the presence of seven bishops, that is, the President of the Tanzanian Episcopal Conference, His Grace Gervase Nyaisonga; the Vice President His Excellency Flavian Kassala; the Chairman of the Regional Board of Seminaries, His Excellency Joseph Mlola – ALCP/OSS; the Chairman of the Southern Board of Seminaries, His Excellency John Ndimbo; the Archbishop of Tabora Metropolitan (where Kahama Diocese belongs), His Grace Paul Ruzoka; the Apostolic Administrator of Kahama, His Excellency Ludovick Joseph Minde – ALCP/OSS;  as well as the bishop of Kondoa, His Excellency Bernardini Mfumbusa. Others who witnessed this event include the TEC General Secretary – Rev. Fr. Charles Kitima, two priests working at the PMS National Office, priests of Kahama Diocese, men and women religious as well as the laity from Kahama Diocese.

III.   Main activities that marked this event:

This important and historical event was marked by three main activities, namely:

(1)   The celebration of the Holy Mass

(2)   Visiting of the site to see the progress of the construction works

(3)   Some important meetings with different groups

 

(1) The Holy Mass held at the Cathedral of Kahama Diocese:

The Holy Mass for the official inauguration of the construction of Nazareth Senior Seminary was held at the Cathedral of Kahama diocese and was presided over by the Archbishop of Tabora, His Grace Paul Ruzoka. It was attended by the seven bishops, TEC’s General Secretary, two priests working in PMS National Office, the Priest Care Taker of Nazareth Senior Seminary and the Family of God of Kahama, that is, priests, religious and the laity.

The homily during this Holy Mass was given by the President of the Tanzanian Episcopal Conference, His Grace Gervase Nyaisonga. Linking the Gospel Message of that Sunday (Mt. 11:25-30) and the main purpose of that day, he took as the key message – God’s Consolation to humankind. On one hand, he emphasized that, the same way Jesus promises consolation to all those who are burdened and run to take refuge in Him, similarly, the people of Kahama diocese – which is vacant now, ought to feel consoled because their “savior” (new bishop) is to come soon. On the other hand, he emphasized that on this day, the entire Catholic Church of Tanzania ought to be consoled by the good news of the birth of the new Senior Seminary in Kahama Diocese. Moreover, he also took this occasion to thank all Family of God in Kahama, he asked them to continue praying for vocations to priesthood and religious life, asked them to be ready always to support this new seminary be it during its construction and later during its operation without counting how much they have already offered.

(2) Official visiting of the site and evaluation of the preliminary construction works:

Before the Holy Mass for the official inauguration of the construction of Nazareth Senior Seminary there was another important occasion. This was the official visiting of the site for the evaluation of the preliminary construction works. This visit was done by five of the seven bishops, the Secretary General of the Tanzanian Conference and other two priests working in the National PMS Office. It was done just upon their arrival in Kahama diocese on 04th July, 2020. By visiting this site, it was now possible to identify the priorities in the construction works and even set together some necessary strategies for ensuring that the target set could be attained in time and as required.

(3) Some important meetings held:

Three important meetings were held in order to deliberate on some issues pertaining to the establishment of this seminary. The first meeting was held on Saturday evening and concluded on Sunday morning. It was attended by the seven bishops, TEC General Secretary, two priests working at the PMS National Office, the Priest Care taker of Nazareth Senior Seminary and his two assisting priests from Kahama Diocese. Among other things discussed during this meeting were the general review of some previous strategies set towards the establishment of this seminary and the deliberation of the observations attained during the visit of the site.

The second meeting, though very brief, was between the bishops and the members of the laity councils from each parish and the superiors of the religious communities working in Kahama diocese. It was a good occasion for the President of the Tanzanian Episcopal Conference, on behalf of fellow bishops present and the conference at large, to publicly communicate again about the establishment of this new seminary, thank the family of God in Kahama for their generosity towards the establishment of this seminary and lastly to express their role in the formation of the seminarians who will be studying at Nazareth Seminary.

The third meeting was between the seven bishops and all the priests present, including diocesan and others working in Kahama. The main message of this meeting was again to communicate officially the establishment of this new seminary in their diocese, to thank the priests of Kahama diocese for their acceptance that the seminary be established in their diocese and even for their readiness to offer some of the diocesan structures towards the establishment of this seminary. Moreover, in this meeting the bishops asked the cooperation of the priests during these times of its construction and later during its operation. On this ground, they were asked to join hands with the episcopal conference to ensure that not only the seminary is established but also it operates successfully.

Conclusion

As the Swahili adage goes: “safari moja huanzisha nyingine” (that is, one journey opens a way to another one), this official inauguration of the construction of Nazareth Senior Seminary shouldn’t be regarded as the end but rather as one important step of a long journey still ahead of us. Bearing this in mind, some new strategies were proposed so as to ensure that this dream really becomes a reality. For instance, it was suggested that, if possible, the first academic year should begin in October this year with the first batch of 80 to 100 students for both philosophy and theology. Let’s pray that God may help us realize this dream so as to ensure good environments for the formation of future priests. Nothing is impossible to God!

Prepared by Fr. Alfred S. Kwene (Assistant PMS National Director)