Who travels across the world to meet their bishop? Members of St. John the Evangelist in Loveland.
We woke up early (sleep is not why we came to Tanzania) so we could leave at 7:00 AM to make the 1-1/2 hour drive to Nyantakubwa and be there for the 9:00 AM Mass. The 7 of us piled in and arrived safely. The road from Sengerema to Nyantakubwa is very rough and we even had to cross a creek that had overflowed and covered the road. It had been raining for awhile (Mabula at work again) and it would come into play later in the morning. Today, we will take part in the Dedication of the new administration building at the Christ the King parish and secondary school for girls. We will also meet up with Archbishop Samuel Aquila, Fr. James Spahn and Michael and Trisha, others visitors from Denver. Fr. James is the pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Horton and he and his parish have been sponsors of the school and the building of the new building. Today there will be Mass and then the Dedication. We are welcomed and invited into the rectory where we meet the Archbishop and are invited to breakfast. We eat as we await the arrival of Bishop Kassala. When the bishop arrives it starts to pour and since the Mass is scheduled to be outside we wait.
Archbishop Samuel Aquila with Bishop Flavian Kassala during the rain delay
Priests waiting on the rectory porch during the rain delay
Mass was finally moved to the church which was standing room only with people outside. 9:00 AM Mass started at about 12:00 PM (true African time where it is about the event and not the time).
Archbishop Aquila gives the homily
Fr. John translatesArchbishop Aquila Confirms a handful of students and parishionersDeacon Denny assists setting the altar
Bishop Flavian Kassala and Archbishop Samuel Aquila prepare to receive the offertory. It will be the first time for Archbishop Aquila to receive and bless an offering of a goat, bag of concrete, chickens, sugar cane, bottles of water and Fanta soda, bags of grain. The generosity of the people is amazing, they give what little they have.
The recessional procession
Blessing of the new building.
Fr. John Ludanha and Fr. James Spahn after the Dedication
Reception in the new building. Catered food was delicious (l-r Michael, Trisha, Fr. James, Bishop Flavian, Archbishop Samuel, Fr. John)
Outside of the new building. Architects had projected a cost of 900,000,000tz but it came in around 700,000,000tz or $320,000 – simply amazing. We can’t buy a four bedroom house for that.
We all said goodbye and loaded into the vehicle to return to Geita for a farewell reception at the bishop’s house because the Archbishop and his crew were leaving Sunday for South Africa to go on safari. We went a different way to avoid the creek which had swollen due to the rain. What a beautiful day.