Monday, March 6, 2017

Grappling With Electricity at Hanga

The need for electricity at Hanga is huge. In our modern world with the use of cellular phones particularly, let alone lighting, cooking and other industrial use pose a great dependence on electricity. Hanga abbbey have had small hydroelectric power plant for many years since early 60's but that electricity does not suffice to meet the needs today with a population that has grown tremendously over the years. Add to that problem, the reservoir of the dam for the electricity has also shrunk due to debris brought by every year rains. This rain season, 2017, the monks and students of abbey schools took a decision to clean the dam. The effort will help to increase the size of the dam by depth and area, hence increasing water holding capacity useful during dry months.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Frater Odo Nanyanje, OSB, of Hanga Abbey Dies

On Tuesday, January 31, 2017, our beloved Frater Odo Nanyanje, OSB, of Hanga Abbey died in Dar es Salaam where he was being treated for malaria. The real cause of his death is his diabetic condition that was worsened by the malaria.

Frater Odo was originally from Kitangali village in Mtwara region, southern Tanzania. He was born on the 19th of February 1952. He he joined monastic life at Hanga Abbey making his first monastic profession on July 11th, 1973.

As a monk of Hanga Abbey, Frater Odo has spent most of his life as a teacher and formator. He has taught at Hanga Religious Seminary twice and in the last term when he was assigned at the seminary, he was made the Rector. Frater Odo had also an opportunity of doing studies in USA where he earned Masters degree in Monastic Studies at St. John's University in Minnesota. With this degree Frater Odo was able to give religious talks and retreats to many religious communities of both men and women throughout Tanzania.  At the abbey he always had classes teaching novices and postulants.

He was responsible for the founding of Nakagugu Formation House and he chose St. John Bosco to be the patron saint of the center. Surprisingly, Frater Odo died on the feast of St. John Bosco. Indeed, like St. John Bosco who loved and cared for young people, so did Frater Odo.

To many people outside the monastery Frater Odo was known and credited for his zeal and spirit of helping the poor. He would do everything he could to help someone in need, sometimes to the point of himself being in danger. At the abbey he was known to be a great motivator. If there was any issue difficult to be understood by the community members or a hard task or project to accomplish Frater Odo was the right person to motivate the monks. Also, frater Odo, was known to be free from material attachment! You could give him a gift and the next day someone else had it! And above all he cherished and loved monastic life. May he rest in peace!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hanga Community Prays for Rain

The rain season in Tanzania mainland normally begins in sometime in November or early December. This rain season which began early December was a sign of good year for rain and hence farm produce. Such expectations and excitement waned among the population after the whole month of December 2016 lapsed without a single drop of rain other than the one which rained the first week of the month. As a result of the dry spell crops began to wither and some seeds planted could not sprout.

The community of Hanga which include villagers and monks took to streets, making procession to pray for rain. Fr. Gregory Mwageni, OSB, led the service that began with mass and a procession of about a mail and a half at the village. Other priests that were present at the event were the pastor of Hanga parish, Fr. Elias Chale, Fr. Bruno Haule, OSB, and Fr. Chrysostom Mukulasi, OSB. Obviously, many villagers joined the event as well as monks. Indeed to their surprise and joy it rained that same day after the prayers. God is good! We pray that the season will continue be good and people will have copious produce.

 Fr.Gregory giving a special blessing to the congregation praying for rain.

 Hanga villagers at the event praying for rain

Monks and students were present to pray for rain

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pharmacists Without Boarders from Germany Strengthen Helping Hanga Health Center

For many years Pharmacists Without Boarders from Germany have been helping people served at Hanga Health Center by supplying or subsidizing medical supplies to the institute. With their help medical services, to a great extend, have been relatively cheaper for ordinary poor people to afford. Their thoughts and efforts have made is possible that there is availability of all the important supplies, particularly medicines, for the common sicknesses among the rural population.

Recently, a representative of the organization (Pharmacists Without Boarders, or in German Apotheker Ohne Grenzen Deutschland), Miss Laura Bleicher, came to Hanga and stayed from 16 to 25 November. During the time she met with Hanga Abbey leadership, Abbot Octavian Massigo, OSB, to sign a special contract/agreement on how to equip Hanga Health Center with medical supplies. Part of the agreement was that there be will cost sharing between Hanga Abbey and Pharmacists Without Boarders, each contributing half of the cost of the medicines/supplies that will be ordered every three months. Indeed we owe so much the members of Pharmacists Without Boarders Germany; ours is gratitude and appreciation for what they are doing to our poor people.

During her stay, Ms. Laura, also trained employees in the pharmacy sector on how to do inventory.

Above: Laura Bleicher with Abbot Octavian Massingo, OSB, on the day of signing a contract to supply medical supplies to Hanga Health Center

Below: Laura Bleicher with Frater Lucius and employees of pharmacy section at the Health Center making inventory of medical supplies

Below: A farewell dinner was held for Laura Bleicher on November 24 as she was leaving for Germany.

Ms. Laura is cutting a cake prepared in her honor

Hanga Religious Seminary Graduation 2016

On November 19th, 2016, students and teachers of Hanga Religious Seminary celebrated the 35th graduation for 54 seminarians who competed their four years of secondary school education at the seminary. There were many guests at the celebration including parents, relatives, and friends of the graduating students. The guest of honor at the event was the Bank Manager of National Bank of Commerce of Songea branch, Mr. Simon Mtwale.

The celebration began with Holy Mass followed by entertainments for the event at the seminary grounds, students performing dances, songs, poems, dramas etc. and very importantly was the handing of School Leaving Certificates to the graduating students. Then all participants: guests and students, had a festive meal.

Below: photos of various scenes on the graduation day.

Students of the graduating class

Seminary Brass Band entertaining

Guest of honor Mr. Simon Mtwale delivering a speech. To his left is Fr. Chrysostom Mukulasi, OSB, the head of Hanga Religious Seminary

Fr. Chrysostom and the guest of honor at dinner table about to cut graduation cake.

St. Laurtent Primary School pupils had an opportunity to performing at the celebration

Guests at the celebration ground

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hanga Trade School Graduation 2016

Hanga Trade School graduation was held on November 12th, this year, 2016. A total of 17 young people  graduated. Four of them were young women. The students graduated had training in masonry (brick laying), carpentry, plumbing, tailoring, auto-mechanics and electrical installation.

Of course many parents and friends of the graduating class attended the ceremony. Mr. Jeremias Matembo, the Ward Education Coordinator, was the guest of honor at the graduation.

The day celebration began with holy mass in the abbey church, and continued with dances, singing and speaches at the Trade School grounds; and concluded with a festive luncheon.

The graduating class of 2016

The four young women among the graduating class, at front seat

Frater Emmanuel Nyengo, OSB, delivering a speech. To his left is Mr. Matembo, the guest of honor of the day.

More pictures of different scenes on the graduation day

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Graduation at St. Benedict Secondary School, 2016

On Saturday October 2019 a graduation ceremony was held to honor and say good-bye to 170 students finishing their four year Secondary School education at St. Benedict Secondary School. Of the 170 graduating students, boys numbered 50. The celebration began with Holy Mass presided by Fr. Angelo Mugaga, OSB, the headmaster of the school accompanied by Fr. Thadei Kinyero, from Mbinga diocese. The guest of honor at the ceremony was the headmistress of Songea Girgls Secondary School.

As customary, at the ceremony, there were songs, speeches, dances and dramas performed. All went well and people enjoyed. The parents present made an impromptu donations to the school as their gratitude to the headmaster and staff members for educating and taking care of their children.

Congratulations to the graduating students and we wish them success in their final national examinations in November and blessed lives.

Photos of the graduating class

Below graduating students receiving their School Leaving Certificates from the guest ofhonor