Saturday, December 8, 2012

Clean Water Project Funded by Two Oregon Corporations

Two corporations in Oregon, (USA), have donated some money for the clean water project supervised by Hanga abbey in southern Tanzania. The first corporation is the Basin Sunrise Rotary Club of Klamath Falls, Oregon. The club donated $2,500 through a group of students and professors of Oregon Institute of Technology college working under USA Engineers Without Boarders. The group has been working to build a filtration facility for water system that has been drawn from the mountain. The filter system has been under construction for two years. It involves erecting walls of concrete bricks, installing pipes, and filling the tank with gravel and sand. So far the tank has been erected. Next summer, June/July 2013 the group will be able to finish the project by installing pipe system and filling the facility with gravel and sand.

Pictured below from right: Kristy, Jordan (holding a check from Sunrise Rotary Club) club president, Terry Torres and Fr. Ildefonce Mapara, OSB.

Photos of the filtration tank to be filled with gravel and sand, the work of the group of students and professors from Oregon Institute of Technology.

Also , Oregon Community Foundation, a non profit foundation that supports community activities in Oregon, USA, and is funded by individuals and other foundations, has awarded $1,000 to St. Maurus Mission this December 2012 for clean water project. The funds will be used toward getting villagers clean water in southern Tanzania in digging wells and installing hand pumps.

In the pictures: Fr. Ildefonce Mapara, OSB, is delivering a speech to thank the Oregon Community Fundation for their donation for clean water project in southern Tanzania and sitting with other representatives who got awards for different community activities in Oregon.

The Priests of Archdiocese of Songea Convene at Hanga Abbey

After hosting Benedictine Union of Tanzania superiors in November, early December 2012 the priests of the archidiocese of Songea, southern Tanzania, had their annual retreat at Hanga Abbey. The monks were happy to host them in the new guest house facility of St. Pirmin. The priests were happy too to be able to use the new comfortable rooms in the guest house. We welcom them back any time.

After their recollection a photo of the priests was taken in front of St. Pirmin guest house.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hanga Dispensary Becomes a Health Center

A long waited request, finally, Hanga dispensary has been raised to a status of Health Center last October. With the title it will be allowed to legally offer more services which dispensaries are not permitted to offer. The Health Center for example will be able to offer minor surgeries done either by resident or visiting surgeons. Good news for areas around Hanga village is that now women with complications during delivering babies will not need to be referred or transferred to bigger hospitals. Besides many people around Hanga will not have to incur expenses for services that formally were not available at the dispensary. Now that Hanga dispensary is a Health Center it is necessary that it has to have surgery unit. Thanks to benefactors from Italy construction is in progress. Bricks, sand, gravel, are at the site of construction and the foundation of the building has been dug ready to begin building (see photos below). Frater Lucius and Frater Josephat at site.


Another event at the dispensary is the welcoming of seven student nurses from Peramiho hospital (about 70 km from Hanga). They are doing their field experience for a month. You can see them in the photos below.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Benedictine Union of Tanzania Superiors Meet at Hanga Abbey

Early November 2012 the superiors and represenatatives of the Benedictin Union of Tanzania met at Hanga Abbey for their regular annual meeting. This Union was established to foster fraternity among Benedictine communities of Tanzania. During the meeting members have the opportunity to share their experiences in their reliogious lives as well as their struggles, successes, economic endeavors and spiritual lives. Currently the president of the Union is Abbot Dionis, OSB of Ndanda Abbey in Mtwara. The communities represented in the meeting were Ndanda Abbey (Abbot Dionis), Peremiho Abbey (Prior Fidelis, OSB, and Fr. Steven Komba, OSB), Hanga Abbey (Abbot Thadei Mhagama, OSB, Frater Theodory, OSB, and Frater Anno, OSB), Mvimwa Abbey (Fr. Kayombo, OSB); Chipole convent (Sr.Mfurahishi, OSB), Mafinga Camaldolese (Sr. Pascalina, OSB); Ndolo Convent (Sr. Joachim Mnunduma, OSB); Benedictine Missionaries of Tutzing (Sr. Roseann, OSB, Sr. Hildegard, OSB) as well as Imiliwaha convent (Njombe).
The monks of Hanga Abbey were happy to host the guests and welcome them back to enjoy the new St. Pirmin guest house facilities.

The photos below show those who attended the meeting and sections of them in the meeting sessions.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Visitors From Austria

In the month of November this year 2012, the abbey had the privilege of having visitors from Austria. It was a group of eight women wanting to see Tanzania particularly southern Tanzania. The group was led by Barbara for Petra Gehrer who has business for tourists to come to Tanzania especially in the south. The group was able to visit local families at Hanga village, visit lake Nyasa, explore Udzugwa mountain ranges, animal parks, etc. We welcome visitors to the abbey, and we would be happy to host any visitors and give them tour to interesting sites in the country.

Featured below is the group of 8 women who visited Hanga Abbey this November

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hanga Trade School 34th Graduation (2012)

Toward the end of October this year 2012 Hanga Trade School said goobye to 14 graduates who had fininished their four years of training in various trade workmanships. These include masonry, carpentry, automechanics, electrical istallation, plumbing and tailoring. Of the 16 students two were women. We hope more girls to be joining the school as years go by. Particularly interesting, was the fact that each graduate was given a present of tools of their the particular trades they learned; that way these young people are equiped to be in employment right away by self employment or being employed. It was amazing. Congratulations to the school administration for all they did and do for these young people. The guest of honor for the graduation was Br. Vianey Fuli, OSB, from Peramiho Benedictine Abbey. He was presented by an office chair with inlay decoration work of the cartentry graduates.

In the photo is the graduating class of 2012 wihth Frater Patrick Mwinuka, OSB, in white cassock. Right: some graduates with their friends and relatives.

Students in church for thanksgiving mass
Br. Vianey Fuli, OSB, is giving his address as a guest of honor.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mhepai Village in Songea, Southern Tanzania Working to Get Clean Water

With the help of benefactors from the US a village in rural Songea district in Southern Tanzania, Mhepai, will be having clean water in a few months to come. Mhepai village like many other rural villages in Tanzania have the problem of getting clean water all the time but soon they will say goodbye to the problem. Since October this year, 2012, probably until early December the villagers will be busy with the project. Already pipes have been bought and the villagers have dug a 3 mile (5km) long trench. A site on the higher ground will have a small dam built to catch water to the lower ground of the village. The villagers have made baked bricks, and collected sand and rock ready to build the small dam. When the dam is completed pipes will be laid in the dug trench ready to supply life - clean water- to the villagers!!
PVC pipes in a storage area waiting to be laid in ground
Sand and stones to build a dam
Villagers carrying bricks to the dam site
A trench to lay pipes is ready


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hanga Religious Seminary Celebrates 35th Graduation

For Tanzania the month of October is normally a month for National examinations for students who are completing their ordianary level secondary school education. At Hanga Seminary, this year, there were 35 students who sat for the exams. Following their exams, a farewell party was held for them. Relatives, friends, monks and other invited guests were present for the graduation ceremony. This was the 35th graduation of the school. Noteworthy for the graduation was the guest of honor, Fr. Julian Bombo, OSB, who is a former student at the school. We pray and hope that like Fr. Julian Bombo, who was a student at the seminary, the students who have just graduated will follow same foot steps to become priesst and or monks. At best we hope and wish them success in their lives having practiced good moral life rules at the seminary.

Pictured below is the graduating class of 2012, standing on front line at the center in white habit is Fr. Chrysostom Mkulasi, OSB, the headmaster/rector of the seminary.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Volunteers at St, Bernard's Hanga Abbey Dispensary

St. Bernard's Hanga Abbey dispensary has always been staffed by volunteers from many parts of the world. It is a joy for our understaffed dispensary to have extra hands to help patients at the dispensary. This year, 2012, we have had four volunteers working at the dispensary. David Andrew from Oregon Institute of Technology in Oregon, USA, worked there from July to September. A man with great enthusiasm radiated his zeal to all the workers at the dispensary. From Italy were two volunteers who worked for a month or so. These were Michelle Grandi and Chiara. Another volunteer from Germany, a farmacist, Jana Kobbing, also lended her hands at the dispensary. The abbey is always happy and welcomes volunteers who can stay at the abbey for free accommodation and meals as they do their volunteering work. Our gratitude to all our vulunteers and we welcome any one who is eager to help.
In the photo David is lifting a child for weight taking with Anamaria Ngonyani, a nurse, watching.

Below LEFT: Michelle Grandi (left) and Chiara checking cards of children growth records. Far right is Ana Ngonyani and Frater Lucius Matembo, OSB, the dispensary head. RIGHT: is Jana Kobbing in the dispensary pharmacy room with Bertha Mligo, a nurse.



Friday, October 5, 2012

St. Benedict Secondary School Graduation 2012

St. Benedict Secondary School, one of the schools run by Hanga Abbey, witnessed another year of celebration for 78 students who graduate Secondary school education this year 2012. The graduation ceremony was held on the 29th September at the school grounds. These boys and girls will be sitting for their National Examinations this October. We pray that they do well in their exams and that the Benedictine formation they have acquired at Hanga will make them become good citizens of the country.

Pictured below is the graduating class of 2012. Fr. Mugaga, OSB, the headmaster is in white habit, and to his left is Frater Lucius Matembo, OSB, our reporter.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Boys Finish Formation Year at Nakagugu Formation House

Hanga Abbey is involved in many ways in the formation of young people especially in its schools. At Nakagugu Formation House boys who finish Primary School Education come here for formation in spirituality, morality and academic in preparation to joining Secondary School Education. Their formation is geared to have them in the future consider priestly or religious life. This year 2012 in September 42 boys finished their formation year and as they leave the place they go to join Secondary Schools many of them will land in Seminaries. We thank our formator monks at Nakagugu Bishop PlacidusGervas Nkalanga, OSB, Frater Wenceslau Haule, OSB, and Frater Odilo Matembo, OSB. We wish thes young people success in their life aspirations.

Pictured below are the boys who graduated in September 2012.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fr. Gregory Mwageni, OSB, Celebrates 90 years of Age.

A man of the people, Fr. Gregory Mwageni, OSB, was the first superior of the independent Hanga Abbey. He is the only living of the four pioneer monks of Hanga Abbey. His felow pioneer monks were Frater Bernard Monji, OSB, Frater Joseph Kinunda, OSB, and Frater Bonaventura Malibiche, OSB. This year 2012 Fr. Gregorey Mwageni celebrates 90 years of age. The 3rd of September 2012, on the feast of his patron saint Gregory the Great, was a day of special celebration at Hanga Abbey for his anniversary. The monks of Hanga Abbey owe Fr. Gregory a lot of thanks for his dedication to the abbey and the sound spiritual foundation he has laid for the monks as the first superior of the independent monastery since 1975. Fr. Gregory is also well loved and respected by villagers all around Hanga Abbey. Since when he was a superior to the present many people from near and far from Hanga Abbey come to Fr. Gregoryfor spiritual direction and counseling and advice. Hespends most of his time with people. He cares about people and works for the peoples well being. He is truly a man of the people. In the photos below one can notice that Fr. Gregory is always with people.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Frormer Abbot Alcuin of Hanga Abbey Celebrates 25 Years of Priesthood

The former and first abbot of Hanga Abbey, retired in 2004, celebrated thanksgiving mass and reception at Hanga Abbey on 3rd September, 2012. Abbot Alcuin Nyirenda, OSB, was ordained a priest in June 1997 and headed Hanga abbey as an abbot from 1994 to 2004. A man of great ambition and vision with many talents, while he was a ruling abbot did much to improve the monastic office liturgy. He composed novel music for Compline and made new liturgy for the office of the dead. In terms of economy his legacy lives in the buildings in Songea town where the abbey has stores for business and renting. Not to forget abbot Alcuin pioneered the establishment of water bottling facility in Njombe mountains about 500km north of Hanga Abbey. We thank abbot Alcuin for his great contribution to the abbey of Hanga. We wish him many more years of blessings and service to God and His people.

In the photo below Abbot Alcuin at mass as he celebrated his ordination jubilee.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Medical Aid from Germany

In August 2012 the abbey dispensary was blessed to have visitors from Germany; with them, they brought some medical supply for the dispensary. Of course this is not the first time for visitors from Germany to help the dispensary with medical supplies. Sometime there have been volunteers working at the dispensary for few months or a year or two. We thank them for their generosity which makes it possible for people with low income to afford medical costs at the dispensary. It hard to imagine sometimes people would not go to a dispensary to get malaria treatment for a dollar and risk to die. But with help like this one from Germany it relieves the burden.

In the photo below visitors are presenting gifts of medical supplies to Frater Lucius Matembo, OSB, the head of the dispensary.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Benedictine Novices and Formators Meet at Hanga Abbey

The Benedictines from different convents and abbeys in southern Tanzania met at Hanga Abbey in the first week of August 2012. The participants in the get together and some presentations on Benedictine life were the formators and the novices from the different repectictive abbeys and convents. The represented houses included abbeys of Peramiho, Ndanda, Hanga and Mvimwa. Convents that participated were Missionary Sisters (commonly called Tutzing Sisters) from Ndand and Peramiho; others were from Imiliwaha convent in Njombe, Chipole in Songea archdiocese and Camaldolese from Iringa. It was a nice convention which manifested a continued future of religious life in the Benedictine communities.
Participants were happy to be at Hanga Abbey for the meeting and enjoying themes presented but even more so they enjoyed to see what Hanga Abbey lookis like, what the monks of Hanga do and enjoyed staying in the new St. Pirmin Guest house a facility that is really a state of the art!

Pictured below are the participants of the meetings with monks of Hanga abbey.

The Sisters slept in St. Pirmin's Guest House (the yellow building below)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Village Gets Clean Water in Southern Tanzania

While the need for safe drinking water in the world is inexhustible project, yet a bit of the population getting some is worth a count. In southern Tanzania, Zomba, a village of 4,000 had luck of having safe drinking water recently with the help of donations from USA. The village had twelve wells drillend and hand pumps installed in the period between November 2010 and January 2011. Women particulary in the village are more excited. Now they walk short distances to fetch water for their families for domestic use. No more hardships of walking down slopes and uphills to fetch water. And the people are now safe from abdominal problems. Thanks to all those who donated to make the project a reality.

Well drilling and installation of hand pumps


A pump fixed to a pipe and then lowered into the well; then a pumping mecanism is put into place and the first drop of water is pumped out!!!

People enjoy safe drinking water from the new wells.