Sunday, February 17, 2013

Frater Anselm Wella, OSB, of Hanga Abbey Dies

Sad news for Hanga Abbey this month. On February 16th, 2013, Frater Anselm of Hanga Abbey died. born in 1937 and joined Hanga abbey and made first monastic profession, then still a priory, in 1960.  Frater Anselm have had bad health for serveral years, more than ten years. He was particularly troubled by diatetes and high blood pressure. His health turned to the worse since three years ago when he could no longer take care of himself due to physical incapacitation. In May 2012 he had heart stroke which made him even worse. Early January this year, 2013, he was taken to Peramiho hospital as he was seriously ill where he passed away.
Frater Anselm was known to be very talkative person and never feared anybody to speak his mind. Particularly, he will be remembered by many Nuns, for whom he was very instrumental in sending them to convents when they were girls. He was a good teacher of religion. He had a great desire of being a permanent deacon and becoming a certified teacher neither of which, unfortunately, materialized for him. On top of all these Frater Anselm was a man of great faith. He valued his monastic vocation so much, he celebrated the Liturgy of Hours so well, never missed attending holy office for lame axcuse. We pray that now he is in jubilation before God singing with the Angels. May he rest in peace.

In the photo Frater Anselm in cassok and hat with his friends from Austria, Mr. Fritz with his wife, who visited him in 2010 at Hanga Abbey.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Benedictines in southern Tanzania Promote Gregorian Chant Music

Benedictines throughout the world are known to be famous in liturgical music. Since they live in communities chanting psalms of the liturgy of hours is very common. Traditionally all the Benedictines use Gregorian chant music. However, with the advent of modern music many have changed the chanting music. For the Benedictines of southern Tanzania, both women and men communities, still use Gregorian chant music. Of course the language is Swahili. With the help of musicians at Hanga Abbey, retired Abbot Alcuin and Frater Buzabaliawo, several representatives (nuns) come to Hanga Abbey for practice and writing of Gregorian chant music for antiphons and hymns in Swahili to be used in the Liturgy of Hours. Since January 2013 nuns from Camaldolese convent in Iringa, Ndolo in Ndada - Mtwara, and St. Agnes Chipole convent in the archdiocese of Songea are at Hanga for the endeavor. Let us pray that the efforts of these few monks and nuns may bear fruit such that the religious in their respective communities may prefer God's work to worldly endeavor.

In the photos below nuns staying at Hanga for the Gregorian chant music writing and practice

They use modern tools: computer programs in writing the music.

The nuns are taking time to relax at St. Pirmin's guest house after work

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Visitors Bring Medicines to Hanga Dispensary

This past January the abbey had a pleasure of welcoming six visitors from Germany. The came to Hanga for tourism and for the sake of getting real experience of village life of Tanzanians. Other than exploring Udzungwa ranges in Iringa, seeing lake Nyasa, they had an opportunity for a day to stay with a local family in the village, work and eat with the family.
As the Kiswahili saying goes, "Mgeni aje mwenyeji apone," meaning let a visitor come that the host my survive, besides their visit the guests brought some medicines for Hanga dispensary. With such help the dispensary can always boast of having necessary medications. Besides costs for medication become cheaper for poor villagers to afford. Thanks to our visitors from Germany and all those who have been helping the dispensary in any way.
Below are the visitors from Germany: Ms. Barbara, in front left picture, led the group. At the dispensary with Frater Lucius Matembo, OSB, the head of the dispensary, Frt. Josephat Haule, OSB, Miss Bertha Mligo and some medical supplies on the table.


Six Men Join Monastic Life at Hanga Abbey

Not usual, in terms of number, but this year Hanga abbey was blessed to welcome six young men to the stage of postulancy which is the beginning of training for monastic life. The event took place at the abbey on 15th of January. Indeed it is a blessing to the community of Hanga Abbey and all of the monks are happy and hopeful that these young men will make it to final profession. While it has been usual for the abbey to get vocations from southern Tanzania this group of young men has four them from the northern part of Tanzania. We warmly welcome them to serve God in the Lord's house with other fellow monks.
Find below the postulants, with leather belts their formator Frater Anno Haule, OSB.