Friday, April 14, 2017

Palm Sunday Cebration at Hanga

Obbot Octavian Massingo, OSB, led and presided the mass of the Passion Sunday at the abbey this year (2017). With only one year as the abbot of the abbey this was his first mass on Palm Sunday. Together with the monks there there also students from the abbey schools: seminary, St. Benedict, Hanga Trade School and Nakagugu Formation House.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Appreciating Music at Hanga Seminary

Hanga Religious Seminary takes pride on the music and the seminary brass band. If there is any celebration at Hanga: at the abbey, at the village or at any of the abbey schools, the seminary brass band will there for the entertainment to enliven an event. Thanks to the retired abbot Alcuin Nyirenda, OSB, of Hanga who established the brass band. But also gratitude to Br. Julian of Muesterschwarzach, Germany, who recently added  violins to the brass band. Br. Julian, had stayed at the seminary for about two years and taught music to the seminarians. Better still, Br. Julian sent his blood sister to continue training the seminarians in music and playing violins. Indeed the seminary is proud of the brass band group.

Seminarians in training playing violins.

Seminary music group performing for the students and teachers.

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