Monday, September 4, 2017

Installation of the New Abbtot at Mvimwa Abbey

The monks of Mvimwa  abbey (a foundation of Hanga abbey) in Sumbawanga, southwest Tanzania, elected their new abbot, abbot Pambo Mkorwe, OSB, late May this year 2017. He was installed on the 26 of August, 2017. Abbot Pambo is the third abbot of the abbey. He succeeds abbot Dennis Ndomba, OSB. The first abbof of the community was the late abbot Basil Ngaponda, OSB.

Abbot Pambo made his solemn profession on 11 July 1998, and was ordained on 10 July, 2005. At the time of election he was in Germany serving as the secretary to the archabbot of St. Ottilien Congregation after his degree in Canon Law.

Present at the installation of abbot Pambo were five bishops from dioceses of Mbeya, Njombe, Tabora, Singida, and Sumbawanga. The bishop of Sumbawanga was the bishop presiding at mass and did the installation blessing. Four abbots were also present: abbot Octavian Massingo,OSB, of Hanga Abbey, abbot Thadei Mhagama, OSB, (retired abbot of Hanga abbey), abbot Placidus Mtunguja, OSB,  of Ndanda abbey, and abbot Romain Bota, OSB, from Agbang, Togo.

Congratulations to Abbot Pambo and we pray for the Holy Spirit to guide him in his leadership role.

Abbot Pambo in the middle holding a crozier.

Abbot Pambo with Anne Makinda, former member of the parliament, in Tanzania.

From left: abbot of Octavian of Hanga abbey, abbot Placidus of Ndanda abbey, abbot Pambo, abbot Romain of Agbang, Togo, and retired abbot of Hanga abbey - abbot Thadei.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Celebrating Jubilees and Monastic Professions, 2017

July 11th, 2017 it was a memorable day for the monks of Hanga Abbey. Some of their members celebrated jubilees and some made their monastic professions. Frater Alfons Kibiki, OSB, celebrated his 50 jubilee of monastic profession. Fr. Ludovick Kapinga, OSB, celebrated his 25 anniversary in his priesthood. In the 25th monastic life anniversary celebration were Fraters Patrick Mwinuka, OSB, Melkior Logo and Eusebius Msomi, OSB. Four novices made their first monastic professions.

The archibishop of Songea, Rev. Damian Dallu, presided at the mass and abbot Octavian Massingo, OSB, conducted the ritual for renewal of vows of the jubilarians and received the four novices into monastic professions.

Better yet, a day before, eight young men were received in the postulancy. These eight men will begin monastic training as novices in a year. And five former postulants were admitted to the stage of canonical year of monastic training.

Thanks be to God for the blessing with vocations at the abbey.

Frate Alfons Kibiki, OSB, holding his jubilee wooden staff.

The Jubilarians: from left, Fr. Ludovick Kapainga, OSB, Frater Robert Nziku, OSB (of Mvimwa - 25 monastic nniversary), Frater Eusebius Msomi, OSB, Frater Melkior Logo, OSB, Frater Patrick Mwinuka, OSB, and Frater Alfons Kibiki, OSB.

The five newly professed monks

The eight postulants

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Frater William, OSB, Graduates as a Teacher

Our confrere Frater William, OSB, graduated this year 2017 in June with diploma in education as a teacher. He graduated at a Benedictine college in Sumbawanga, south west of Tanzania. The college is run by monks of Mvimwa abbey, a foundation of Hanga abbey.

An honorary dinner was held at the abbey for Frater William to congratulate him for his achievement. Indeed his career is in great need at the abbey since we have five schools all in need of teachers. The schools are Hanga Religious Seminary, St. Benedict Secondary School (with two separate campuses for girls and boys), Hanga Trade School and St. Laurent Pre & Primary School.

We wish Frater William success in his teaching career.

Below some pictures of Frater William

Friday, June 23, 2017

Novices Attend Canon Law Seminar

A joint seminar was held at Chipole convent, in the archdiocese of Songea, in mid May 2017, for novices of Hanga Abbey and Chipole Benedictine convent of sisters. The seminar was on Canon Law on religious life to educate these young religious men and women. The deliverer of the seminar was a Fransiscan Friar Dr. Fr. Nachingulu, OFM Capuchin. Frater Achiles, OSB, the novice master of Hanga Abbey and Sister Lwanga, the novice-mistress of Chipole Convent also attended the seminar. Indeed knowing the law of life is good, but observing the spirit of the law is the best.

In the photo above from left: Frater Achiles, OSB, Fr. Nachingulu, OFM Cap,  and Sister Lwanga, OSB.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fr. Winfrid Mlowe, OSB, of Hanga Abbey Dies

One of the earliest monks of Hanga Abbey and the founder of Hanga Religious Seminary, Fr. Winfrid Mlowe, OSB, died on May 12, 2017. Fr. Winfrid has been suffering parkinson disease for over 15 years. His death was caused by uncontrolable coughing. He succumbed to death as he was being rushed to a hospital. Fr. Mlowe spent his last three years of his life at Imiliwaha Sisters Convent, in Njombe diocese, serving the nuns in confessions and masses.

At abbey he held many key positions. He was a novice master for many years and he was a no nonsense monk. He also was the first monk of Hanga conventual Priory to be an accountant. In 1978 he was charged by conventual Prior Gregory Mwageni, OSB, to establish Hanga Religious Seminary in cooperation with the Augustinian monks who just come to the archdiocese of Songea from Spain.

In 1989 he was elected the prior of Hanga Monastery until 1993 when the monastery became an abbey. Latter he was assigned to Katibunga monastery, Zambia. Due to his dwindling health and signs of parkinson disease he returned to Tanzania staying at Nole Farm in Njombe.

Indeed, of all that he did for the community of Hanga abbey, he will particularly be remembered for his legacy in sending many monks to schools and establishing Hanga Religious Seminary.

We pray that the good Lord rewards him with eternal life for which he dedicated his life.

Frater Steven Mwampamba of Hanga Dies

When you speak of Hanga Trade School or Hanga Vocational Training School you cannot avoid thinking of our beloved
Frater Steven Mwampamba, OSB, who passed from this world to heaven early May 2017. Frater Mwampamba was the founder of Hanga Trade School in the 70's after he was schooled in architecture. And all his life after founding the school he has never left his post of being a teacher and formator of the students at the school. Indeed anybody who has been to Hanga Trade School will not find the school the same without him.  Many know him sitting by the mango tree by the gate to the school compound passing time by himself or with friends and fellow monks; not anymore - unfortunately!

Frater Steven has been battling diabetes for many years. In 2016 he developed kidney problems and was being treated at the referral hospital in Mbeya, southwest Tanzania. He seemed to be improving but things turned to the worst and he died on April 30 while being treated.

May he rest in peace.

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!