Bringing the Chapter Home

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Last week a very important event came to a close in Rome.  This was the18th General Chapter of the Society of the Divine Word.  Confreres met from all over the world to deliberate on the future of the mission of the Society and its relevant in our times. In it,  New leaders were Selected.  The Socity now has a new leader: Fr.  Paul Budi Kleden.

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Among the participants were the representatives of the lay associate group commonly known here in Kenya-Tanzania as ‘Friends of ‘SVD’.  Since only one of them could participate in person,  we the communication department made sure that they also got to taste what transferred during the meeting so that we could journey together.

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Thanks to technology,  we were able to gather materials from the General Website that we presented to them.  Gathered from three parishes here in Burka,  we began with a prayer in form of reading and enthronement of the Word of God,  which we also sowed as a symbol of the Word sowed in our heart.

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Everyone felt that they lived the Chapter moment even from this far end of the world.

Fr.  Lawrence Muthee,  SVD

Gold or silver I do not have…

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When the begger at the temple’s gate in Jerusalem asked Peter and John for a coin,  Peter told him that they had neither gold nor silver to give to him, but they had something else that they would offer him if he wanted them to (Acts.  3:6).

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In our times,  we are made to think that without money we can do nothing.  People despair in life simply because they do not have money. Even the poor are made to believe that only material things and money can be of help to them.  I heard someone say that unless the gospel comes in the form of bread,  the poor will not nunderstand it. This myth has only succeeded to worsen the situation of the poor in the world.  Mother Theresa of Calcutta taught us that when we give a fish to the poor we make them come back the following day to beg,  but if we teach them how to fish,  we will have reduced the number of those who beg.

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Arusha is a very touristic city because of its proximity to some of the world’s most know animal parks such as Serengeti and the tallest mountain in Africa: Kilimanjaro.  However,  many young people in Arusha can not secure jobs in this very vibrant sector because they have one handicap: They cannot express hemselves fluently in English.

This is what has motivate the idea to offer English classes to them as part of pastoral program in our SVD parish in Burka.  If one can speak and write good English and know some computer basics,  no one in the hospitality business will ask them what grade they got in Biology or in Chemistry.

Our English course began three months ago and now has now a good number regular students.  Majority have made great progress. Once they are confident and fluent, they can go out to look for jobs or begin their own hospitality business.

Fr.  Lawrence Muthee,  SVD

The Jubilee Cross

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This year,  the Catholic Faithful in East Africa and Especially in Tanzania,  are celebrating 150 year of evangelization.  Here in Tanzania,  the Holy Spirit Fathers arrived in Continental Tanzania in 1968, five years after they had arrived in Zanzibar Island, now part of the Republic of Tanzania.

In the Archdiocese of Arusha,  we are marking this jubilee with the Jubilee Cross that was used during the The 2000 years’ Jubilee of Christianity in the World.   The Cross is going around from one parish to another, where the faith get to reflect upon the meaning of the cross and experience it’s power in there lives.

Last friday we received the Jubilee Cross in Epiphany SVD Parish here in Arusha.  On Saturday we had a seminar about the cross and the Jubilee that was preached by Brother Boniface Motika, our Philosophy Student. After the seminar the people received the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The cross is very solemnly venerated here by Catholics, non-Catholics, as well as non-Chrisians. We pray to our Lord who died on the cross for our salvation to bless our people who venerate the cross.

Fr.  Lawrence Muthee,  SVD

Recycling Crackers Containers

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Recycling is a very common term in matters protection and conservation of the environment. However, many tend to think that recycling is a big thing that requires a lot of resurces and establishments. This myth is dimistified by the simple things that simple people do, in their small ways to make use of such wastes like crackers’ containers.

The crackers’ container is firm and durable but many may think that it does not have any other use after its content has been emptied. Our confrere Fr. Leon Ipoma, the Parish Priest of Soweto Catholic Parish in Nairobi knows otherwise. He has discovered how to make use of these containers. He has turned a small corner of his kitchen into a small candle manufucturing plant, using the empty crackers’ containers.

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With  a string tied on the two windows on either side of the corner, he drops the candle threads into a few empty crackers’ containers and pours melted candle wax in them. In les than half an hour he is back to harvest the already solid candles. This idea surprised me and I am now working on a project with the youth in my parish to start a candle manufucturing plant, especially for the pupple advent and lenten seasons’ candles.

JamboKenTan would like to congratulate Fr. Leon for his innovative idea and for generously sharing it with us. Fr. Leon asked me to publish about it so that many others can learn.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD