About Us

"The spirit of Christ is the spirit of the missions, and the nearer we get to him, the more intensely missionary we must become." - Hendry Martyn.

“Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation” (Mk. 16: 15). This is the mission Jesus entrusted to his disciples before he departed to his heavenly Father after accomplishing his own mission entrusted him by his Father. Since then the whole church is missionary as the Vatican II elaborates. When the time was ripe, the Karnataka – Goa (KG) Province responded to the need of the hour to work in Tanzania, in the continent of Africa. The tiny seed that was first planted in 1983 has now grown into a tree bearing much fruit, to the great joy and satisfaction of the pioneers of this Carmelite mission. The dedication and hard work of the missionaries in the mission has brought a large measure of faith, hope, and love to the people of Tanzania. The continuing growth and success of the mission reached a historic milestone on July 16th, 2008 when we celebrated 25 years of Carmelite presence in Tanzania.

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Our History (Expanded)

At the request of the late Bishop of the Diocese of Morogoro, Rt. Rev. AdrainMkoba, Vatican approached the OCD Generalate in Rome, and on their advice the Discalced Carmelite missionaries as a joint venture of the Indian provinces reached Tanzania with the patronage of then Superior General V. Rev. Fr. Philip Sainz De Baranda, under the able leadership of Fr. Walter Lobo in September 1983. The pioneers were Frs. Walter Lobo from KG Province, Cletus Nadiaparambil from Manjumel Province, Francis from Malabar Province and Br. Francis from Tamilnadu Province. After learning the local language, Swahili and local culture, they officially moved to the Parish of Mikumi on 16th of July, 1984. But then this joint venture did not last long due to various factors, like malaria and other health issues that were unavoidable, Frs. Cletus, Francis and Br. Francis were replaced by Frs. Bernard Thattaparambil from Malabar Province and Felix Moras from KG Province. In the year 1992, May 8th, the Tanzanian mission was fully handed over to the Karnataka- Goa Province. Then Provincial,  Rev. Fr. Gregory D’Souza took the initiative to empower the missionaries already working in Tanzania by sending the first batch of four scholastics (theology students) to our neighbouring country Kenya where Carmelites missionaries from America are working to pursue their theological studies and a couple of priests to the mission. This particular step proved to be most beneficial to the growth of the mission.

The first missionary presence of the Carmelites was the parish of Mikumi in the diocese of Morogoro, around 120 km’s away from Morogoro town. Because of the hard work of our pioneers, our fathers were dearly known as the “Mikumi Fathers”. The Carmelites were instrumental in building a health Centre, a carpentry school for boys and a tailoring school for the girls in Mikumi. From Mikumi we moved to Kihonda, Morogoro in 1989 to put up a foundation which today serves as the Regional Vicar’s Residence. In 1990 we opened a vocation home to recruit local vocations for the priesthood. While in Mikumi, we were serving the outstation in Malolo village, around 100 km’s from Mikumi, where a Church, mission house and a dispensary cum convent were built. Malolo outstation was subsequently raised to a parish dedicated to Infant Jesus in 1991. Because of the insufficiency of members in the mission Mikumi Parish was handed over to the diocese of Morogoro in 1994. While handing over Mikumi parish to the diocese, the new parish of Malolo was retained as Home Parish which also has 5 outstations on the mountains. Malolo being a semi desert and surrounded by the mountains lacks electricity, communication facility and a comfortable life style. But here our fathers have done marvels to spread the fragrance of Christian values amidst Muslim and diverse religious believers. In Kihonda along with providing pastoral and spiritual care to the local faithful, our fathers were involved in teaching at St. Peter’s Seminary and in social works like providing secretarial courses, basic English knowledge, carpentry school for the people.

After we were joined by more missionaries, in 1994 we moved to the diocese of Mbeya around 800 km’s away from Morogoro, at the invitation of the late Bishop James D. Sangu. In the early stages we rendered our services in a few remote village parishes like Irambo and Igoma. We were involved in pastoral and spiritual ministries, social activities like building houses for the poor, constructing bridges and providing clean water in the villages. We were later entrusted with the parish of Uyole in1997. This parish had 14 outstations in distant villages. Around four km’s away from the parish, a Novitiate house was built in 2000 where three batches of novices made their first profession, now the house has been made a Spirituality Center. We also have a Social Centre that provides tailoring classes to empower women and school dropout girls.

In March, 2000, at the request of the Archbishop Cardinal Polycarp Pengo of the Archdiocese of Dar Es Salaam, the Carmelites took up a newly erected Parish in Mbezi Luis and late Fr. Richard Castelino was appointed the first parish priest and superior of the new community. This is a fast growing parish which has four official and five non-official outstations. In the process of progress one of the outstation of Mbezi Luis parish was declared as parish of St. Therese by his the Archbishop Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, Archbishop of Dar Es Salaam on 5th of November 2007, and was entrusted to the Carmelites. Now the old parish has 5 outstations and the new parish has 3 outstations. It is around 220 kms to Morogoro, our Regional and Regional House. At the same time, a plot of land was acquired in Kola, Morogoro, near the Salvatorian Seminary, a close distance from our Regional House, the construction of a study house was begun in February 2001 which now is the formation house of the scholastics.

The General Definitory raised the mission to the status of the Regional Vicariate of Tanzania on 20th March 2002. The missionaries entered the Archdiocese of Songea, around 900 kms away from Morogoro, at the request of Archbishop Norbert Mtega in 2004. They were given a parish in Mpandagindo which has 3 outstations in the distant villages. Here the fathers began the tailoring classes for the women and girls, tuition classes, and helping the children for schooling. This place too has no electricity, no communication facility and no comfortable lifestyle. There is a convent that runs a dispensary belonging to the diocese.

The tiny seed has grown and borne fruits. Today Carmelite Vicariate of Tanzania is an adult, vibrating its missionary zeal and fragrance everywhere. There are all together 27 priests in the Vicariate among them seven are outside the mission pursuing higher studies and in ministries to support the mission. We have 11 professed scholastics which make the strength of the Vicariate 38. Besides we have 3 novices and 6 postulants. The young Vicariate has lots of plans for its development and future progress. God has blessed the Vicariate in the past 30 yrs, through different ways and through different people, he has taken care of the mission.

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Parishes

Our work of evangelization really begins in the parish community. In the parishes we preach and teach the fullness of our faith, cultivating a fervent and active community of faithful laity who then extend our evangelization efforts.

Currently we are working in 6 parishes in 5 dioceses of Dar Es Salaam, Morogoro, Mbeya, Songea and Bunda. We also hope to gain permission to build a parish church in our Kihonda community. Each parish also has a number of substations which serve smaller communities, typically remote villages.

 

Spirituality Center

Our Carmelite Spirituality has an important place in the life of the Church, as it was planted and nurtured by great saints and Doctors of the Church. Through our Spirituality Center in Mbeya, we are able to share our spirituality with the laity, other religious, and priest who wish to learn of our ways in the spiritual life.

The Spirituality Center offers a number of retreats throughout the year, providing both room and board for participants. The facility also includes a conference center with classrooms, and a parish church.

 

Local Vocations

Though the Regional Vicariate in Tanzania was initiated out of the Karnataka-Goa Province in India, it is our hope and aspiration to gain many new vocations to our community of priests from among the local faithful. This is, in fact, already well underway.

Currently, we have 23 young men in formation, and of them 18 are Tanzanians. We have 3 postulants in the Kihonda Community, 6 novices in our Malawi novitiate, 3 Philosophy scholastics and 9 Theology scholastics in our Kola formation community, and 2 scholastics in Rome.

 

Secular Carmel (OCDS)

The Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites welcomes those of the faithful who, by special vocation, undertake to live, in the world, an evangelical life of fraternal communion with the priest and nuns and follow the example and teaching of the Carmelite saints.

Secular Carmelites come from all walks of life, men and women, young and old, married and single--each one trying to respond to God's call. We currently have 5 Secular Carmelite communities in Tanzania.

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Carmel Pre & Primary School

The Carmel Pre & Primary School is a Catholic day school in Kihonda, Morogoro. The School is run with the collaboration of Sisters of St. Anne of Bangalore, India. In just a few years, it has established an outstanding reputation, and now receives many more applications than it can accept.

The school welcomes students from a wide range of religious and cultural heritages, though all students are required to submit to the Carmelite Catholic edudaction program, which includes instruction in the Catholic faith and participation in the liturgy of the Mass.

 

Carmel Secondary School

The Carmel Secondary School is a Catholic boarding school located in the village of Malolo, Morogoro. The School is run with the collaboration of Incarnate Word Sisters from Kenya. It has established a reputation for excellence, making admission to the school a true honor for its students.

The school's motto "Toward Truth and Freedom" reflects its emphasis on learning as a pursuit of truth and wisdom, and that which ultimately sets us free. All students are formed in the Catholic faith, and participate in the liturgy of the mass.

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Health Care

In the remote village of Malolo, Morogoro we established a much needed dispensary where people from in and around the village are treated for various diseases such as malaria, typhoid, etc.

Today, this dispensary is operated by the Holy Cross Sisters, whose members include registered nurses and laboratory technicians. The Sisters recently completed an early childhood vaccination program, vaccinating nearly 1,000 children in Malolo and outlying villages

Upliftment of Women

For the upliftment of women, we offer tailoring programs in both Malolo and in Mbeya. In these programs, young women not only learn the trade skill of tailoring, but also values/ethics related to quality, integrity, respect, and work.

Each participant, who contractually agrees to honor the terms and conditions of the program, is given the opportunity to buy a quality sewing machine for a small fraction of its market price. As a result of this program, hundreds of women, armed with the means and skills to earn a living, have found hope for their lives.

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A genuinely Carmelite formation of its members is of paramount importance for the vitality and future of the order, and to realize the mission of announcing the good news to the poor. It must embrace the candidate's whole being which demands both the active involvement of the subject and the aid and support of the formative community.

The priority of our mission is to bring Christ to the lives of the people. We know it could be better done by implanting the Carmelite presence in Tanzania. To achieve this objective, promotion of local vocations was a must. Initially the missionaries began recruiting those who have completed standard VII, and efforts were made to recruit those who have completed at least secondary education. A full time vocation promoter is always appointed and is assisted by the local vocation promoters and the scholastics. The vocation promoter is responsible to visit the parishes and schools of the dioceses of Tanzania, make a selection of the promising candidates, and study each one individually and in due time the candidate is admitted to the Orientation Course. The Orientation course is a training of the candidate for a year who will be initiated to the English language, Christian doctrine and instructions on the rudiments of religious vocation. In addition, the other stages of Formation such as Aspirancy, postulancy, novitiate, philosophy and theology are established.

The missionaries now give utmost importance to the recruitment and formation of vocations. After 23 years of Carmelite establishment in Tanzania by the Karnataka-Goa province of India, the first Tanzanian priest Fr. Renatus Payovela was ordained on the 11th of July 2006. At present as on September 2014, we have 7 Tanzanian Carmelite Priests. We have 4 theology scholastics, 6 Philosophy Scholastics, 2 Regents, 4 novices and a few postulants and aspirants.

TO SPEAK TO OUR VOCATION DIRECTOR (TANZANIA)   In case you wish to enquire about our charism and wish to join us.

Contact (+255) 068 559 9329

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Our Life

 

Our History

It may seem strange but it is true that the Carmelite friars from the Karnataka Goa Province have been missionaries of Africa almost coterminous with the foundation of the Province itself. Perhaps it was the worthy tribute to St. Teresa who sent a batch of missionaries to Africa in her lifetime itself. The nuns too felt they should not lag behind. Since it was a first oversees foundation venture it was agreed to garner the participation of as many Carmels in SW regional association. The letter of the bishop of Musoma, on Lake Victoria in Tanzania received a positive response of Indian Carmel to the 2000 jubilee year of salvation.

Mother Gemma who was the association president along with Mother Teresa Margaret and Mother Rosemira embarked on a fact-finding mission to spy out the land and enter into a deeper dialogue with the bishop. The visit was fruitful and optimism dawned for a foundation with Sr. Rosmira as leader of the group. Eight sisters volunteered and on the suggestion of the then Superior General a live in experience period was agreed upon and the volunteers gathered in Hassan Carmel to live as a quasi-autonomous community. However, Sr. Rosmira had to back out due to serious illness and Sr.Agnes of Mary from Pune Carmel stepped in to fill the breach.

After taking sufficient time to be acclimatized to the culture, language, food habits and the marauding illnesses, the pioneers unanimously decided to build the first Cloistered Carmel on the soil of Tanzania at Bunda in the vicinity of Serengeti national park known as the cradle of humanity in 2001. But soon the Pune community recalled Mother Agnes as her services were indispensable. Mother Margaret was elected in her place and the reduced group courageously went ahead against all odds.

The land was received by the Bishop from the government for a parish church earlier and later for this Carmel. The community settled down in an abandoned parish house nearby, with very limited facilities. The Sisters adjusted heroically and braced themselves for the challenges ahead as true daughters of St. Teresa. The intense efforts to find the finances and ensure right persons to handle the work went through even with some painful events as well as joyful surprises. The Indian, Christian and non-Christian friends around were of great help and the building work progressed smoothly to be completed by 16th July 2005.

This Carmel has been dedicated to our Lady of Mt. Carmel. This Carmel being within the province's pastoral jurisdiction is entrusted with the pastoral care of the Regional Vicar of Tanzania. The community in Bunda has worked strenuously for native vocations and bore fruit with the profession of Sr. Fides followed by Postulant Scholastica.

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Brief History

Responding positively to the exigencies of the time and also as part of our charism, the Carmelite Friars of the mission ventured to establishing the Secular Carmel (OCDS) as the part of the Carmelite family in Tanzania. The first unit was started in the diocese of Mbeya in our parish at Uyole in 2007. This first group of 10 members made their first profession on October 19th, 2009 when the parents of St Therese were beatified. In the year 2007 another unit was started in Kihonda where we have a public oratory. This group of 9 members made their first profession in 2010. Later, in 2012, additional groups were started in Malolo and Mbezi.

Who is a Secular Carmelite?

A practicing member of the Catholic Church who, under the protection of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and inspired by Saint Teresa of Jesus and Saint John of the Cross, makes a commitment to the Order, to seek the face of God in prayer and service, for the good of the Church and the needs of the world.

Certain qualities indicating that a person is suited to the vocation of a Secular Carmelite:

  1. At the human level: A stable personality, Common sense, Emotional maturity, Ability to trust and be open, Readiness to cooperate, Realism, tolerance and flexibility, A certain self-knowledge, Fidelity to principles.
  2. At the level of Christian life: A willingness to cooperate with God, in a spirit of faith, Dedication to prayer, Love of the Scriptures, Commitment to the Church and involvement in the local parish community, A compassionate and active love.
  3. At the level of the Teresian charism: A taste for prayer and a desire to establish a personal and friendly relationship with God, a contemplative and active spirit, A love for the Church and a desire to familiarize oneself with Carmelite spirituality.

Requirements:

  1. Involvement in the Community monthly meetings
  2. Participation in the monthly formation programs
  3. Daily prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours: Morning, Evening and if possible Night Prayer
  4. Practice of mental prayer at least thirty (30) minutes daily
  5. Regularity in the use of Sacred Scriptures as an aid to prayer
  6. Growth in the love for the Holy Eucharist
  7. Participation in retreats and immersions essential to formation
  8. Diligence in the study and internalization of assigned lessons and topics