TANZANIA: Bishops Launch Special Seminarian Fund to Support Major Seminaries

By Arnold Neliba

IRINGA, SEPTEMBER 19, 2023 (CISA)-The Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) has launched a special seminarian fund to counter the dwindling grants from Rome and reduced support from International partners.

The launch held during the 125 years Jubilee Celebrations of Evangelisation in Iringa was led by the Vice Chairperson of TEC, Bishop Flavian Kassala of Geita and assisted by Bishop Joseph Mlola of the diocese of Kigoma and Chairperson- National Board of Major Seminaries.

“We, your Bishops, have decided to start a special national fund to support our major seminaries, the Catholic Major Seminaries Sustainability Fund’ without affecting our other existing systems supporting the formation at the diocesan levels. Therefore, I officially introduce to you this fund and the guidelines prepared and approved by all the Bishops to achieve the goal which will benefit the Church of Tanzania and the world at large,” said Bishop Kassala during the launch.

Bishop Kassala explained that the Bishops thank God for the increase in priestly vocations in the Church of Tanzania and would like the faithful to participate in training seminarians through prayers and concretely by nurturing and supporting seminaries.

“Being led by the Holy Scriptures, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers into his harvest’ (Lk. 10:2). Bishops need to have reliable internal resources to be able to meet the operating costs of the entire system of training tomorrow’s workers in the Lord’s vineyard,” explained Bishop Kassala.

Bishop Kassala invited every baptised person and persons of goodwill to support the Church’s fundraising efforts through donations. He emphasised that the time had come for the Church of Tanzania to be self-sustaining.

The Bishops target to raise 2.8 billion Tanzania shillings over the next three years from 2023 to 2025.