The Congregation of Holy Cross expanded its work in East Africa to the country of Tanzania in 2000. The move was a response to vocations the Congregation had already received from the country and a desire to expand the work of Holy Cross in the region. As of 2015, the Congregation has pastoral responsibility for two parishes in Tanzania, which has continued as a rich source of vocations for Holy Cross.
The Congregation’s work in Tanzania began with St. Brendan Parish in Kitete, which is located about two hours from the city of Arusha in the foothills that border Ngorongoro National Park. It is an area rich in natural beauty, yet one in which many live in poverty.
The parish sponsors the Audrey Veldman Vocational Training Center, which was founded to assist poor girls who could not afford secondary education by giving them skills in trades that could provide economic security. It has since expanded to include boys and now offers training in tailoring, carpentry, masonry, and computers. The parish also sponsors Lostete Dispensary to attend to parishioners’ basic medical needs.
In October 2014, St. Brendan Parish celebrated its 50th anniversary. To mark is golden jubilee, in addition to a lively celebration and procession, the parish built a new parish church to serve as a better home to the region’s growing Catholic community.
On July 15, 2015, the Congregation expanded its mission in Tanzania, accepting pastoral responsibility for Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Sombetini, which is on the Northeastern outskirts of Arusha, one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. The parish began in 2001 as an outstation run by the Divine Word Missionaries and became a full parish in 2008.
The parish is known for its strong lay leadership and its vibrant stewardship, which is helping to build both a three-story health center and dispensary as well as a new parish church. Holy Cross has worked to cultivate the parish as a fertile ground for ministry and evangelization, especially among families.
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