The Daughters of St. Paul recently commemorated the Golden Jubilee of our FSP presence in Tanzania. The anniversary Mass was celebrated by Bishop Jude Thaddeus Ruwa’ichi, Archbishop of Dar es Salaam, in St. Peter Parish, Oyster Bay. A large group of people participated in the simple event.
Fifty years have gone by since April 1970, when Cardinal Laurean Rubambwa, on a trip to Rome from Tanzania, paid a visit to Sr. Ignazia Balla, at that time Superior General of the Daughters of St. Paul, to ask her once again for some sisters to take over the management of the Dar es Salaam bookshop. “I will not move from here,” he said with determination, “until you, trusting in divine Providence, agree to send at least two sisters to run my bookshop.”
Maestra Ignazia accepted the Cardinal’s challenge and in September 1970 Sr. Damiana Gueresi and Sr Noemi Bergamin arrived in the Tanzanian capital, accompanied by a third FSP, Sr. Daniela Baronchelli, who had been asked to introduce them to the Cardinal, to the country and to their new mission. Her presence gave the new arrivals the chance to take turns going to school to learn Kiswahili, the official language of the country.
The celebration of the anniversary of our foundation in Tanzania is a wonderful opportunity to thank the Lord for his unfailing support and guidance of our sisters during their long years of service to the Local Church.
The Congregation’s gratitude extends in a special way to the many priests, sisters, missionaries and laity who helped to root the Pauline charism in this fertile African soil so as to respond in a suitable way to the many situations, problems and needs of the country.
With the passing of the years, the Daughters of St. Paul have been blessed by the Lord with the gift of local vocations, for which the Congregation is deeply grateful to him. Today, the Dar es Salaam community is made up of five sisters from our East Africa Delegation, plus a group of young aspirants who are the seed and hope of a renewed and vibrant flowering of the Pauline mission in this part of the world.