TANZANIA MISSION — Three young people from the Prince Albert diocese plan their missionary trip to Tanzania.
Youth plan for Tanzania mission trip
PRINCE ALBERT — In May of this year, youth and parents travelled to St. Mary High School in Prince Albert to listen to Brother Anthony Canterucci, PPS, from the Missionaries of the Precious Blood.
Canterucci has spearheaded the shared CPPS Mission Projects with the people of Tanzania for the past 36 years. The water projects are one of the many involvements of the missionaries. Education, agriculture, health, medicine as well as serving the spiritual needs of the people are also part of the missionary efforts for the poor. Tanzania is recognized as the world’s fifth poorest country.
Their first mission in Tanzania was established in 1967. Since the beginning of the water projects in 1976, more than 500 water windmills have been built in Tanzania, giving drinkable and usable water for agriculture. Drilling rigs have been purchased while maintenance and construction teams are staffed by Tanzanians.
Prince Albert diocese Bishop Albert Thévenot, M.Afr. (also known as the White Fathers), worked for close to 13 years alongside the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. Thévenot says that their primary purpose in Africa was to form an all-African clergy that could minister to their own people. The Missionaries of Africa, involved in parish life, also educate within local universities.
Thévenot knows Canterucci and encourages youth and young adults to consider joining the water project team.
On Sept. 29, some 20 participants gathered at St. Michael’s Community School along with Warren Dungen, director of Youth Ministries. The half day of planning set the groundwork for the six-week summer mission in Tanzania in 2014. Warren stressed the importance of preparation and fundraising for the next two years. He said, “This will be a time to open paths, learn to work as a team and pray, love and serve in mission spirit.”
In Tanzania, the team will spend the day working on the project in the local village where they will share their afternoon meal with a host family. At night, everyone will return to the mission for sharing and prayer. Mathew Derworiz expressed concern of lack of knowledge on how to build a windmill. Dungen reassured everyone that no previous experience is needed. Onsite experts will direct the digging, piping and construction of the windmill.
“What is needed,” he said, “is the willingness, the harmony and the responsible interaction of group work with a one-heart spirit.”
Smaller groups were formed to discuss plans for the next two years, sharing similar hopes that most want a missionary experience. Personal growth in faith, understanding and sharing a new culture will be ongoing challenges throughout the preparations and during the mission experience.
Céline Grimard of Prince Albert shared, “When you help someone your heart leaps for joy. This opportunity will expand my horizon while being able to do good things with a great team of young people.”
Jamie Johnston of Hudson Bay feels this will give her meaning and balance in her life. She said she is looking forward to be “serving people who have so little and yet are so happy. I want to bring some of that back with me.”
Jamie’s mother Deanna Johnston, the owner of Hudson Bay Vet Service, is excited to participate in this mission. She feels called to serve alongside her daughter, perhaps being able to use her veterinarian skills. Others are looking forward to using their skills such as nursing, singing, dancing, being a handyman and simply sharing friendships.
Trevor Miller from Shellbrook, a teacher at St. Mary High School, would like to take his entire family on such a life-changing experience. He said, “People there seem so happy with so little. In our society, our worth is determined by our possessions. There, we will realize there is so much more than owning things. We will leave a windmill, but return with a lot more than we brought.”
During the two-year preparation time, the team anticipates four meetings a year. Within schools and parishes involved, small groups plan on meeting monthly for spiritual and missionary formation as well as setting up their group publicity and fundraising events.
Dungen sees this mission as a response to the cry of the poor, an awareness of the global Body of Christ. He said, “Adults also need to go. Both youth and young adults will be called beyond their comfort zone into a place of dependence upon the Holy Spirit. Through true concern for others, authentic generosity and self-giving, we will help people to help themselves.”