ANNUAL LETTER 2011
Kilimani Masasi, P.O Box 502 Masasi. Mtwara
Dear our beloved friends and partners.
The Community of St Mary taking this opportunity to greet you in the Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
We celebrated the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus on September 8th, our Community Festival. It is through Mary that our Saviour was able to come into the world. Together we sing to the Lord “come let us sing to the Lord, let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation, let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and raise a loud shout to him with song.” At this festival we pray that just as God gave Mary the special grace of being Mother of our Lord so he will give us his grace to make us holy in body and soul and grace us with his humility and love.
We hope that 2011 has been full of God’s blessings for you all. Our Community is most grateful for all the help from friends near and far who have supported us materially and financially. We thank God for these blessings. May God bless you for your generosity.
We give thanks that our Community continues to expand and become stronger year after year although not large in number.
This year four Candidates were admitted as postulants, and five postulants were clothed as Novices. Four novices made their first vows and three Sisters took final vows in Njombe Sayuni on 5th November. We hope that two more Sisters will take final vows at Kilimani Masasi on 31st December. We could not arrange all the professions on the same day because of some Sisters being at school and the rainy season will make travel difficult soon.
We are very grateful for your support, which has enabled solar power to be installed in the new building and chapel.
Sr Gloria CMM
DIOCESE OF SOUTH WEST TANGANYIKA
Sayuni : Our church is almost finished! Only the furnishing remains. We already use it for celebrations at festivals when we have large congregations. We thank all the people who have so generously given to this building and pray that it will soon be possible to complete it.
As the area is now so forested and is not as fertile as it was there is insufficient land for growing crops so we have found some land at Ibumi Ludewa District in Njombe Region. It is a long way from Njombe town but we have had good crops of maize, rice, groundnuts and tropical fruits such as oranges, pineapples, and bananas. Our house is called IBUMI and the Novice Mistress and novitiate have gone there and Sisters go to help with work when needed. We started work there in 2009 and the crops have been encouraging although all the work has to be done by hand.
The dispensary at Sayuni is continuing well and there are plans to make it into a health centre. We have three trained nurse Sisters working there; Sisters Cecilia, Anjelina and Mariamu Upendo CMM.
The tree nursery, which is growing seedlings for fir trees for timber and fruit, is doing well.
Njombe : The house is near the cathedral. Some Sisters work in the Diocesan Health Centre, others make candles and wafers. We run a nursery school, which will become an English medium pre and primary school next year. We are very grateful for all the people who through their generosity have helped us to reach this stage. We are still short of teaching materials especially books, we also need five more classrooms to meet the demands of the project.
DIOCESE OF NEWALA
Newala : The Newala nursery school was started by the Sisters themselves and has developed greatly. We are proud to see children who attended our nursery school and have continued to do well in primary school, secondary school and university. Some have trained as doctors and engineers. Parents now want to make an English medium school. We are slowly making changes to the buildings to meet the present need.
We help orphans and hope to be able to help albinos. Newala was our first Mother House and from the big house there we continue to look after the Cathedral and to make wafers. We have a tent where Sisters and other people pray and many people are receiving help through their own or the Sisters’ prayers. One Sister works in the district hospital.
Mtwara House : One Sister is teaching in the Nursery School, which although not ours, we helped to build through the help of funding from Switzerland.
The Sisters run their own projects such as keeping chickens and a cow and growing vegetables to earn money. One Sister travels daily by bus to the school in the town where she teaches.
DIOCESE OF MASASI
Mailisita: The Mother house is busy producing food for the community by growing crops and keeping cows, pigs, goats chickens and ducks. A lot of time is occupied in this way. Although the rains were not good this year we thank God that we have harvested a good amount of maize and some rice. De-husking these has taken a long time as we do all the work by hand. We really need some machinery to lessen the work so that we have time for other things.
Orphans: As we wrote in our Eastertide letter about not being able to start building the centre, we decided to start supporting the school children orphans’ education. We are glad to let you know that we visited them. We able to give out uniforms for them : Chanikanguo school i-iii -14 children; Chisegu school i- vii – 30 children; Namakongwa i- vii – 16 children; Magumuchila/Napata school i-vii – 21 children
a) To give flour when acute need
b) To invite them to come to the convent special day
c) To give them an exercise books, pens
We had support fund from PWRDF (the Primates’ World Relief and Development Fund) which we are using to help the orphans. We have found a boy who is living with his blind grandmother and so has to work to support them both. He cannot attend school, which means that he has no hope for the future. Imagine how he must feel. There is also a small girl who is left with her grandfather and has to look after him. She too has problems. We have mentioned these children to our friends in the hope that we may get help for them.
Land: We still have no solution to the problem of land in Masasi township. The Government plans for extending the building programme are worrying.
Viisits: The visit to the UK of the three Sisters was very successful. They learned more about different Religious Communities and took part in the Centenary Celebrations of CSP. Mother Superior and Sister Superior also visited Malawi in September for the profession of the CSM Sisters where they met Mother Miriam from America and the Bishop of Northern Malawi. This was also a great success.
Rondo: The Diocesan Seminary of Masasi Diocese is at Rondo where some of the Sisters are studying. At present seven Sisters are studying there. Two of them take their final Form IV exams this year. We hope that two Sisters will join form I next year.
Mtandi: At Mtandi there are two Sisters one of whom works in the bookshop and the other in the Diocesan Office.
We have tried to keep our account brief but that is not easy when so much is happening. We thank you once more for all your help.