AFRICA/TANZANIA - Promoting and strengthening small Christian communities, true centers of Christian witness

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Dodoma (Agenzia Fides) - "Even the Apostles of Jesus used their Small Christian Communities (SCC) where the members lived in love and harmony to preach the Gospel. So, we as a Church need to uphold this principle of families coming together as one, to meditate on the Word of God, and to live according to the Catholic faith ", said the Secretary General of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), Fr. Charles Kitima, who calls on the small Christian Communities to be a source of comfort to the faithful and a tool of attracting more people to the Catholic faith, through the their way of life which reflects the image of Christ.will reflect the image of Christ through their way of life which reflects the image of Christ. The occasion was the opening of a seminar, organized by TEC Pastoral Directorate, on the ‘Promotion and Strengthening of Small Christian Communities’ for the eastern zone Catholic dioceses. According to what was sent to Fides, Fr. Alister Makubi, Director of the Pastoral Department for the Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam and Parish Priest of St. Peter, Oyster Bay, said according to his experience many SCCs are operated as Savings and Cooperative Societies (SACOs) or places for contributions monetary collection. "Elements contrary to the principles of its establishment that often cause the distancing of some who see the time to pray together shortened so that time is spent on sensitizing people about collections".
Small Christian Communities, a brain child of the AMECEA bishops, are meant to be groupings of the baptized in their neighborhood, who meet regularly to share the word of God, help each other, and celebrate life together.
At a seminar which took place in 1969 in Tanzania, the SCCs were a pastoral priority for the Catholic Church in the Country, in the both rural and urban parishes. In 1974, Bishop Christopher Mwoleka of Rulenge Diocese and the Tanzania National Council of the Laity developed a step-by-step plan for starting SCCs throughout Tanzania, a plan that continues to the present day. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 2/2/2022)