AFRICA/TANZANIA - Celebrating the God of the Mission: centenary of the presence of the Consolata Missionaries

Thursday, 9 February 2023

Iringa (Agenzia Fides) - "What is the point of celebrating the Centenary of the presence of the Consolata Missionaries in Tanzania? What are we celebrating? Who are we celebrating?" write Sister Simona Brambilla, Superior General of the Order, and Sister Maria Michela Astegiano, to Fides on the occasion of the important anniversary in which they have been involved for a century in Iringa.
"We celebrate the God of Mission, the God constantly pilgrim, on the way, 'who goes forth' to seek and reach each of his creatures and envelop them in the embrace of his tender, strong and merciful Love. In this centenary we celebrate not ourselves, Consolata Missionaries, but Him, the Source of the Mission".
During the Eucharistic celebration of thanksgiving, held on January 30, 2023 in the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Iringa, Blessed Irene Stefani (see Fides, 19/10/2005) and Blessed Leonella Sgorbati, who gave their lives in Africa (see Fides, 22/5/2018), among others, were remembered.
The Founder of the Consolata Order, Blessed Giuseppe Allamano, gave birth to the Institute in Turin in 1910. On December 8, 1922, the first Consolata Missionary Sisters, MC, departed from Turin bound for Tanganyika, which, on April 26, 1964, joined Zanzibar and together formed the United Republic of Tanzania. They were joined on the ship in Mombasa by two sisters from the Vicariate of Kenya. Arriving in Dar es Salaam on January 10, 1923, five days later the sisters continued by rail to Dodoma. After four hours of walking they then reached Bihawana from where, on January 22, together with some Consolata Missionary Fathers, they began the caravan that took them, after 300 km on foot, to Tosamaganga, where they arrived on January 30. The Superior of the Tosamaganga Mission, Father Gaudentius Panelatti, MC, did his utmost to ensure that the newly arrived sisters can adjust to their new environment and establish good relationships with the local people. Every afternoon he accompanied the newcomers to visit villages near the mission to get acquainted with families. "100 years have passed since then!" emphasizes Sister Brambilla.
"Aware of having received and continue to receive the immense gift of the Mission in a totally free way, retracing and re-reading the hundred years of our missionary history in Tanzania, the heart is filled with infinite gratitude" conclude Sister Simona and Sister Maria Michela. (SB/MMA) (Agenzia Fides, 9/2/2023)