150 YEARS OF EVANGELIZATION IN THE MAINLAND TANZANIA (1868-2018)
As we celebrate this event of 150 years of the Catholic Church evangelization
in Mainland Tanzania let us not forget our primary mission: bearing witness to the truth:
When the Paraclete comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness.And you too will be witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning” (Jn 15, 26-27), and hence, making all nations disciples of Jesus: “…go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time (Mt 28, 19-20).
There was a time when the Catholic Church was not in East Africa – Tanzania this could be taken as zero time with zero member, there was a time when the Catholic came and it exists in the midst of people of Tanzania for 150 years and there is future of this Catholic in Tanzania. It should be taken as historical fact that the Tanzania entered officially to modernity at this time. The history of Tanzania witnessed for the first time education as it is now, health services that is dispensaries and hospitals, cash crops, scientific agriculture, Kiswahili as community language ie national language, and peaceful living in the form we have it today.
For our work today let us discuss two stories: the beginning of the Catholic Church in Tanzania and the achievements and challenges and shortly the future of the Catholic Church in Tanzania.
1. The Beginning of the Catholic Church in Tanzania
In executing the command of the Risen Lord the disciples – missionaries came to Tanzania and they did exactly what they were commanded to do. Let us start with definition of terms, the arrival of the missionaries, missionary journeys and challenges of the missionaries.
1.1 Definition of terms
We shall define two terms: mission and evangelization.
1.1.1 What is mission?
The word mission means being sent to proclaim in deeds and words that Jesus Christ died and rose for the life of the world, that he lives to transform human lives and to overcome death (Rm 8:2). It refers not only to the visible missions of the Son and the Holy Spirit but to the inner life of the living God. Mission, therefore, is basically missio Dei before becoming mission of the Church. According to David Bosch, mission is “a continual process of sifting, testing, reformulating, and discarding. Transforming mission means both that mission is to be understood as an activity that transforms reality and that there is a constant need for mission itself to be transformed.”
- The word evangelization comes from the Greek verb euangelizein/euangelizesthai, which means, in a narrow sense, “announcing the good news of Jesus” and in the broader sense, “describing the whole activity of a Christian disciple.” Evangelization refers to Jesus and Church activities of proclaiming the coming of the kingdom of God. The Synod of the Bishops on Evangelization in 1974 defined evangelization as “carrying forth of the good news to every sector of the human race so that by its inherent strength, it may enter into the hearts of men (women) and renew the human race, ‘behold, I make all things new.’” Compared to evangelization, the term mission has
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Great input Dr.