Dear guest of honour, Very Rev. Fr. Phillip Massawe CSSp, the provincial superior of the Spiritans, Tanzanian Province, our formators, lecturers, our parents, friends, my fellow students and all well-wishers who have come to accompany us in celebrating this great day, Good Afternoon. I stand before you, humbled, to represent my fellow graduands, all of us 33 in number, and the institute at large.
First and foremost, we give thanks to God who has guided us thus far, and enabled us to reach this long awaited day with good health and strength. God’s blessings have been all encompassing, cutting through our entire academic and formation life. We really owe God a great deal of gratitude for all the successes we have had in the three year period of our stay here in the seminary.
Meanwhile, our graduation is historical as it falls with the culmination of the celebrations of 150 years of evangelization in Tanzania. This is a special priviledge for us, and also an opportunity to reflect on the same. We are thus grateful to God for the gift of our founders of different congregations, and in a special way for the Spiritans who have championed it all, being the first to evangelize our land, and also the founders of this seminary. As people of Africa we are indebted to God for the courage of these great missionaries who also brought us formal education, which is basically the reason for this great celebration today.
Also, we are grateful to you our parents and benefactors, both those of you present here and those who could not make it, for your unremitted care as well as your moral, material and spiritual support. Our stay here would have not been possible without you.
Furthermore, we are thankful to our lecturers and formators from our various communities. You have been a great help in our conversion and transformation academically, socially and morally, turning us into more useful and productive potentialities as we are today. Just as Aristotle had said, “Education is the creation of sound mind in a sound body,” the education you have given us has helped us, and will help us in life to grow physically, psychologically, and spiritually, and by same enlighten the world by making a positive difference wherever we shall find ourselves, just as we sing in our insightful institute’s anthem.
To the non-teaching staff, workers in our various communities, with whom we have collaborated very well, we recognize your hard-work fashioned towards making our institute a better place. In a special way our cooks, as philosophizing would be impossible with unfed stomachs.
To our young brothers, the first and second years we thank you for your brotherly support and love. It is a hard moment to bid you good bye, but it is for good. We, your brothers, as we now leave, advice you to remain focused and don’t loose sight of your goals. We instill on you the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley, be the best little shrub on the side of the hill. Be a bush if you can’t be a tree; if you can’t be a highway be just a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail, but by being the best of whatever you are.”
It is our hope that you will cooperate with our formators, and the entire system, by studying hard, working hard, behaving well, and praying tirelessly. We know the formation life and studies are not all that easy, as you have experienced for the period you have been here. But we assure you, nothing in this world is impossible, as long as one’s heart and mind are put towards it, so you – take courage our brothers.
To my fellow graduands, whom I’m very proud to call you my comrades, I thank you for this great honour you have endowed on me to represent you. I thank you for the good times we have shared as brothers, as one. We have succeeded because we journeyed together in great spirit. I pray that this spirit continues among us wherever we might be desparsed across the globe.
Kwenu pia wapendwa sana wageni wetu, sisi wahitimu wa Shahada ya Falsafa tunapenda kuwashukuru sana kwa moyo wenu wa upendo uliowafanya kujumuika nasi siku ya leo, hasa tunapomshukuru Mungu kwa hatua hii muhimu tuliyofikia. Kama wahitimu, hatuna neno lingine la kusema zaidi ya asante kwa Mungu, kwenu wazazi, waalimu, walezi, na wote wenye mapenzi mema mliotusaidia kufikia hatua hii. Mungu awabariki nyote, Mungu aibariki SMS. Ahsanteni sana!
Prepared by Anthony Pius Chuwa