The diocese of Tunduru-Masasi lies in the far south of Tanzania on the border with Mozambique. In this area, 85% of the population identify as Muslim, while only 11% – a little over 100,000 people – are Catholic Christians. The faithful live widely scattered across numerous different villages throughout the 19 parishes covering a vast area.
Thirty-four priests and their bishop of Tunduru-Masasi work tirelessly to carry the sacraments to the faithful and care for them pastorally. The long distances and bad roads make their work difficult, but in no way does it lessen their apostolic zeal.
All their service is given as with a devout love of God and they do not receive a regular salary, instead choosing to rely on the gifts of the Catholic faithful who strive with all their hearts to support their priests, even though they themselves are very poor.
A Particularly Difficult Year
This year has proven to be more difficult than ever. The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has worsened the already ever-present poverty, moreover, only a few of the faithful now still go to their church, for fear of infection. Consequently, the collections are smaller than ever.
In the past, during more ‘normal’ times, the people were at least able to support their priests with the food they had grown. But now, as if the pandemic were not bad enough – their harvest has been very poor, owing to exceptionally heavy rainfalls.
Bishop Filbert Felician Mhasi is very concerned for his priests, and has turned to can with the confidence of knowing that every year we pass on over a million Mass Offerings to needy priests all over the world.
Last year alone, ACN Benefactors were able to help 40,096 priests, who in return celebrated a total of 1,378,635 Holy Masses for the intentions of our benefactors – 38% of these were in Africa.
The financial contribution made to the priest is a gesture of gratitude and support on the part of the individual Catholic for whose intentions he celebrates a particular Mass. It is in no sense to be seen as a form of payment,but insteadsignify a gesture of love that has a long tradition within the Church.
Moreover, this symbolic character, the financial offering made by the faithful represents a vital means of support for priests in many parts of the world – and not just for them personally, but for all the needs of their parishes.
We want to help Bishop Mhasi, we have promised Mass Offerings for a total value of $26,390 – or $754 per priest for an entire year.
In return these priests will celebrate Holy Masses for the intentions of the benefactors who have requested them.
Thank you for lending your support to priests in need in Tanzania.