From 15 to 22 May 2019, we had the great joy and blessing of being visited by His Beatitude Theodore II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, in our Missionary Diocese of Arusha and Central Tanzania, particularly in Iringa Region, which is situated on a huge plateau at an altitude of 2,000 m. It is the second visit of our Patriarch to this area since 2007. A great reception was reserved for the Venerable Spiritual Father by crowds of faithful from the surrounding areas at the Diocesan Mission Center in Kidamali, Iringa.
On Thursday, May 16th, His Beatitude Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria, visited the Nambanga Region in the southern part of the country near the border with Zambia, where he performed the consecration of the Church dedicated to Sts. Paisios of Mt. Athos and Luke the Physician in Massage village, and conducted the blessing service for the new borehole of the area. Both projects are being funded by donors of the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity.
The next day, May 17th, His Beatitude along with his entourage went to Ingagidungu village, in the highlands of the hinterland of central Tanzania, in a permanently wonderful setting, where the beauty of nature meets with the peaceful and industrious natives. There, he performed the sanctification service for the blessing of the gates of the Church of the Transfiguration and St. Porphyrios of Kafsokalyvia, which was funded by donors of your Fraternity.
In the afternoon of the same day, the Alexandrian Primate went to Ipoasi, the primitive village of the Maasai, which is purely Orthodox, and in which the whole of the village welcomed him with local dances and songs. Here His Beatitude blessed the borehole that our Church drilled in the center of the village. Fortunately, its water meets the needs of these poor people, who live in a particularly harsh environment, depended entirely on their livestock. It is one of the few areas of our planet that remains unaffected by the so called «cultural progress», and where one can indeed admire and enjoy the uniqueness of nature and the innocence and purity of these people.
On Saturday, May 18th, our Patriarch, accompanied by Their Graces Bishops Sylvester of Gulu and Fotios of Malawi, performed mass baptisms of 350 natives at Kindamali Mission Center. Immediately following the touching rite of baptism, His Beatitude held an assembly of the Diocesan Clergy, addressing admonitions and counsels and encouraging the clerics to continue their priestly ministry with enthusiasm.
On the Sunday of the Paralytic, May 19th, His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa celebrated the Matins service and presided over the Divine Liturgy, at the Church of Our Lady of Kykkos and St. George in Kindamali, with the support of Their Graces Gulu, Malawi and Arusha. During the D.L., he ordained to the order of Deacon Mr. Anastasios Kiyonga, a 32-year-old married man and a father of two, graduate of the Nairobi Theological Seminary and of the Tabora School of Philosophy. Prior to the dismissal, His Beatitude awarded the office of Archimandrite to Priestmonk Marco Rutakiamirwa, graduate of the Dodoma University School of Philosophy and specialized in Linguistics. Both clerics are members of the Translation Group of Arusha Diocese.
After the dismissal, all those present in a solemn procession headed by His Beatitude and accompanied by all the local officials and rulers of Iringa Region, went to the forecourt of the adjoining «St. Nicholas» Clinic, where its inauguration ceremony took place. This clinic is a donation of the Holy Metropolis of Nea Krini and Kalamaria.
On Monday May 20th, His Beatitude visited Imbogo village, where he consecrated the Church of St. John the Theologian and conducted the blessing service of the adjacent borehole, both projects which adorn the region and were funded by donors of your Fraternity.
I would like to express my brotherly love and wholehearted gratitude to your Board President Mr. Charalambos Metallides, to Mr. Nostis Psarras, as well as to all the members of your Fraternity for your fervent support to my humble ministry in the Diocese of Arusha, because for us you are great benefactors. May the Good Lord bless you all.
With love in Christ
† Agathonikos of Arusha