Our Priests in Bukoba

«Ἐμπρός, πατέρες, ἄς ξεσηκωθοῦμε καί ἄς ἐργασθοῦμε. Ἄς ξεκινήσει ἡ Ἱεραποστολή» φώναξε ἕνας ἡλικιωμένος Ἱερεύς καί χειροκρότησαν ὅλοι οἱ Ἱερεῖς πού συμμετεῖχαν στό Σεμινάριο τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἐπισκοπῆς Μπουκόμπας, πού πραγματοποιήθηκε, μέ τίς εὐλογίες τοῦ Μακ. Πατριάρχου Ἀλεξανδρείας κ. Θεοδώρου, ἀπό 31/1 έως 12/2/2021, στήν Ἱερατική Σχολή «Ἅγιος Ἰωάννης Χρυσόστομος» στό Κασίκιζι τῆς Μπουκόμπας ὑπό τήν προεδρία τοῦ Γενικοῦ Πατριαρχικοῦ Ἐπιτρόπου Μπουκόμπας Ἀρχιμ. Χρυσοστόμου Μαϊδώνη.”Fathers, let us all rise up and get down to work. Let the Mission begin,”cried an elderly priest, and he was applauded by all the priests who participated in the Bukoba Diocese Seminar, which took place with the blessings of His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria from 31/1 to 12/2/2021, at the Theological Seminary “ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM” in Kasikizi, Bukoba, under the chairmanship of the General Patriarchal Commissioner of Bukoba Archim. Chrysostomos Maidones.

Μέ βάση τίς εἰσηγήσεις καί τό διάλογο, πού ἀκολούθησε, οἱ ἱερεῖς μας κατέληξαν στά ἐξῆς πορίσματα:Based on the proposals and the dialogue that followed, our priests came to the following conclusions:

  1. Εὐχαριστοῦν τόν Μακαριώτατο Πάπα καί Πατριάρχη Ἀλεξανδρείας κ. Θεόδωρο, γιά τήν ἀνύψωση τῆς Μπουκόμπας σέ Ἐπισκοπή καί τόν διορισμό τοῦ Γενικοῦ Πατριαρχικοῦ Ἐπιτρόπου Ἀρχιμ. Χρυσοστόμου Μαϊδώνη.They extend their thanks to His Beatitude Theodoros, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, for the elevation of Bukoba to a Diocese and the appointment of the General Patriarchal Commissioner Archim. Chrysostomos Maidones.
  2. Ἐξέφρασαν τήν εὐγνωμοσύνη τους πρός τόν Ἡγούμενο τῆς Μονῆς Βατοπαιδίου Ἀρχιμ. Ἐφραίμ καί τούς μοναχούς, γιά τήν χορήγηση τῆς μηνιαῖας μισθοδοσίας.They expressed their gratitude to the Abbot of the Vatopedi Monastery Archim. Ephraim and the monks, for the granting of monthly payroll.
  3. Ἐξέφρασαν τίς εὐχαριστίες τους πρός τόν Ἀρχιμ. Παντελήμονα Ποῦλο γιά τήν προσφορά Ἱερατικῶν στολῶν καί πρός τούς Ἱεραποστολικούς Συλλόγους «Στα ίχνη του Πατροκοσμά» Ἀρναίας, «Αδελφότητα Ορθοδόξου Εξωτερικής Ιεραποστολής» Θεσσαλονίκης, «Πορεία Αγάπης» Λάρισας, «Πορευθέντες» Ἀθηνῶν καί «Ἅγιος Χρυσόστομος» Θεσσαλονίκης, γιά τή βοήθεια πρός τό ἔργο τῆς Ἐπισκοπῆς.They extended their thanks to Archim. Pantelimon Poulos for the offering of priest vestments, and to the Missionary Associations: “IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FATHER COSMAS” from Arnaia, “ORTHODOX MISSIONARY FRATERNITY” from Thessaloniki, “COURSE OF LOVE” from Larissa, “POREUTHENTES” (GO YE) from “ATHENS” and “SAINT CHRYSOSTOM” from Thessaloniki for their support to the Missionary work of the Diocese of Bukoba.
  4. It was found out that the main problems of the priests are education, finances and health issues. We hope that with our faith in God, our own struggle and the help of the Diocese, we will be able to deal with them.
  5. Many parishes do not have church buildings and the existing churches are in a very bad condition. We hope that with the help of the parishioners and friends of the Mission, we will be able to build new churches and repair the old ones. The new churches should have elements of African architecture.
  6. It was proposed that every Sunday there be a written sermon, which should be read by the Priests and then be distributed to the faithful.
  7. The Diocese should be supplied with Holy Bibles which will be distributed to the Parishes in order to be read at the meetings of the faithful and the young.
  8. The necessity of holding a Preaching Seminar so that the Clergy and the Catechists can teach the people of God constructively.
  9. The importance of the liturgical work was stressed by all the participants. Worship services are the backbone of the Missionary and Pastoral work.
  10. The priest should ring the church bell twice a day (both morning and evening) and conduct the Matins and the Vespers services.
  11. It is imperative that the liturgical books translated into Tanzanian Swahili.
  12. The charity work is an offering of love from the parish, the priest and the Christians to the needy and all those in difficulty (mourning, disease, poverty…)
  13. The organized charitable work in the Diocese of Bukoba will begin, God willing, with the establishment of an Orphanage for young children, particularly girls. The big ones will be sent to the boarding houses of the two Orthodox Schools “SAINT SOSTHENES” and “ARISTOTLE”.
  14. The numbers of vacant priestly posts are large. The priests will arrange to send candidates for the priesthood, who will be trained directly at the Diocesan Theological Seminary.
  15. The reactivation of the Diocese and the priests will bring the Mission’s resumption. All priests have Mission experience, what they only needed was encouragement to start again.
  16. The priests should care about the election by the people of four Commissioners, each one for a different field: Church Administration, Charity, Youth and Mothers.
  17. They agreed to immediately submit the Financial Report of each Parish for the year 2020.
  18. They also agreed to submit lists: of the parishes, of the small Orthodox nuclei, of the Churches and the properties where they exist, of the number of families and the number of faithful of each parish.
  19. During the school holidays in Kasikizi, the Diocesan Camps will be open and operate for children and young people. It is estimated that about 2,000 in total will be accommodated in the three sessions of their operation a) 10-13 years old, b) 14-17 years old and c) 18-30 years old.
  20. The priests agreed to hold two Priestly Meetings, a three-day one from 6 to 8/5 in Bukoba and another from 6 to 12/9 in Kasikizi.
  21. There was agreement as regards the role of catechists and its importance and the organization of a Catechist Training Seminar from 15 to 20 / 2 for Bukoba and from 6 to 13 / 6 for Caragua, Kierua and Geita.

The Diocese of Bukoba values its Priests, who have to fight amidst the flood of violent and aggressive Islam, the haughtiness of Roman Catholicism and the numerous Protestant mainstream and offshoot denominations .

These priests are the porters of Christ in Bukoba; they are the only hope for the few Orthodox Christians.

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