Missions in Tanzania
My Dear Parishioners,
I am happy to announce that our new parish directories are in and they look great. If you sat for a portrait or submitted a photograph, please come to the rectory Monday thru Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. to pick up your copy.
This week we welcome Fr. Idelfonce Mapara to speak to us about the missions in Tanzania. Fr. Mapara will be spending part of the coming week with us, so you may see him around. I found some information about him from his diocesan website and thought you might be interested in learning more about him.
God Bless you!
My name is Fr. Ildefonce Mapara, OSB, a Benedictine monk from Tanzania. I live in Klamath Falls at St. Pius X Catholic church. I am in residence and do travel in different places in the country to seek funds for social projects in southern Tanzania. I am pleased to share with you my vocation story though the website of the Diocese of Baker.
I was born on 15th of July 1960 in southern Tanzania. I joined monastic life in 1987 and was ordained a priest on June 29th, 2000. Since when I was about 10 years old I thought about being a priest. Nobody ever directly or indirectly asked me about becoming a priest. I had seen the missionary priests from Germany and thought it would be a good thing to be saying Mass for the people. But that was a child’s way of thinking. I did not know what was to come with that kind of a calling. As I went to school I was able to learn more about our Catholic faith. I had a very good catechist who taught
catechism and Bible stories, a summary of the major events in
the Bible. It was really an eye opening experience regarding the Catholic faith and its traditions. My dad was very devoted Catholic and never missed Sunday Mass unless he was sick. This too had an impact in my life. It really imprinted in my mind the importance of doing what is supposed to be done by a believer.
As my history was continuing to be unveiled I ended up going to a High School run by Benedictines. Seeing their lives I was attracted to them. But also during this time I could think a little more maturely and tried to decide who I wanted to be – a monk priest or get married. The gospel of Matthew in which Jesus condemns those that did not attend the needy persons kind of pushed me to choose life that will make me always aware of my obligation as a believer. So I came to a conclusion that monastic life or priesthood will put me in an environment that I will always be aware of my faith and live it. Today I think this was and is a sound reason to be a monk and a priest. I have the opportunity of saying Mass every day. I have to say my prayers every day. The schedule at the abbey is designed in a way that the whole day is centered around praying: in the morning (vigils and lauds), midday (midday prayer), late afternoon (vespers) and before going to bed (compline) plus many other spiritual exercises like meditation and retreats.
When I look back now I see how my vocation to priesthood and religious life was fostered early on during my childhood and as I was growing. I really see God’s marvelous deeds through my dad and the exuberant catechist. Indeed I am thankful to God for the vocation He has given to me.
Fr. Ildefonce Mapara, OSB – (Order of Saint Benedict)