Monday, August 4, 2014

Returning Home to Tanzania: Sr. Pia's Reflections on "The Best Years of my Monastic Life" Part 3

Along with my fellow sisters, I believe that the best possible basic education gives young people their best chance to pursue further studies. I am proud of our sisters who continue this work.

Only two or three sisters were assigned at first to Mjimwema to help in the parish and the hostel of its secondary school. The four sisters who work there now live in a small house built for a family. But a gift of land from the archbishop of Songea has allowed the Peramiho priory to build a beautiful two-story house, five minutes from the new orphanage, as the sisters' future home: the Good Shepherd Convent.

The new convent includes a spacious chapel with access from the outside so neighbors and children may join the sisters in their prayers. The new convent will have rooms for 10 sisters. Again I experienced how a small seed sown in faith can become a strong tree. Mjimwema will become an important ministry of the Peramiho priory, serving the people in this fast-growing city by taking care of the orphans and providing good education for their future. 

I learned that the Tanzanian government has been imposing more and more regulations affecting students' advanced studies. Some sisters are studying to meet these demands, but they pose big challenges for our congregation's young Tanzanian-born community. I had begun training many sisters to teach professionally during my time as prioress, and this work continues. The sisters must have confidence in themselves in order to teach others.

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