Ministries in Ndanda Priory - Tanzania
The Missionary Benedictine Sisters in Ndanda have been engaged in the work of evangelization for over 100 years. The oldest house in the Congregation outside Germany is part of this priory – Nyangao, established in 1889. With such a long history, the Sisters continue to celebrate God’s faithfulness as well as give their lives in dedicated service to the local people in Tanzania.
Currently the Priory of Ndanda is made up of 5 communities: St. Tekla Community in Mtwara, Sacred Heart Community in Kabuhima, St. Scholastica Community in Mtwara, St. Agnes Community in Nyangao, and the Priory House Community in Ndanda. The ministries of the Sisters at each of these communities is outlined below.
In various communities over the years, the Missionary Benedictine Sisters in Ndanda have engaged in evangelization ministries. Pastoral work is an integral part of the Sisters mission in all of their communities. The Sisters engage in religious education, Catechism of Adults and Children especially in Nyangao community, and offer a general presence in the parishes in which they serve and live.
In Kabuhima, their newest community, the Sisters do pastoral work in a parish with 30 outstations, teaching Catechism to adults and children alike. Here, the Sisters also engage in youth ministry, both at the parish level and the Diocese level.
The Sisters in Ndanda are engaged in healthcare ministry. This has been a key part of their history. Currently, two Sisters are working in St. Walburg Hopsital in Nyangao as nurse and pharmacist.
At the Ndanda priory house, the Sisters run the parish based UZIMA program, which offers Integrated Family Homecare for the sick, especially HIV patients, orphans and vulnerable children; Peer Education Program and Awareness; Training of Voluntary Health Assistants; and Education program for HIV prevention.
The Sisters also own and run the St. Mary Dispensary Shangani in Mtwara, with Maternity Services, X-ray, and Ultrasound.
In Mtwara, the Sisters run and operate St. Michael's English medium Kindergarten and Pre-Primary School. The Sisters teach religion classes in different schools in Kabuhima. in addition to administrative work, the Sisters also teach in Aquinas Secondary School in Mtwara. Aquinas Secondary School belongs to the Diocese, but the Sisters provide administration. To the kindergarten in Magomeni Parish, the Sisters provide moral and material support.
In Kabuhima, the Sisters also supervise a number of kindergartens in varius sub-parishes in the local parish. At the same time, they provide administration to the Parish's primary school.
In addition to active engagement in teaching and administration in schools, the Sisters also run two hostels for female students. These hostels provide a home to the many students who seek a safe and home environment during their studies time. Stella Maris Students' Hostel houses 200 female students. The Sisters also run Anwarite Hostel in Mtwara.
The Sisters reach out to assist poor people and address poverty in their locale in various ways. For example to teach and foster self-reliance, the Sisters run a one-year informal school of sewing, knitting, gardening, etc. This School aims at providing self-reliance skills to fight poverty and provide income to the people.
Care of the leprosy patients has been part of the Sisters' ministry for a long time. The Sisters continue to offer special care for leprosy patients and former lepers who are healed but have lost limbs because of the disease. The Sisters provide home care, medication, and supply for other needs.
Given a large poor population among whom the Sisters serve, there are always people knocking on the Convent door looking for some necessity item. In the spirit of Benedictine Hospitality, the Sisters strive to provide for these people in need of food, clothing, or whatever the need may be.