Our History

After this exercise, the deliberations of the chapter were presented to the provincial chapter of US-East by Fr. Crocenzi.This proposal was however defeated at the provincial chapter of September, 1970. A few years later, however, the US- East made contributions to the East African mushrooming foundation. As the implementation of the districts’ chapter tenacities was underway, there was a concern about where to take the candidates for formations since the suggestion that they should be taken to diocesan seminaries was rejected on grounds that the diocesan seminaries would not provide a religious missionary spirit. After consultations between Fr. Crocenzi, who was then the provincial superior, and Bishop Denis Durning (then the Bishop of Arusha now Arc- Diocese), Usa-River was given to the Holy Ghost Fathers in a deal signed in December 1971.

At the beginning of 1972, Fr. Joseph Babu, who was then the Parish priest of Usa River Parish repaired the buildings in Usa-River making them ready for Novitiate. Around the same time, the Generalate developed a keen interest on the upcoming East African foundation. In April 1972, Fr. Lecuyer, the then Superior General visited Tanzania and met with the Superiors of local Kilimanjaro, Kenya and Bagamoyo districts and entrusted upon them the responsibility of the infant foundation. Fr. Tom Turney, then the new superior of Kilimanjaro district was given the overall in-chargeship of the new foundation. Fr. Lecuyerupon return to Rome wrote a decree on May 29, 1972 that permitted the establishment of a Novitiate for East African foundation.

On January 10, 1973, the East African foundation officially began with the Novitiate at Usa-River.  On this day, six aspirants made their acts of commitment and accepted by the Novice master Fr. Pat Ryan. The six novices made their first profession on January 3, 1974. By God’s grace the new born foundation experienced a rapid growth and during this time, the foundation’s day to day responsibilities were carried out temporarily by Fr. Turney, then superior of Kilimanjaro district. In 1977, Fr. John Daly from the generalate met with the superiors of the districts and a new form of governance was established. Fr. John Turney was confirmed the executive officer of the East Africa foundation on May 25, 1977 by the Generalate. In 1980, Fr. Turney handed over the leadership to Fr. Christopher Promise who was succeeded by Fr. Daniel Macha as the Superior of the foundation in 1983; Fr. Macha being the first member of the foundation to be the Superior. Other council members were: Fr. Tom McDonald, then rector of Spiritan House Nairobi, Fr. Pat Ryan- rector of Spiritan Missionary Seminary-Njiro and Fr. Damas Mfoi, then novice master. Fr. Joseph Babu was appointed bursar of the foundation.

In January 1987, the Superior Fr. Daniel Macha convened the foundation chapter. One of the main issues on the Agenda was to deliberate on whether the foundation should become a province, the decision which was adopted and ratified by the Generalate on October 26, 1988. East African foundation then officially became a province on February 2, 1989 and the Generalate appointed Fr. Daniel Macha the Provincial Superior.[2]

After 19 years of its existence, the East Africa province gave birth to three Spiritan circumscriptions in 2008, namely the Tanzania Province, Kenya Foundation, and Uganda Foundation. In 2007, the then Superior general, Very Rev. Fr. Jean Pau HOCH in consent with his council decided to re-organize the presence of the Spiritans in the Eastern Africa region. Technically, Ethiopia was not part of the East Africa Province though now is part of what is called Union of Circumscriptions in Eastern Africa (UCEAF). Rev. Fr. Joseph Shio.CSSp was proposed as the provincial of the new province and confirmed by the General council. In October 2008, the first assembly of the Tanzania province was held in Tengeru-Arusha. Members of the provincial team were elected in that assembly namely Fr. Amandus Kapele, Fr. Florentine Mallya, Fr. Paul Flamm and Fr. Joseph Mashaka as the bursar. The first provincial chapter took place in Maua Moshi around July 2011. Rev. Fr. Joseph Shio was re-elected as the provincial superior, Fr. Amandus Kapele as his assistant, Fr. Florentine Mallya as the second assistant and Fr. Kastory Kisuda as the member of the council. Fr. Cast Mushi was appointed as the bursar of the province. Mean while the the province was given the responsibility of hosting the 20th Spiritan General Chapter that was to take place in June/July 2012.

The administration of the province mobilized all its personnel to prepare the Chapter. The venue of the chapter was Bagamoyo, the entry point of Christianity in Eastern Africa in the late 19th century. The Chapter was very successful to the satisfaction of all participants. During the Chapter, the Tanzania Province superior, Rev. Fr. Joseph Shio was elected to the general council. Consequently, his election to the general council terminated his mandate as the provincial superior. His first assistant Rev. Fr. Amandus Kapele became in ipso facto the new provincial superior according to the Spiritan Rule of Life (SRL No.172.6). So as from September 2012, the new provincial administration consists of Fr. Amandus Kapele as the provincial superior, Fr. Florentine Mallya as the first assistant, Fr. Kastory Kisuda as the second assistant and Fr. Justi Tarimo as the councilor of formation. The province of Tanzania is young and dynamic due to the fact that majority of its members are young and energetic. However, there are number of challenges ahead that need commitment and self sacrifice from each member.