Croatians to Offer Contributions to Tanzanian Church

Nov 18, 2002 03:00 AM EST

ZAGREB -- The church in Croatia has undertaken a commitment to provide monetary assistance to the church in Tanzania. On November 12, the Croatian Bishops issued a memorandum asking the Croatian faithful to offer contributions to the construction of a church and pastoral center for the Ujewa Mission in Tanzania.

Under the mission guidance of priests in the Split-Makarska Archdiocese, the new church that is going to be built will be named after the Blessed Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac. The bishop's memorandum reminds the Croatians that the members of this mission prayed for the Croatian church during time of war, and despite the poverty of the Croatians, they gave out of their poverty to provide assistance for Croatia.

The local ordinary bishop has already approved the construction of the Tanzanian church. The pastoral center that will be built will serve 17,500 Catholics of this mission, and it will be the base to spread the Gospel in a region where 7,500 Muslim, 6,500 Lutherans, and over 60,000 non-believers reside.

Within the mission complex, housing for missionaries and catechists will be built. In addition to these structures, a school for girls, a trade school, a clinic with 40 beds, and a well and water tower will be built. An agricultural center, children's playground, and apartment for the workers is also slated to be built.

When the church is erected, additional structures will be built. A health center is being planned which will consist of a maternity ward, surgery ward, laboratory, and beds for 60 patients.

Adding to the urgency of the memorandum, bishops pointed out that Croatian missionaries in the Ujewa mission are already preparing hundreds of adults and children for baptisms. They will administer to other sacraments, celebrate Mass, and conduct catechesis in two secondary schools.

Finally, the church will provide much-needed social services to the natives, including the training in modern agriculture and the alleviating of poverty through economic reforms.

By Roy Li