Poor Souls Appeal
Thank you for checking out our website pages, especially the “current appeal."
Whenever the members of the “Conference of Mission Procurators of the Missionary Benedictine Congregation of St. Ottilien” meet projects from our monasteries, dioceses where we are represented, and from sister communities affiliated with us are reviewed and prioritized. Then ways for funding are decided. It can happen that a request has to be turned down. The members of the “Conference” come from our monasteries in Germany (5), Austria (1) Switzerland (1), and Waegwan Abbey in South Korea and Christ the King Priory in Schuyler, NE.
Without further explanations let me come to the point of this appeal.
The church is the heart of the monastery!
In a Benedictine monastery the church is the heart of the community. Several times a day the monks come together in a sacred space for the “work of God” as Saint Benedict admonishes his followers. The monks not only sing the praise of God, but they unite their prayers with the whole Church and in particular remember the manifold petitions recommended to them.
Focus: Holy Spirit Abbey, Mvimwa, Tanzania
On June 3rd, 1979, the monks of Hanga Abbey, the first indigenous abbey in Tanzania of our Congregation, founded a new monastery about 60 km northwest of the district town of Sumbawanga. In September 1986, the monastery of Mvimwa was raised to the status of a simple priory, the next step towards independence. On March 26, 2001, the monastery was raised to the rank of an abbey. The community is involved in the ministry of education and social outreach, with a health clinic and a very strong ministry of AIDS prevention and assistance to the elderly .
Over the years, additions to the monastery were made to house the growing number of monks and provide for the needed workshops and classrooms for the schools. Thanks to the generosity of many benefactors solar energy could be introduced. A well provides a clean and sufficient water supply for the monks and their institutions.
Unfortunately, a worthy house of the Lord remains still a dream!
Abbot Pambo informed the Conference of Procurators that his community numbers 87 monks, including novices. A temporary chapel seats only 55. On Sundays, when the faithful of the area join the community for Eucharist, the monks often have to stand outdoors. This situation is no longer acceptable. For special celebrations, especially with the students, alternate worship spaces have to be found, often outdoors.
The community has decided that now is the time to build a house for the Lord. The plans have been presented to the abbot president and the Conference of Mission Procurators, together with the cost estimate for the project. Herbert Oberholzer, a Swiss Architect and friend of our Congregation, has designed a simple, yet functional church. Mr. Oberholzer donates much of his time and energy as he has done for many other churches wherever we Missionary Benedictines work. The plan calls for a seating capacity of 480 people plus choir stalls for 77 monks and an overflow space that could provide standing room for 120. The basement of the church will house a weekday chapel and an assembly hall which is very much needed. The original estimate was presented three years ago and came to $752,000. Inflation has driven up the cost. At the September procurators’ meeting the final cost was approved. Fr. Anastasius or a representative of the Procurators Conference will assist the monks of Mvimwa Abbey in overseeing the construction and that no funds will be misused.
Can I again count on the assistance of our friends here in the USA so that the community
of Holy Spirit Abbey in Mvimwa can worship together in their own church?
Honor your departed loved ones!
During the month of November we remember all those who have gone before us in faith. We entrust all to the loving care of our God. May HE grant them eternal rest and peace. May I suggest making a donation in loving memory of your deceased family members and friends? Your contribution will be added to the building fund and 100% of your gift will go towards the construction of the Abbey Church at Mvimwa.
We in turn will include your beloved dead in prayer each and every day of November especially those whose names you make known to us. The monks of Mvimwa will also pray for the eternal happiness of each soul who can see God now face to face as our faith teaches us, or who are on their way after a time of purgation. Our Lord is merciful and welcomes all!
Thank you for your assistance and be assured that we monks remember you and all your needs each time we gather for the celebration of Holy Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.