Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In Memoriam

Eight years have passed today since my first and only parish priest in the missions - Rev. Father Karol Szlachta, passed away suddenly, hit by a stroke on  a sunny Sunday afternoon, on the day the Holy Mother Church celebrated the Solemnity of Christ the King...

I learned my missionary craft from him, I spent my first one and a half years as a rookie missionary, an apprentice in this tough job in a tough world, with him, under his guidance and advice. Then, when I finally moved to Kiabakari in November 1992, we remained as friends and brothers-in-arms in our quest to bring the Good News to our people we loved and served, each in his own mission territory. Him - in Butiama parish first, then Nyamuswa, where he was finally laid to rest at the right side of the entrance to the church.

Fr. Karol Szlachta 

Holy Mary, Mother of God Cathedral Church in Musoma 
on the day of Fr. Karol's diocesan funeral Mass

The funeral Mass of Fr. Karol in his parochial church in Nyamuswa, November 27, 2002

Today the Polish missionary community gathers at his grave, as it has become an annual custom to do so, celebrating Holy Mass with the parochial community of the parish he created, in the church he built, and after the Mass - at the grave.

In unity with my Polish sisters and brothers gathered over there at Nyamuswa in Diocese of Musoma in Tanzania, I pay my respect to my parish priest, guide and friend, praying that the Good Lord accepts him in the Father's House in heaven, and asking Father Karol personally to keep a watchful eye on us down here in the Diocese of Musoma, so we may continue sharing our faith with Tanzanian ecclesiastical community and bringing the difference in the society at large.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace!

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