At day break Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him and when they came to him they tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, “To the other town also, I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God because for this purpose I have been sent”. Lk 4:42-43.
The General council felt the call of the spirit to go to Africa. The invitation for the new venture was initiated by Rev Mother Andrea. On 26th May 1996, Mother Andrea assisted by Sr. Victoria visited Tanzania for the first time. They visited Iringa by the help of SDB Fathers.
In their search Mother Andrea Mabel D`Souza the Superior General met Fr. Thomas Parakezham SDB, Provincial of Bangalore who introduced her to Rev.Fr. Stephen Chammalakuzhy SDB, and Provincial of East Africa, who after consulting Rev Fr.Tony Fernandez rector in Iringa immediately extended to us a warm written invitation.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them; “What are you looking for”? They said to him, “Rabbi where are you staying”? He said to them “Come and see”. John 1:38-39a. They went and saw the simplicity the poverty and, the dire need of the people conquered them.
On 1st June Our Founder’s Day, our sisters visited Bishop Tarsicius Ngalalekumtwa the bishop of the Iringa Diocese. He immediately extended a warm written invitation on the same day after hosting them a meal and offering 5 acres of land for our use at Mwembetongwa in Iringa.
To share our charism with the people and to give a helping hand in the work of evangelization in the diocese of Iringa.
19th May 1997 after a meaningful Eucharistic celebration by the parish priest of Vakola, they left by flight AL 201, which took off at 10:35 am with a halt of about an hour to Nairobi. They landed DAR ES SALAAM on the same day at about 16 hours. Don Bosco fathers and Rev Fr.Liberatus a Diocesen priest on behalf of the bishop of Iringa met them at the Airport with their resident permit. They extended a warm welcome to them and made them feel at home.
On 21st May 1997 after making their immediate purchases at Dar they set for Iringa at about 10:30 escorted by Rev FR. Sebastian Kolazhiyil in the land cruiser covering 500kms. They were received by Rev. Fr. Mathew rector of Iringa SDB along with big group of parishioners who greeted them with rousing African cheers.
The convent house was inaugurated on 31st May 1997, on the feast of the Visitation of Our Lady with Eucharist concelebrated by three priests. The Salesian fathers put at their disposal free of cost their guest house well furnished, with electricity, water, electric-hot plate with oven extension of the telephone facility [intercom].
They literally began their involvement in the mission from 1st of June 1997, the day of Our Founder Fr. Adrian Brezy and the feast of Corpus Christi. It was a unique experience to them. After making their purchases with the help of SDB fathers they began trying their fingers at palatable dishes; for some of them it was a maiden experience. They had a simple life style. All house work such as cooking laundering, gardening was done by our sisters, walked a distance of about 600m to church for mass. They had a good rapport with people. Their first step was to visit families of their neighborhood. They faced the challenge of language barrier and of learning the new culture. They took two months to learn the language and also stayed with the local sisters
(Theresina Sisters) for more practical on language.
Technical school of SDB – Sr. Jansi.
Medical work – Sr.Mangala.
Visiting families and other activities – Sr. Victoria and Sr.Mangala.
The need for nursery school was felt urgently, our sisters worked hard towards it with the same spirit of the congregation. They trusted in Divine Providence for everything and the Lord opened the door of blessings for them. Thus their dream was fulfilled on the 19th January 1999 where they began the nursery school with 65 children. Later on primary school was extended and right now the school has 700 and above pupils with a new administration block and additional classrooms for a second stream supervised by sr. Litty George the headmistress of the school.
DAR ES SALAAM- As a result of a long standing desire expressed by Mother Andrea, to have a house in the heart of Tanzania, Sr.Victoria during her stay in Iringa from December 1997 till June 1998 began making inquiries through various sources and persons. We felt the need to expand its mission. Our sisters listened to the spirit of the Lord and gave birth to other communities such as Morogoro, Mbeya, kibao, Mbinga and Nebbi-Uganda. Thanks to the Lord of the harvest for sending us into his vineyard.
From 2004 Jan Iringa community has been a regional house till 2019 Jan where it was shifted to Dar es salam. Sr. Victoria was the first mission coordinator and Sr. Celine the first Reg. Superior followed by Sr. Lilly Mascarenhas, Sr. Sagaya Mary Raju and at present Sr. Jansi Jai. Sr. Victoria together with the pioneers toiled day and night, through thick and thin of life to bring this mission to what it is today.
With one mind and heart our sisters worked hard in the development of our region. Thanks for their sacrifice and dedication.