Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Thursday, April 26, 2018

tanzan2Fr.-Tesha-Prosper-CSCFather Prosper TeshaMILFORD – St. Gabriel Parish has kicked off a fund-raising campaign to finance the rebuilding of its sister parish’s church structure in Tanzania.

Father Maurice Maroney, pastor of St. Gabriel, said the initiative is called "Buy a Brick to Re-Build God’s House" and aims to assist St. Brendan Parish in Kitete, Tanzania. The partnership of the parishes was formed in 2001.

The bricks cost $10. St. Gabriel’s Parish goal is $10,000.

In July 2012, when Father Prosper Tesha arrived as pastor of the parish in Tanzania, he, his staff and the parish council had a deteriorating church building. A new roof was needed, but architects found that the walls were weak and that the single beam holding the roof would not support a new roof.  The conclusion was that a new building was needed to accommodate today’s pastoral activities.

St. Brendan’s serves more than 6,500 Catholic families. Three priests share the pastoral responsibilities and oversee the main church and seven rural sub-churches. An active parish, it has vibrant education and evangelization ministries. Each year, hundreds of parishioners are baptized, confirmed and married there. 

The parish was founded in 1964 and plans to celebrate its golden anniversary next year.

The original church will be demolished this month, and the new church will be constructed on the same site. Because the new church will continue to be the hub for the seven other churches, it will have space for parish staff, worshipers and the many ministries that serve the parishioners and the Church’s wider mission.

The new structure will have sacred worship space with a new altar and ambos, new pews, a baptismal font and sacristy. The building also will have three verandas:  two to accommodate 50 people and a third to accommodate 80 people for gatherings, meetings and, educational purposes. There will also be a large hall for receptions and conferences in addition to parish offices.

Information about the sister parishes and the rebuilding project are available at www.kiteteparish.org, where tax-exempt donations may also be made. Donations also can be mailed to St. Gabriel Mission Board, 26 Broadway, Milford CT 06460-6005.

The estimated cost of the new construction in United States currency is $170,000.