Bethany responded to the invitation of Archbishop Most Rev Isaack Amani, of the Archdiocese of Arusha, in Meru District to avail their services at St Camillus Dispensary of the Diocese and for the Pastoral activities, in the parish of St. Francis de Sales, Ngurdoto. The dispensary was started in the year 1986 and was managed by Dr Elias a lay person until 2012. Thereafter in 2012 Assisi Sisters of Mary Immaculate took over the management of the dispensary. It is equipped with laboratory facilities, pharmacy department, maternity department and OPD services.

St Camillus dispensary is the only access for the health care in the vicinity of Ngurdoto village within 12km which covers the population of 5000 people. But Assisi sisters discontinued their services from on April 2020, after a span of 8 years due the opening of a new hospital mission in Dar es Salaam.

Sr Antonette the Delegation Superior and Srs Ranjitha and Anitha Menezes, the Delegation Councillors visited the spot on 9th June 2020, made a study of the Ngurdoto area, interviewed the Parish priest, staff of the dispensary and interacted with the local people. Ngurdoto is 40 km away from Moshi town and 20 km from Arusha. It takes 7 km interior to reach Ngurdoto from the inroad.

The Parish is run by the religious Fathers of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Francis De Sales (MSFS). Initially it was a substation and was under the Apostles of Jesus and it was erected as Parish in 2010 under the patronage of St Francis De sales and handed over to the MSFS. The Parish has 5 substations. Presently Fr Robert Antony MSFS is the Parish Priest and F. Williams is the Assistant Parish Priest. They have SCC, Catechism, Youth Association, Women Association and Legion of Mary. The Parish runs a nursery school; sisters render their service in the school. Around the parish there are Government primary and secondary schools and Churches of other denominations such as Pentecostals, Lutherans and seventh day Adventist.

Sr Ranjitha was assigned for medical apostolate and Sr Leera Maria along with two candidates took up pastoral activities. They arrived at Ngurdoto on 2nd August 2020 and were welcomed by the Archbishop to the Diocese. In his homily the Archbishop appreciated the Congregation for their willingness to serve the people in Ngurdoto during the centenary year through pastoral and health Ministry. He encouraged the faithful to collaborate with the Sisters.

Photo: Dispensary with the Sisters

The erection of Bethany Convent, Ngurdoto took place on 4th March 2021 on the 121st priestly ordination of our revered Founder Servant of God Raymond Francis Camillus Mascarenhas. Sr Leera Maria was installed as the new Superior, by Sr Antonette Coutinho, the Delegation Superior.

Canonical Erection of the community and installation of the Superior

The Eucharistic celebration commenced at 6.00 am presided over by Most Rev Issack Amani, concelebrated by the Parish priest, Fr Robert MSFS. The celebrants along with the members of the new community and the community of Mwanga went in procession to the altar, invoking God’s blessings on the new mission. During the Eucharistic celebration, Sr Antonette Coutinho, read the Decree of Canonical erection issued by Sr Rose Celine, the Superior General and installed Sr Leera Maria as the Superior. She then presented Sr Leera Maria with the Bible, Book of Constitutions and the keys of the Tabernacle as a sign of assuming the responsibility of the Superior. Archbishop Isaack Amani in his homily called upon the sisters to imitate the fiat of our Blessed Mother and encouraged the Sisters to build a community of love.
After the Mass, Sr Antonette Coutinho felicitated Sr Leera Maria, the newly appointed Superior and the community members, Sr Ranjitha, Sr Juliet N Ngaihi and Sr Clara Mariamu BS (the newly professed) with flowers. Thereafter a sumptuous delicacy of Tanzania was served to share the joy of venturing into the new mission. A deep sense of faith, love, and trust filled the air.

 Sr Leera Maria, the newly appointed Superior and the community members

Sentiments of gratitude were expressed to Sr Rose Celine, the Superior General for the trust bestowed on the sisters to continue the mission of God in the Archdiocese of Arusha. Sr Antonette Coutinho was appreciated for her encouragement and constant support in the new mission. The presence of the sisters from the nearby community of Mwanga added solemnity to the occasion.

0n 5thSeptember 2021, of the first unit of Bethany Lay Association with five members was inaugurated. After the Eucharistic Celebration Sr Antonette, handed over the certificates and BLA handbook to the new members. Having learnt the scope for vocations it was proposed to have the Come and See formation in Ngurdoto. On 25th March 2022, two candidates were officially received. Sr Leera Maria is in charge of the come and See candidates.

Year of Establishment: 04.03.2021






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