In October 2015, Sisters Rose Paul Chackkiah, Mercitta Arimpour, and Sajana Arakel of the Assisi Province in southern India launched a new mission in southeast Tanzania. This initiative fulfills a dream of our congregation’s foundresses, who more than a century ago envisioned our sisters ministering in Africa.
The sisters work collaboratively with the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers in Tanzania’s Songea region. They teach the elementary grades at the DePaul English Medium School Msamal in Songea and minister in the thriving parish in Makambako in the neighboring region of Iranga, in the Diocese of Djombe.
The vast majority of the students our sisters teach are the children of subsistence farmers. Challenges our sisters face include widespread illiteracy, families’ financial instability, a high rate of teenage pregnancy, and pressure for early marriage.
In addition to their teaching and parish work, the sisters are discerning the possibility of vocation promotion and formation of women to religious life from Tanzania and starting a formation house in Songea. They see many opportunities for evangelization, and hope to provide the underserved people with whom they minister Gospel values as well as education.