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Thursday, 27 February 2020 19:48

Tanzania Party: Maryknoll Values Live On

Written by Roger Schiltz
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Roger Schiltz – Seattle Chapter

Ellen McDonald was quoted in the January NSFA, “Maryknoll is like a visible symbol of a whole set of values. … At the same time, the personal vocation of each has taken Maryknoll out to places where we might not have gone.”

Modi, Salome, Willis, and Melkiadi, with Affiliates Roger and Kitty Schiltz

 

Kitty and I gathered young people together from Musoma area who we knew when we were Maryknoll Lay Missionaries. Melkiadi, MD, selected the restaurant. It was in a well-to-do neighborhood and on a Sunday morning where customers were having espresso coffee and their morning snack. We ate a lot more than that.

We had first met Melkiadi after Mass in Musoma, Tanzania. He asked us, “Do you think a person can live like St. Francis today?” He was one of the very few fifth-grade children who could even attempt to speak English. We asked him to help with our teaching of reading and math. He was great with children. He is now a medical doctor, a pediatrician.

We met Salome in 2004. She brought over 300 AIDS orphans to the celebration of The Day of the African Child. Sister Marion Hughes, MM, got us together. We asked Salome’s grandparents if we could help her with finances to take extra lessons after school to prepare her for Secondary school. Her grandmother said, “No.” Grandmother’s reasoning was that she needed Salome for cooking and caring for the house. And could we help her two brothers who were aids orphans, too? Salome graduated in December with a degree in Human Resources. She has a son, Willis, age six, and is expecting a child at the moment. Her brother Frank graduated December 2019 with a degree in engineering. He is helping his sister Salome with some finances. He is looking for work.

Modi is attending Montessori College and is pursuing a degree in early childhood education. She teaches in the mornings and has classes in the afternoon. She is totally into teaching. She is a very good teacher now, and I see her as a teacher of teachers in the future. Modi and her cousin were the first AIDS orphans we met in Musoma. We were with them when both of their mothers died of aids.

All of the above have been influenced by Maryknoll. Maryknoll Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, and Lay Missioners have made their presence known in the Musoma area community. Today, Fathers, Sisters, and lay Tanzanians carry on that whole Maryknoll set of values. Their vocations will take Maryknoll out to places in the future where we might not have gone.

So was this a Maryknoll Affiliate party?

Almost forgot! We spoiled Salome’s little boy Willis with all the food he could eat, including a huge bowl of ice cream.


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