Home / Stories of Mission / Journey of Faith: Reflections from Manzese Parish in Tanzania

Journey of Faith: Reflections from Manzese Parish in Tanzania

Baz' Manzese Parish Pict Page 1

Father Barthelemy Bazemo, M.Afr. President, Missionaries of Africa and Superior USA Sector

Before coming to the States, my first missionary assignment was in Tanzania at Manzese Parish in the Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam. Manzese Parish is an urban parish that serves a diverse community of over five thousand members, most of whom were either self-employed or held low or semi-skilled jobs. We had an excellent parish team that cared for the people. In addition to celebrating the sacraments, I was responsible for youth chaplaincy (as the youngest priest often is) along with other service-oriented initiatives, including parish committees, food pantries, volunteer and outreach programs.

Prior to taking up this assignment as a newly ordained minister, I was fortunate to spend time in Tanzania, where I acquired proficiency in Kiswahili, the national language, and became acquainted with the local customs. Tanzania is a peaceful and dynamic nation that has been greatly influenced by the legacy of Julius Nyerere, the country’s founding president. This knowledge helped ease me into ordained ministry.

To succeed in ministry, it is essential to learn to comprehend people’s customs. This entails cultivating an openness while demonstrating genuine respect for their way of life and culture. By adopting this approach, Missionaries of Africa have acquired valuable insights into different cultures and have come to appreciate the richness of their values.

Missionary learning always requires time. As a messenger of the Good News, a missionary must exhibit humility and recognize God’s presence in all cultures. However, one of the most significant challenges a missionary faces is determining the most effective means of fostering that awareness of God’s presence in every person’s life and helping create transformative religious experiences. To overcome this challenge, I learned what matters most to people and assisted them in finding the most appropriate answers to their inquiries, especially their spiritual longings.

I have countless memories of the people. Tanzanians are renowned for their hospitality. Many families welcomed me into their homes and made me feel like a part of their families. I enjoyed the fervor of the community, which demonstrated a true sense of ownership. From the youth to the adults, I had very enriching encounters, which I continue to treasure today.

The Manzese Parish community enthusiastically embraced and nurtured me as a newly ordained priest. Through our faith-sharing and collaborative community development, I acquired a wealth of knowledge. I continue to appreciate their invaluable assistance in enabling me to fulfill my Christian vocation as a Missionary of Africa.

Recent News

Friends of Hope


To preach… to teach… to heal… to build.

That is what we have been doing since 1868, and with your help today, we are able to keep doing this; spreading the message of hope to our brothers and sisters in Africa who are the poorest of the poor.