Canadian Anglicans ‘changing lives’ for African schoolchildren

Published April 21, 2010

Bishop Godfrey Mdimi Mhogolo

The bishop of the Tanzanian diocese of Central Tanganyika, Godfrey Mdimi Mhogolo, said efforts by Canadian Anglicans to support the education of orphans “is changing lives.”

Bishop Mhogolo recently visited the parish of St. Philip’s on-the-Hill in Unionville, Ont. This parish has partnered with the parish of Lugala to ensure that about 100 orphans who go to school in Dodoma are receiving food, clothing and school supplies.
“We encourage our partners to also visit because it is a transforming experience for both,” Bishop Mhogolo said in a briefing to staff at the Anglican Church of Canada in Toronto on April 13.

The diocese of Central Tanganyika, which has about half a million Anglicans in 260 parishes, is heavily involved in education, health and development programs.

“The church has been called by God to serve,” said Bishop Mhogolo.
Since there are very few government schools in the rural and urban districts of Dodoma, the diocese has filled the void by offering primary and secondary education, particularly to the poorest of the poor.

About 6,000 children are being supported through partnerships with parishes in Dodoma and parishes in The Episcopal Church’s dioceses of Virginia, Rochester, and Atlanta, said Bishop Mhogolo.

The diocese also has a vibrant ministry for students who are hearing impaired, offering high school education. It also runs a school for the blind, as well as a nursing school that specializes in diseases of the skin and leprosy.

As well, it operates the Msalato Theological College, which has been educating future priests for the diocese. “About 80 per cent of our priests come from our theological school,” said Bishop Mhogolo. He added that the theological college has a “good partnership” with the diocese of Atlanta. “They have given us books and collected money that has enabled us to build a house that’s completely furnished for visiting lecturers.” The college has an endowment that supports its faculty and students, which is managed on its behalf as part of the endowment funds of the diocese of Atlanta.

Bishop Mhogolo said the college has welcomed Anglican priests and theologians from other parts of the Anglican Communion as visiting lecturers. “Our students need to be global-minded,” he said.

The diocese of Central Tanganyika is also proud of the evangelism work being done by its priests and 1,000 catechists, said Bishop Mhogolo. “They do a lot of evangelism work because the goal is to make our churches grow,” he said.

Bishop Mhogolo talked about how women priests are faring in Central Tanganyika, which is the only diocese in the Anglican Church of Tanzania that ordains women. “There are now over 20 women priests, some are involved in education, others are holding key positions in parishes,” he said, adding that it may only be a matter of time before the diocese elects a woman bishop. When the suffragan bishop of New York, Catherine Roskam, visited his diocese, he noted, people started asking, “So, when are we ordaining women as bishops?”


  • Marites N. Sison

    Marites (Tess) Sison was editor of the Anglican Journal from August 2014 to July 2018, and senior staff writer from December 2003 to July 2014. An award-winning journalist, she has more that three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio, and worked as a stringer for The New York Times.

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