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MIT – Father Edward Schoellmann (May 2018)

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Father Edward Schoellmann:
Lessons in Church-building

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Yes, I am semi-retired. But the half of me that isn’t manages to stay busy!

I serve the people of Tanzania’s Shinyanga diocese in Bukundi, which is about 15 miles from the diocese’s far southeast corner. Our parish, which consists of a main church plus eight outstations, is very spread out. Not everyone can come into town for Mass, pastoral instruction, or any special needs they may have. So we bring Mass and the Sacraments to them.

Our new church is the focal point of parish life. In addition to the church itself, we have lodging for clergy and for the Sisters who serve with us. We also have living space for our catechist and his wife, and we have classrooms for parish activities.

About two-dozen children attending secondary school live at the parish. Without safe and convenient lodging, they probably wouldn’t attend school. Their parents are supposed to provide food but they are so poor we usually wind up feeding the kids as well.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1530638817957{margin-top: 0px !important;}”]Recently, we offered our parishioners Pre-K daycare. We saw that mothers had their hands full dealing with morning chores and the children. Without blinking an eye, we had about 30 little ones show up! We feed them as well because the drought has taken its toll.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text el_class=”F18 Dred” css=”.vc_custom_1530638758284{margin-right: 15px !important;margin-left: 15px !important;border-top-width: 1px !important;border-right-width: 1px !important;border-bottom-width: 1px !important;border-left-width: 1px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 30px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 40px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-color: #440000 !important;border-right-color: #440000 !important;border-top-color: #440000 !important;border-bottom-color: #440000 !important;border-radius: 5px !important;}”]“I fully realize that my future here—and the future of our parish—is in God’s hands.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”16946″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_3d”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_gallery interval=”5″ images=”16939,16940,16941″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]Like much of east Africa, we have not had normal rains in about two years. What will come out of the ground in a few months is still a question mark. That’s why I am so grateful for our donors. Every $25 gift we receive buys enough food to feed a small family in crisis for an entire month.

The lack of dependable rainwater has had other consequences. The Watatulu, for example, are pastoralists who depend on cows and goats for their livelihood. But without water, most of their animals have died off. The Watatulu do not have tools to cultivate the land. Nor do they have land with olive trees, date trees, or coconut trees. Yet they must switch to crops or they will be left completely impoverished.

What’s left for a semi-retired missioner to do? I think about building a water system with a solar pump that pulls water out of the ground so women don’t have to walk miles each day to find a usable well. I think about adding 15 new outstations so that more people can celebrate our faith right where they live. And I think about helping more children stay in school with safe lodging and all the supplies they need.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I fully realize that my future here—and the future of our parish—is in God’s hands. But what inspires my mission work each day is knowing that your prayers are with me—and that your gifts of support are making a difference for so many of our poor. God bless you for being a loyal and generous missioner. Be comforted knowing that my prayers are with you, too.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row content_placement=”top”][vc_column][vc_column_text el_class=”F20″]

~ Father Edward Schoellmann, M.M.

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ABOUT MARYKNOLL

We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.

OUR GENERAL COUNCIL

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. Tom O’Brien, Fr. Ray Finch, Fr. Joe Everson, Fr. Russ Feldmeier)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Fr. Ray Finch.

OUR FOUNDERS

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)

PLACES WE SERVE

EVANGELIZATION, PARISHES, AND PROJECTS

USA

STORIES OF MISSION

(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region will provide tuition assistance to African clergy, male and female religious at institutes of higher education or specialized training. Read More

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime

The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.

ASSOCIATE PROGRAM

Enrich your own vocation, walk-in solidarity with people overseas, and work together with Maryknoll Missioners. We offer US priests and Brothers ordained elsewhere the opportunity to work in overseas missions.

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier
“Go where you are needed but not wanted, and stay until you are wanted but not needed.”
– Bishop James E. Walsh, M.M.
First Maryknoll Bishop
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