The Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa is the spiritual cradle of Orthodox missions on the African continent. By God’s grace, new Dioceses and missionary centres are established, spreading the word of God and love to thousands of orphaned children and suffering people. This missionary work, however, requires manpower. The Mission, in addition to medicine, food and other basic items needs people with love and the will to support the various aspects of the mission. The main concern of the Bishop and of those who serve the mission is to train the natives, clergy and people as thoroughly as possible so as to have a functioning and well-equipped staff that can man the hopeful prospects for the future, since the work of the Church is not temporary but aims at a better tomorrow.
The Patriarchate of Alexandria is catering to this need with the operation of the Patriarchal School ‘Agios Athanasios’, which is located in the Holy Monastery of Agios Savvas in Alexandria, Egypt and hosts the clergy and people from the Episcopal Diocese. Students attend a 2-year program of general studies including theology, agriculture and computer science, gaining the necessary knowledge and skills for their ministry in their country’s regions. Scholarship holders are provided with free accommodation and food thanks to the care of the Patriarchate.
On Sunday, 6th June 2021, the Patriarch of Alexandria, Mr. Theodoros B’ in a modest ceremony at the Patriarchal Monastery of Agios Savvas awarded diplomas to the graduating clergy and students at the school. Amongst them were three young people from the Holy Diocese of Arusha and Central Tanzania, hieromonk Markos Kalinga, deacon Nikiforos Illomo and Samson Kitinye. Both are active members and supporters of the work of the Bishop of Arusha Mr. Agathonikos. They went to the headquarters of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and now we are especially happy about their graduation and have high hopes for the missionary work they will do in Central Tanzania.
The joy is evident on their faces. With gratitude they speak of the help from the Bishop and the support from our Association. Knowledgeable in Greek, they zealously study the scriptures with a desire to help their fellow humans spiritually. Fathers Markos and Nikiforos also serve as clergymen of the Patriarchate. The liturgical experiences they’ve acquired will be invaluable for their future work as missionary clergymen.
Father Markos and Samson wrote an article about their experiences which were published in the second and third volumes of our journal respectively. We hope more young people from Tanzania follow their example so as to make the Mission’s future even brighter!
From the Ierapostoliki Stegi