RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
Alt Ref NoSSF A
Extent5 series (4 boxes)
DescriptionRecords of the African Regional Chapter of the Society of Saint Francis, together with further material, including correspondence, diaries and newsletters, relating to friaries set up by the community at Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Fiwilia in Zambia. Also includes photographs of the mission.
LanguageEnglish and Swahili
AdminHistoryIn 1965 the Society of Saint Francis established a mission in Fiwila, Zambia with the aim of founding a community promoting the religious life and Franciscan values in East Africa. The Fiwila mission was led by Franciscan friars Br. Francis, Br. Stephen and Br. Randall and began taking aspirants in 1968. Their work involved staffing the local leprosarium and rural health centre along with sisters from the Community of Saint Francis. The SSF left Fiwila in 1976 due to political and administrative changes, and difficulties in recruiting African novices.
Following the announcement of the closure of the friary at Fiwila, the SSF settled on a new base in Tanzania at Mtoni friary near Dar es Salaam in 1972. Mtoni friary recruited an already established community of African men led by Rev. Dr. David Gill under the name 'Chama Cha Francis Mtakatifu' who were interested in following the Franciscan way of life. This community provided the basis for an African noviciate. The friary adopted the main national language Swahili for services and some of its administration, and was run by Br. Desmond, Br. Basil and Br. Barnabas Joseph. Mtoni friary followed a 'family' model when distributing resources among its members based on the local concept of 'ujamaa' and generated income from planting and harvesting citrus trees on the property. The SSF left Mtoni friary in 1985 because of a lack of resources and personnel to sustain and develop the friary. Mtoni friary was given to the diocese and missionary work in Tanzania was continued by the Community of the Divine Compassion, which has a covenant relationship with the SSF.

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