Name of the Parish: Pongwe Saruji
Address: P.O. Box 298, Pongwe, Tanzania
Parish Patron: St. Peter, the Apostle
Priest In-Charge (Pastor): Rev. Fr. Peter Bahati, I.C.
Assisting Priest(s): None
Religious Sisters: Congregation of Our Lady of Usambara (COLU)
Sundays: 7.30AM (Kange) 9.15AM (Saruji) & 10:30 (Pongwe)
Weekdays: 6:00AM (M-F) & 6:30AM (S)
St. Peter Saruji, St. Gerald Pongwe, Kange, Kisimatui, Kakindu, Jaribu tena, Chote & Mkembe
- Rosminian High School, P.O. Box 676, Tanga, Tanzania
- 2 Kindergarten Schools
Health Center: 1
PARISH PHOTO GALARY:
St. Peter, the Apostle: the patron of our parish, pray for us!
St. Peter Saruji, St. Gerald Pongwe, Kange, Kisimatui, Kakindu, Jaribu tena, Chote and Mkembe.
St. Peter-Saruji parish is located in the western side of the city of Tanga about 15 kms from downtown Tanga along the highway which connects the City of Tanga and Muheza Township. It shifted to this new location from the outstation of Pongwe which belonged to St. Anthony Cathedral Parish for ages.
The initial church in Pongwe was a small building in Mianzini sisal estate camp. Mianzini camp was one of camps owned by the Pongwe sisal plantation. The management of the sisal plantation built this church building in Mianzini Camp to be used by its employees for worshipping. The coming of Tanga Cement Company in 1978 increased a number of population in Pongwe and Tanga area. These people were of all faith traditions including Catholics. Many of these people became employees of the cement company. The increasing of the number of Catholics in Pongwe area led to the need of a bigger house of worship. Fr. Gerard Smith who was the priest in charge of St. Anthony Parish, which had pastoral jurisdiction of Pongwe, requested the plot of land from the Cement Company to build the church. The Company granted him the piece of land where the current parish complex stands.
The building of St. Peter-Saruji Parish started with the catechist house followed by kindergarten school, church, fathers’ house and then sisters’ house. The Church was consecrated in 1980. Four COLU Sisters were assigned to minister in this parish.
In 1985, Fr. Gerard Smith left St. Anthony Cathedral Parish to St. Peter-Saruji Parish where he became its first resident priest in charge. This outstation became officially a parish in of its own in 1988. As the priest in-charge for St. Peter-Saruji Parish Fr. Smith foresaw the growth of the parish by building a number of outstation churches in Pongwe township (St. Gerard’s church) and in other villages such as in Chote, Kisimatui, Kange, Kakindu, Mkembe and Jaribu Tena. In Pongwe he built sisters’ house and kindergarten school while in Kisimatui he built a kindergarten school.
Fr. Gerard Smith died in 2001. St. Peter-Saruji Parish is still staffed by the Rosminian Fathers who also own and manage the Saruji-Rosminian Secondary School.
The native priests from this parish: Joseph Mbenna(1987) and Richard Kimbwi (2004).