Name of the Parish: Handeni
Address: P.O. Box 44, Handeni, Tanzania
Phone: +255784471690/ +255656824211
Parish Patron: Sts Paul and Abraham
Priest In-Charge (Pastor): Rev. Fr. John Sabuni
Assisting Priest(s): Fr. Maximillian Mahonge
Religious Sisters: Sr. Katharine Kraus, CRA, Little Sisters of St. Francis
Sundays: 6.30AM & 9AM
Handeni, Kwedibogolwa, Kwachagga, Kwasindi, Konje, Kideleko Sekondari, Mkuyu Sekondari, Kwanjugo, Maasaini (Loropil), Lengosero, Mbugoi, Mkindi, Kalang’a, Kwamadule, & Kwamalaho
Little Sisters of St. Francis
Acr.Sr. Veterinary Officer of Maasai Cattle
PARISH PHOTO GALARY:
Saints Paul and Abraham, the patrons of our parish, pray for us!
Kwedibogolwa, Kwachagga, Kwasindi, Konje, Kideleko Sekondari, Mkuyu Sekondari, Kwanjugo, Maasaini(Loropil, Lengosero, Mbugoi, Mkindi, Kalang’a, Kwamadule, Kwamalaho)
Originally Handeni was an outstation of Kwediboma Parish. Priests from Kwediboma would come to Handeni for ministry and return back to Kwediboma. Though Handeni has been the headquarters of the district, its number of Catholics has always been small. Many indigenous residents in this area and its surroundings are Moslems. The Catholics in this town have always been employees of the government, schools, and other service institutions. Few of them are small business owners. Though the number of the Catholics has been small in Handeni, the diocese has always been challenged to have a parish center as a beacon of the Catholic faith in this district headquarters.
In early 1970s the diocese sent Fr. John Haule (a missionary from the Diocese of Songea) to be a resident priest in Handeni. When he arrived here he lived in a rental house since there was no a church nor a priests house.
In 1976, Fr. Odilo Hueppi, OSB arrived in Handeni from the Abbey of Ndanda for a long-term ministry. Fr. Hueppi pastoral goal for Handeni was a duo-ministry. He wanted evangelize both to a small Catholic population of Handeni as well as to reach out to the Maasai Community which is nomadic by nature. With the collaboration of Sr. Karen, Fr. Hueppi extended his ministry to both Catholics of Handeni and the normadic Maasai population. Fr. Hueppi and Sr. Karen became the true apostles of Maasai community in this part of Tanga Diocese.
From the time Fr. Hueppi arrived in Handeni, he established a big parish complex which contains a big church building, priests’ and sisters’ residences, and a good number of houses to accommodate the Maasai people who come to worship in Handeni on the weekends. He also built number rental properties outside the parish plot to financially support the parish from their rents. Since Handeni has the shortage of rain and water, he built nine water tanks each with a capacity of carrying 60,000 cubic liters to harvest rain water for the use of the parish community and its neighbors. He built a kindergarten, homecraft school, and a veterinary clinic.
Fr. Hueppi died in the 1998 and from that year the diocesan priests have staffed the parish. Sr. Karen continues her ministry as a veterinarian to serve the Maasai community.
The native Priests from Handeni Parish are: Lawrence Mapunda (1987) and Emmanuel Mavengero (1989).