From the Streets of Tanzania ...
after the Bomb
In previous newsletters, we have written to you about our various mission projects in countries all over the world. As you may remember, we have recently set up a mission in the African nation of Tanzania. Our mission worker, while there, lived in the capital city of Dar Es Salaam, where a terrorist bomb destroyed the U.S. Embassy building in August. This is the report that he sent. The following is his account of the situation in Dar Es Salaam.
Evil Has No Explanation,
but Goodness Does
Terrorism in Tanzania
By Joseph Cain
Dar Es Salaam (“The Haven of Peace”), the capital city of Tanzania, has now lost the tranquility that its name implies much in the same way that the Cova da Iria (the Cove of Peace) in Fatima, Portugal, once did in 1922 when it too became the target of a cowardly bomb attack.
Tanzania — in essence, a peaceful country, especially in contrast to its warring neighbor to the west, Burundi — receives many refugees from the conflict next door. More than 500 souls crossed the border in one week in August alone.
Unlike the holy Cova da Iria in Portugal, Dar, their frequent destination, is a big, dirty, chaotic and somewhat lawless city, that is home to lepers who beg for twenty shilling coins and faceless people in tinted-glass Mercedes who zip around the crowded streets. A construction laborer here is only paid the equivalent of $1.00 a day.
Many of the local people, echoing the rest of the world, were genuinely shocked by the bombing of the American embassy here on August 7, an international terrorist incident that took the lives of nine citizens of this country. The Wazungu (people of European descent) and the Americans are not really disliked here. Sadly enough, the innocent victims — people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time — were all of African descent.
The average Tanzanian has much to endure. For example, he or she suffers from the recurring chills, sweats and nausea of malaria with the same frequency that a North American suffers from the common cold. However, people in general, free from the deep spiritual maladies of the industrialized countries, are essentially happy. They show it by the ease with which they smile and laugh, and the patience they exhibit in the face of all their material and economic problems.
The Bikira Maria (Blessed Virgin Mary) is still well loved by Catholics in Tanzania and sung about in many beautiful Swahili hymns and, unlike in many Western countries, the Legion of Mary is strong and active in Dar Es Salaam. Africans are a naturally spiritual people. In a short span of just more than 100 years (since full-scale Catholic evangelization began here) much of the population was converted to Catholicism. Every Saturday, Confession lines are still long and daily Masses often have hundreds of Mass-goers.
Many Catholics here bemoan the changes since Vatican II and the Indult Mass offered in Dar a mere once a month attracts a bigger crowd than St. Joseph’s Cathedral can accommodate. The Catholics here know the music of the Mass of the Angels well and the crowded congregation at St. Joseph’s can sing the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei with perfect familiarity.
Who was responsible for the American Embassy attack? No one knows for sure, but a Washington, D.C., newspaper alleges that Iran withdrew their ambassadors from both Tanzania and Kenya less than two weeks before the bombings.
What is the solution for this institutionalized madness? Undoubtedly it will be Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady appeared at Fatima with a message for the whole world, not just the Catholic Church. The Message is actually a complete vindication of the Catholic Church as the True Faith. We can pray that Moslem-majority nations like Tanzania, in hearing of Our Lady of Fatima (who bears a very significant Islamic name) will realize that She has an important
message for them too:
True and lasting world peace is attainable only by the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Mother of the Catholic Church, and through devotion to Her Immaculate Heart,
by means of the Consecration of Russia by the Catholic hierarchy.
Though the Church suffers worldwide under the confusion and chaos of the modernist revolution — and Tanzania is certainly no exception — the Faithful here are perhaps
the least scathed by the upheaval. The apostasy that ravages the rest of the Catholic world does not seem to touch
people’s faith here with the same crushing oppressive force. Times, however, are changing rapidly and the enemies of the United States as well as the enemies of Christ and Our Lady are affecting Tanzanians by their motiveless crime of terror. No one here can really understand such evil, nor should one, as evil of this kind simply has no logical explanation.
God, and the things of God, on the other hand can often be explained to those of good will. Please pray for Tanzania and the other countries of East Africa, a land young in the Faith, youthful in its aspect and fertile for Christ, and dazed by the mounting confusion of the rest of the war-torn and sin-riddled world.