At Priestly Anniversary, Catholic Bishop in Tanzania Emphasizes Love, Cautions against Selfishness

Credit: Radio Maria Tanzania

Bishop Liberatus Sangu of Tanzania’s Catholic Diocese of Shinyanga has called upon the people of God to foster the virtue of love.

Bishop Sangu, who was presiding over Holy Mass at Our Lady of Consolation Ngokolo Cathedral of his Episcopal See to mark his 30th Priestly Anniversary in anticipation cautioned against selfishness, which he blamed for the various violent conflicts in Africa and elsewhere.

“Where there is divine love, there is self-sacrifice, peace, joy, understanding, and unity; there is solidarity and general spiritual well-being. That is why when the apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians, he tells them to foster faith, hope, and love, and that the greatest of these is love,” he said during the celebration on July 3, the Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle.

The Tanzanian Catholic leader, who has been at the helm of Shinyanga Diocese since his Episcopal Consecration in April 2015 called upon the people of God to pray “in a special way” for the practice of the virtue of love.

“Let us pray in a special way that love may reign in our families, in our communities, and throughout the world so that peace, justice, and social well-being may grow day by day,” he implored.


The Tanzanian Catholic Church leader said that the practice of love among people has the power to address the challenge of selfishness, which he said is behind violent conflicts.

“Everywhere there are conflicts and divisions. The root cause of all these is selfishness,” he said, adding that “in selfishness there is hatred, discord, tribalism, envy, division, murder, and every kind of evil.”

The violent conflicts happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and elsewhere, he reiterated, “the root, and origin is selfishness; people want to benefit themselves.”

The Tanzanian Catholic Bishop went on to challenge Christians to model their lives after their Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.

“When people see us, do they meet Jesus? In our families, fathers, mothers, children, do people meet Jesus? Do our neighbours meet Jesus through our deeds and words?” he posed.

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In encountering people, Bishop Sangu further posed, do people see, the “gentle Jesus, humble Jesus, caring Jesus, comforting Jesus, life-giving Jesus, filling with hope those who have lost hope, through our deeds and words?”

Ordained a Priest on 9 July 1994, the native of Tanzania’s Catholic Diocese of Sumbawanga celebrated his 30 years of Priesthood on July 3 alongside Fr. Kizito Nyanga, Fr. Charles Wanga Misina, Fr. Paul Shija and Fr. Philimon Machagija.

In his homily, Bishop Sangu recognized Priesthood as an undeserved gift from God, which has to be put at the service of His people.

“Priesthood is a gift from God. It is given to us undeservedly, according to the will of Almighty God,” Bishop Sangu said, adding that God uses His chosen people, “weak instruments, to bring the message of salvation to His people,”.

As Priests, he went on to say during the July 3 celebration, “we have received the great task of proclaiming Christ, witnessing to Christ through our words and deeds, and bringing Christ to others, guided by the Holy Spirit.”


The Tanzanian Catholic Bishop called upon Priests to seek inspiration from St. Thomas and the other Apostles to minister with courage and bravery.

“Apostle Thomas was among the first Apostles who are the foundation of our church. Today, our Catholic Church is what it is because of the great work of the Apostles, which was carried out by missionaries from the day of Pentecost when our church began,” he said.

The Apostles, Bishop Sangu said, “did great work with great courage and bravery.”

Irene Wambui contributed to the writing of this story

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