One man in St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Small Christian
Community SCC) in Geita Town Parish in Western Tanzania had been sick for a long
time. He couldn’t receive the sacraments because he and his wife had not been
married in the Catholic Church. His two children were not baptized. In order to
finalize their church marriage, his mother-in-law demanded a bride price (dowry)
of one pair of “kitenge” (a colorful African cotton cloth). But it was very
difficult for the sick man to get enough money for this cloth.
As a missionary activity the members of St. Theresa of the
Child Jesus SCC said: “We are the parents of this family. It is our
responsibility to help this couple regularize their Catholic marriage and
receive the sacraments.” One SCC member volunteered to buy the cotton cloth.
Others contributed money for the marriage celebration. What a joy! The sick man
and his wife were married in a church ceremony and he received the sacraments of
Reconciliation, Eucharist and Anointing of the Sick. The children were baptized.
A month later the man died happily in the Catholic faith, having been especially
cared for by his SCC.