Thursday, June 17, 2010

Visitors: a Bishop from Tanzania, a newly-ordained Jesuit priest

Earlier this week, I received two guests: Bishop Fortunatus Lukanima, emeritus of Arusha, Tanzania and Father John D. Meehan, S.J., newly-ordained to the priesthood.

Bishop Fortunatus is the guest of The Canada Africa Community Health Alliance (CACHA) and is travelling the country from his base in Ottawa to raise awareness of health and other needs in his homeland Tanzania, where he assists farmers, fishers and others to develop their economy.


This humanitarian foundation offers basic health care to isolated African villages, participates in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and contributes to the training of human resources both in Canada and in the host countries of Gabon, Bénin, Tanzania and Uganda.

The Canada Africa Community Health Alliance (CACHA) is a humanitarian organization that seeks to improve population health and provide HIV care and education to remote African communities. We accomplish this through the provision of adequate resources based on the determinants of health that include: childhood education, water and sanitation, women's rights, income security, housing and nutrition. We provide materials, infrastructure, and the exchange of skill development in order to create a positive outcome on health in supported regions of operation. We seek to engage in strategic partnerships and build programs to ensure sustainability, transparency and accountability.

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Father Meehan came to do a search in the Public Archives for photographs that could be used to illustrate a book he recently completed on Canada-China relations.

We were able to concelebrate the Eucharist and get caught up on all the activities he has been involved in since his ordination. There were Masses of Thanksgiving at the Toronto Newman Centre, where he had served as deacon and pastoral worker and in Japanese for the small Toronto Japanese community he has come to know as a result of his historical research on Canada-Japan relations.

This week, he will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Patrick's Basilica, Montreal on Saturday afternoon and another on Sunday morning at the Gesu Church there.

Father John will be teaching next year at Campion College, the Jesuit federated-college at the University of Regina. Best wishes and prayers for a fruitful teaching priestly ministry!

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