With the ecflesiastical hymn Christ is Risen and with tears in his eyes, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, described during the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Bukoba, on 20th October 2021, his Pastoral visit to the Diocese of Bukoba, which as a Phoenix was reborn from the ashes and is experiencing its own Resurrection.
Concelebrating with His Grace Agathonikos Bishop of Arusha and Central Tanzania, His Grace Sylvester Bishop of Gulu and Eastern Uganda and the Patriarchal Vicar of Bukoba the Very Reverend Archimandrite Chrysostomos, spoke to the people of Bukoba about the power of Missions and the work done by all who have passed through the African land, with the aim of sowing and cultivating the word of Christ.
Specifically, as the Patriarch underlined, the steps of the Orthodox Missionaries were not lost in the jungle. They trampled the soil, the soil blossomed, spiritual flowers bloomed and became trees for the suffering people to rest in their shade. Rivers were made to quench the thirst of the thirsty souls of so many Africans.
Continuing his inspired address, the Spiritual Father of the entire African continent addressed spiritual instructions to the Patriarchal Vicar of Bukoba, Fr. Chrysostom, emphasizing that the field of Christ must be cultivated. And if weeds should come he should not be disappointed, the Lord will be beside him, the tears of the Most Holy Virgin will be the raindrops that will water the earth and the fruits will increase.
Closing his speech, His Beatitude thanked the concelebrating bishops who were with him, but also Fr. Chrysostomos and his colleagues, who, as the Patriarch characteristically stated, with their decision to go to Bukoba and to assist in the missionary effort there, prove the words of the psalmist “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking”, but struggle, tears and self-sacrifice for our fellow man.
Prior to the dismissal, the Primate of the Church of Alexandria ordained 3 Hierarchical Vicars and 2 spiritual fathers, thus rewarding their efforts and struggles for the progress of the Diocese.
A festive event followed by the Parishes of the Diocese, but also by the Youth in honor of the Patriarch in the courtyard of the Church of the Holy Apostles.
Afterwards, His Beatitude had a meeting with the Governor of Bukoba, Charles Bouge and briefed him on the multi-faceted work of the Patriarchate throughout the African continent.
Afterwards, the Patriarch visited the Ikiba area, where he was welcomed by the Priests and the residents of the area. There, His Beatitude inaugurated the Kasikizi Camps "PEACE AND JOY OF CHRIST".
The third day of the presence of His Beatitude was completed with his visit to the “SAINT SOSTHENES” High School where more than 200 students were waiting for him and welcomed him with joy and gladness. The Patriarch had the opportunity to talk to the students, to whom he wished progress in their studies, to be diligent so that they would be able to follow the train of life and assured them that the Orthodox Church and especially the Spiritual Father and Patriarch Theodoros will always be by their side.
On Thursday, October 21, 2021, and before his departure from Bukoba for Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, His Beatitude visited the Holy Monastery of Saint Macrina in Kibuye, where he did the service of the wearing of the cassock of three candidate monks, as well as the sanctification of the new wing of cells in the Monastery.
It is worth noting that the Monastery of Saint Marina is located above the "Spinalonga" of Tanzania, three villages inhabited exclusively by AIDS patients, the care and education of whom has been undertaken by a Missionary group of the Diocese, consisting of doctors and teachers.