The Institute of Charity, also known as the Rosminian Fathers is an international religious congregation founded by an Italian priest, Blessed Antonio Rosmini (1797-1855). The congregation was recognized by the Holy See in 1828. Today the Institute of Charity has houses in Italy, the UK, Ireland, the U.S, India, New Zealand, Tanzania and Kenya. Blessed Antonio Rosmini is known as one of the greatest Catholic figures of the 19th Century, a philosophical genius, he was revered as a thinker and a writer.
The Rosminians first came to Tanzania in 1945, in response to a request from the Bishop Joseph Byrne, Vicar Apostolic of Kilimanjaro. Initially the Rosminians were based in Moshi, where the focus of our work was evangelizing and teaching at Singa Chini College. In 1948 the Rosminians moved from Moshi to our present home of Tanga where we took the responsibility of our first parish in East Africa; the parish of St. Anthony’s in Tanga city. This parish has since been handed back to the Diocese and today it is the location of the Bishop’s Office and Tanga’s Cathedral. In 2009, the East African Vice Province became the East African Province.
Since 1948, the Rosminians have been heavily involved in pastoral work in the Tanga Region, showing clear trends of activity. Pastoral work is one of the most important means by which the Rosminians can exercise our Universal Charity, caring for the community: spiritually, intellectually and temporally. The Rosminian trend in our parish work has been to accept responsibility of a parish when our resources permit, to build the infra-structure of this parish i.e. parish houses, educational facilities, water and electrification, to build community relations and to evangelize. At present we are responsible for 7 parishes, 5 in the Tanga Region in Tanzania and 2 in the Ngong Diocese in Kenya. Our expansion in to Kenya was first realized in 1987 when the Institute of Charity opened an International House of Formation Nairobi. The House moved to Ngong Diocese in 1998.
The Rosminians became involved in development works as a response to some of the requests from the people in the area in which we work and due to some of the dire situations that people have to live in. Our development works have a strong focus on education and health. We have many educational projects in the Province, from nursery schools to tertiary education. The Father Founder of the Institute was an educationalist and we believe that education is key to Development. Our educational projects share a common Rosmini ethos, one that is based on a holistic education and recognizes that each person has the right to realize his/her full potential. Today, some of our schools rank as the best schools in the Tanga and Ngong.
Our work in the health sector was initiated due to dire shortage of quality health facilities in the areas in which we work. Currently we operate health facilities such as dispensaries, health centres and small rural hospitals. We are fortunate to have good collaboration with the other religious groups and lay people in our work. Our health facilities are focused on providing a service of quality and compassion, helping people in their time of illness and educating people to avoid illness.