St. Jude Mass Centers / Outstations

St. Jude Mass Centers / Outstations

St. Jude services 20 Mass Centers / Outstations in the region; some as far away as 50 miles. With the distance, the poor conditions of the 'roads', and the constantly changing landscape, transportation is the most urgent need for these outstations.

Frs. Peter and Kessy must hold mass at least once a month in each outstation. Additionally, special events such as baptisms, funerals, marriages and school promotions may require additional trips. Without proper transportation, timely travel would be impossible.

Additionally, each outstation has a catechist that performs some of the priests' duties in their absence. These catechists need to travel to St. Jude monthly but some have no means of transportation. Motorcycles continue to be the best mode of transportation for catechists.


Mgere Catholic Community

Needs: transportation, school building, teacher salary

The Mgere community is "in the bush" and traveling to and from Mgere is very difficult because the land conditions change so often it requires a guide from the community to get Fr. Peter and Fr. Kessy to their destination – even though they travel to Mgere monthly to hold mass.

Mgere includes a one-room, shoddy preschool with broken windows and few teaching materials. The preschool has one teacher and she travels a long distance to teach. She is university trained and certified to teach but there is no money to pay her. 'Mama Cecilia' is Head of the School and a church leader. She and her two daughters live as traditional Maasai women.

Engurash Catholic Community

Needs: transportation, church building, school building, health center

The Engurash community is so far in the bush that vehicles can only get within 1/8 of a mile. Engurash includes Saints Peter and Paul Catholic church which is an open-beamed structure with some metal sheeting as a roof. They also have a nursery school in the form of a traditional Maasai mud hut. It is a one-room building where the room is little larger than 14 feet in circumference with a mud floor and small holes in the wall instead of windows. They try to accommodate 60 children in this school.

The primary needs in the Engurash community are money to complete the church structure and to build another structure to use as the nursery school. The community would also like to build a health center because the only hospital is so far away that it is as if there was no hospital available at all.

Motorcycles spread the Gospel

One of the greatest needs is motorcycles for the catechists to attend to their community members' needs when Father can't be present.


Esilalei Catholic Community

Needs: transportation, water tank, school

The Esilalei community was given the property for their church in 1974 and the structure was built by the Maasai people. There is no water on the property and they have tried drilling a well. The well water was undrinkable however. Now, they will need to rely on a water tank and periodic transportation of water to fill the tank.

The local water supply that the community depends upon is many miles away used by animals to drink and bathe. This unhealthy and unsanitary water supply is a source of Cholera.

The Esilalei community also wants to build a polytech school to educate and train the children so they can choose a better life. They hope to offer coursework in carpentry, tailoring, catering, and language.

Mswakini Catholic Community

Needs: water tank, finish church building, school building,

The Mswakini community has a large unfinished church building supported by World Mission and Caritas. It has space for 400-500 people but currently only accommodates 30-40 people in plastic chairs and primitive pews. The community's plan is to earn income to finish the church and build a school by harvesting and grinding maize cultivated on the property. However, they have been in a severe drought for many years making this impossible.

They also have no water because they had planned on capturing rain water collected in the church rain gutters which would empty into a well. With no rain and no way to attain water, there is no way to grow the crops necessary to provide the income needed to finish their church and build a school.

The current building used as a school is a traditional Maasai mud hut with no windows, no chairs, no chalkboards and no utensils. This small hut is intended to accommodate sixty children and two teachers. Some form of rock or chalk is used to scribble mathematical equations and the English alphabet into the earthen walls.

Selela Catholic Community

Needs: transportation, water tank, church expansion, dispensary, nursery school, health center

Within Selela, there are four churches and three catechists that share Sunday responsibilities when Father cannot. There are 300 people who attend church in this community and the community's patron saint is Saint Francis of Assisi, chosen because the builder's name was Father Francis, an American Catholic priest who lived in Tanzania for many years.

The church was built by the local people out of rocks found in the region. However, it needs many updates and is often above it's 300-person capacity when used weekly by Crusades and Charismatic movements. The roof is too low and made of metal which intensifies the heat and refuses essential flow of air. Often, people pass out due to heat and lack of airflow. Also, there are very few seats.

The Selela community also needs a dispensary building to distribute items of need like beans, maize, and toiletries to the local impoverished. One sack of beans is about $100 USD and a sack of maize is about $50 USD. One sack of beans and one sack of maize can provide an entire K-7 school, their families, and teachers with one solid meal a day for three weeks. A nursery school building is also needed.

The Selela community is very far from the nearest Health Center. Even with needed transportation, the roads to the nearest Health Center are often impassible.

Ndiri Catholic Community

Needs: water, teacher salaries, transportation

Deep into the bush where the water is scarce is the Ndiri community. The community must dig a well as there is no other way to get water in this region.

The Ndiri community has a nursery school built by Caritas. There are two classrooms separated by age and one very small kitchen where the one meal/day of maize and bean porridge is cooked for students and teachers. The teachers have no homes in the community and must travel from far away each day. They often receive no salary and receive staple foods for the children instead.

Ngaruka Catholic Community

Needs: transportation, water tank, catechist salaries, books

Continuing across the arid land, fording small, impromptu rivers and occasionally pausing for zebra and gazelle to pass is the community of Ngaruka. During the rainy season it is possible to be stranded in Ngaruka for several days waiting for waters to subside and make the roads passable.

The Ngaruka community includes twelve churches. Traveling to each church takes five days. Catechists from each of the twelve churches are required to meet once a month at the central church St. Jude in Mto Wa Mbu. The catechists must often walk the fifty miles to St. Jude because they lack transportation. The greatest need for these communities is motorbikes which would allow the catechists to attend the monthly meeting at St. Jude as well as tend to their community members' needs. A motorbike costs approximately $2,000 USD.

Additionally, the parish needs funds to pay the catechists $13 per month salaries. They need gasoline for the transportation, water containers to gather run-off during the rainy season, books, and bibles and formation books.