“People in Tanzania and other African countries, have much to teach us about building relationships, community values, hospitality, generosity and celebration.”
For more than fifty years, since 1966, Sister Janet Srebalus of Indianapolis, Ind., has been building and sharing. community with Tanzanians. She joined the. Maryknoll Sisters in 1962. Four years later, she was assigned to Morogoro, Tanzania, where she taught Home Economics, English and Religion at Marian Girls Secondary School. In 1970, she was transferred to Dar es Salaam as teacher and librarian at Tambaza Boys Secondary School.
As the Tanzania Church was in the process of implementing Vatican II, Sr. Janet as Secretary to the Pastoral Council of the Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam, played a part in developing the Five-Year Pastoral Plan which prioritized ministry with youth, especially Standard Seven Leavers and those drifting to the big city from rural areas. Having experience working with both young women and men, Sr. Janet joined the Working Youth Committee and together with another Maryknoll Sister, Sr. Connie Krautkremer and Maryknoll Father, Marvin Deutsch, activated Catholic. Youth with seminars and small economic projects. During the years of 1973-1978, Sr. Janet was also appointed the first Caritas Development Director for Dar es Salaam, working with clergy and Basic Christian Communities to start development projects in groups and parishes.
In 1978, Sr. Janet was invited to take part in Congregational Service as a member of the West Coast Vocation Team and later after studying for a master’s degree in Psychology and Pastoral Counseling, she was part of the Orientation/Formation Team at Maryknoll Sisters Center, New York. Encouraging and mentoring young. women who feel a. call to mission and religious life has been an enduring passion for Sr. Janet which continues up to the present time as a member of her Tanzanian Regional Vocation./Integration. Team.
Returning to. Tanzania in. 1986, Sr. Janet combined her teaching, Home. Economics and Counseling training, by focusing on women’s development and empowerment both in the North Western villages of Tarime and Musoma town. She mentored women village leaders and trained Candidates in Tanzanian Religious Communities, especially the Immaculate Heart Sisters of Africa ,who would in the future expand that village women’s development.
In the 1990’s with the HIV-AIDS pandemic seriously infecting numerous Tanzanians as in other parts of the world, 1997 brought. Sr. Janet to Mwanza, the second largest city in Tanzania. She became co-supervisor with Fr. John Eybel MM in the Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Bugando Referral Hospital. There they trained counselors to work with people living with HIV-AIDS. Combined with that specialized ministry, Sr. Janet continued to reach out to youth, women’s groups and Religious, giving seminars, retreats and counseling,
Congregational. Service once again brought Sr. Janet back to Maryknoll in 2000 when she became a Co-Executive. Coordinator of the Maryknoll Affiliates, a movement of lay people actively doing mission with marginalized people wherever they live and work.
Always anxious to be back in Africa, Sr. Janet responded to the post-election crisis in Kenya in 2008 by helping to feed the internally displaced people of Nairobi in an ecumenical effort. Later, she settled back in Tanzania, this time in Morogoro, where she joined the Staff at the Holistic Education Center for Sisters and Jordan University. College. In both places, she taught Psychology, Human Development and Counseling Skills, as well as accompanying a women’s group and prisoners.
As of 2019, you will. Find Sr. Janet back. In Mwanza, where now she is doing spiritual direction at Good. Shepherd Lake House of Prayer and continuing her work of training Tanzanian. Sisters from local Congregations in Psychology and Counseling. Skills.