Father Speratus Kamanzi, A.J., answered the call to become a priest and was ordained in 1993 as a member of the Religious Missionary Institute of Apostles of Jesus, which he served as Superior General 2008-14.
Throughout his almost 30 years of service, he has learned that within each vocation there is “a call within a call.” He has written a book about that call titled “Called to Serve: Facing Leadership Challenges with Christian Hope.”
“We have to be ready to respond to the needs of our vocations and ministries as they come,” said Father Kamanzi, now serving the Diocese of Allentown as Pastor of St. John the Baptist Church, Allentown.
He describes the book as “narratives about my life experiences, related to my vocation to priesthood and ministry in the Church.” It is directed at people involved with various leadership roles in the Church and society as a whole.
“In ‘Called to Serve’ I give some examples of my call to offer services to the sick and dying priests of my Institute, when I was the Superior General. It is something I never thought of when I was joining the Apostles of Jesus,” said Father Kamanzi.
“Most people have been touched by the sacrifices which are made by missionaries. They leave their families and countries and go to wherever the Church sends them. In ‘Called to Serve’ I mention the pain of not being able to attend the funerals of my mother and two sisters, because of my missionary commitments outside Tanzania, my home country.”
“Trust in God amid the challenges we face in life,” he shared.
Father Kamanzi was born in Maziba, Muleba district in Northwestern Tanzania. He has studied, taught, and ministered in various parts of the world. He studied philosophy in Uganda, earned a bachelor’s degree in theology from Urbanian University in Rome, and completed a master’s degree and a doctorate in theology at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.
He taught theology at the Apostles of Jesus Major Seminary in Nairobi, Kenya; Alvernia University in Reading, Pa.; Jordan University in Morogoro, Tanzania; and Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Mo.
In addition to Alvernia, local entities mentioned in the narrative are the former St. Anthony Parish, Reading; Dayspring Homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Reading; and the former St. Joseph Parish, Jim Thorpe.
The First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association and the Knights of Columbus Calvary Council 528 and other councils of District 61 received acknowledgements for their financial support in the publication of this book.
The book was published in 2022 by Apostles of Jesus Publications. It is not for sale, but generous donations are accepted for covering the cost of printing and supporting the ministries of the Apostles of Jesus through publications.
Copies are available at St. John the Baptist Slovak Catholic Church, 924 N. Front St., Allentown, PA 18102, 610-432-0034; and Apostles of Jesus Regional House, 829 Main St., Northampton, PA 18076, 610-502-1732 or 610-502-1728. Make checks payable to Apostles of Jesus, with Book/Called to Serve in the memo.
In the photo above: Father Speratus Kamanzi, A.J., left, with Bishop Alfred Schlert and Father Augustine Idra, A.J., Regional Superior of the Apostles of Jesus, Northampton.