The Missionaries of the Precious Blood announce the 25th anniversary of the ordination of Fr. Alfons Minja, C.PP.S.
Fr. Minja, who was born in Marangu, Tanzania, first met the Missionaries of the Precious Blood when he was a student in a minor seminary, St. Francis in Maua, Tanzania. He met other students who were preparing to be Missionaries, and was eventually invited to be a seminarian for the Congregation. After completing his studies in a major seminary, then completing a year of compulsory national service, he began advanced formation with the Missionaries, including five years of study in Rome at St. Thomas University and Angelicum.
On his return to Tanzania, Fr. Minja was ordained a priest on July 4, 1998, in his hometown, Moshi Kilimanjaro.
He then began many years of parish ministry, serving first as an associate pastor in Chibumagwa, then as pastor at a Precious Blood parish in Itigi. Later, he was sent to St. Nicholas Parish in Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania and a major port. There, he was the pastor of a large parish and five smaller parishes.
After five years in Dar es Salaam, Fr. Minja was asked by his provincial director if he would consider serving in the United States. “As a Missionary, you have to be ready to go where there is a need,” he said. “So I said okay.”
He arrived in the U.S. in 2007 and served for five years at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Ottawa, Ohio. He was then named pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Montezuma, Ohio, and served there for five years. Fr. Minja wanted to learn more about how best to serve homebound parishioners, so he took a year of training as a hospital chaplain in Cleveland.
In 2020, he was assigned to be the administrator of the St. Henry cluster of parishes in and around St. Henry, Ohio. While serving there, he suffered a serious stroke.
After a period of recovery, Fr. Minja now resides at St. Charles Center, Carthagena, Ohio.
While it was not always easy to serve so far from his home, he always found people to serve. “I like to be close to the people,” he said. His willingness to live the Missionaries’ life and his absolutely commitment to the Gospel and to the people of God are clear to all who know him.