Monastic Formation

URSBERG as it is famously known, is the name of Ndanda Abbey's formation house. Previously the place used to be an agricultural school under the leadership of the late Fr. Ursus. No wonder then the house built on a hill is called Ursberg, that is the hill of Ursus. Our brother, Johanes Mango, the first born of our abbey among the Tanzanian confreres, is the fruit of the first group who entered in 1987. The history of Ursberg as a formation house goes as far back as 1987. In that year Fr. Hildebert Walter OSB entered the place with seven candidates to form them for religious life.

On-going Formation

ALL the brothers with temporal vows have classes every Wednesday for two hours. They have also lectio divina every evening for half an hour. The community is also generous in providing the junior monks with different opportunities to participate in different courses and seminars so as to keep them up to date. Courses vary from technical training, spirituality, administrative skills, etc.


WE accept the candidates into postulancy after their A Level studies or trade school with grade two. Requirements: they have to pass their national examinations in form four, in form six in their trade school national examination. Duration: Our duration for postulancy is one year. During this time the postulants have classes and manual work. We start with classes from August to the end of April. We put more emphasis on prayer, Christian doctrine, Introduction to the Bible, liturgy and the history of our congregation. From the beginning of May to the beginning of August, we do manual work in our workshops. This arrangement has been working well to this moment.


THE DURATION is two years. In the first year, the novices stay in our formation house and in the second year they are shifted to the monastery and join our community where they can learn more about community life. In the formation house, we have mainly classes and a little bit of manual work but towards the end of the first year, we have one month for manual work in our different workshops. We have a lot to teach the novices such as: the Rule of St. Benedict, Scripture, the history of religious life, mission theology, Introduction to the NT, chant/music, the constitution of our congregation and community life. We have also some seminars on psychology and human sexuality.


AFTER the first profession, a number of newly professed monks go for studies, especially those aspiring for priesthood. The brothers usually join other brothers in our workshops related to their profession. The journey to final vows lasts  6 years. For special reason this time can be shortened or prolonged (but not longer than 9 years). For priestly candidates, this time is usually spent for philosophical and theological studies.

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