American missionary priest made canon in Tanzania

Posted May 14, 2012

[Diocese of Central Tanganyika] On Sunday, May 6, at the concluding worship service of the Synod of the Diocese of Central Tanganyika, with more than a thousand in attendance, Bishop Mdimi Mhogolo, made the Rev. Sandra McCann of the Diocese of Atlanta a canon of the Diocese of Central Tanganyika. McCann is the first foreign priest to be awarded such an honor. She was commended for her long-standing commitment to the spiritual formation and training of priests for the church in Africa. Mhogolo saluted her for the raising of funds for the improvement of Msalato Theological College and for her current devotion to raising an endowment for student sponsorships and faculty salaries.

Rev. McCann also made history when she became the first person to be ordained by an American bishop in Tanzania. In 2005 Bishop Neil Alexander of the Diocese of Atlanta traveled to Africa to ordain McCann to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Dodoma, Tanzania. After being made a canon in this same cathedral, McCann stated that she has always felt that she belonged to both the Diocese of Atlanta and to the Diocese of Central Tanganyika.

“In fact, my entire working life as an ordained person has been primarily in Africa. I came to Africa not ordained. My call was actually confirmed while serving as a lay missioner at St. Philip’s College in Maseno, Kenya, where we worked for our first year,” she said.

McCann, a physician-turned-priest, graduated from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 2003 with a Master of Divinity degree. She and her pathologist husband, Dr. Martin McCann, are appointed missionaries of the Episcopal Church, and have served in Africa full time since her graduation. McCann currently serves as the communications director for Msalato Theological College in Dodoma.

For more information about the work of the McCann’s you may visit and