Roads to Life Tanzania, Inc. has a large team of supporters who contribute to our cause. This includes the founder, Fr. Paul Fagan, a chief architect, a medical board based in Tanzania, and a Roads to Life Tanzania, Inc. board based in Wisconsin, USA.

Father Paul Fagan, one of two sons of Everett and Carolyn Hausler Fagan, was born on October 24, 1932. He grew up on a farm near Patch Grove in Grant County, Wisconsin. He attended Brunson grade school in Mt. Hope and then two years at Patch Grove High School. His brother Peter entered St. Francis Minor Seminary in 1947, and Paul followed him in 1948.


Fr. Peter went on to be ordained in 1958. After five years at St. Francis, Fr. Paul entered the Maryknoll College at Glen Ellen, Illinois, where he studied Philosophy for two years, then continued on to Novitiate at Bedford, Massachusetts, and finally on to Maryknoll Major Seminary at Maryknoll, New York.


He was ordained on June 11, 1960, and then sent to Africa.

Upon arrival in Tanzania, Fr. Paul was assigned to the Diocese of Shinyanga. After studying the Kisukuma language for several months he was assigned to the cathedral parish of Buhangija, where he served until June 1967. He was then assigned to the rather remote five-year-old parish of Old Maswa, 100 miles away. He has continued doing pastoral and development work at Old Maswa for the past 49 years with the Diocese of Shinyanga and hopes to continue for many years to come.

The Medical Board for Roads to Life Tanzania,is based in Nkololo and continues to make operational decisions for the Songambele Health Center. President of the Board is Bishop Liberatus Sangu, Shinyanga Diocese.  Board members include Dr. Patrobas Katambi, Dr. Kein Mteta, Mr. John Sabu, Mr. Sebastian Minja and Father Paul Fagen.

A trip that started as a safari adventure and ended with inspiration. Tom Shellander (cousin of Father Paul) and Mary Ruedinger (Tom's wife) visited Father Paul in Tanzania in 2009.  Their life was changed.  When they returned home, they decided Father Paul needed help.  Tom, an Attorney and Mary, a retired Director of Business from UW Madison Medical School, worked with Father Paul to establish Roads to Life Tanzania, LLC, a Wisconsin based 501c3 nonprofit.  The rest is history..... and ........the future of service and development in Nkololo!
Roads to Life Tanzania, LLC Board Members and Roles:

Tom Shellander

           President, Secretary 


Fr. Paul


Mary Ruedinger

        Treasurer, Development


Nancy De Charmane

         Board Member


Chief Architect - Southern Ellis

Southern Ellis, AIA is an architect in the Health Design studio at HKS Architects, a global design firm ranked among the top health design firms in the world. He began working with the Roads to Life team on the design of the Songambele Hospital as a graduate architecture student at Texas A&M University where he received a Masters of Architecture with a certificate in Health Systems & Design. 


He is passionate about using design to bring health while creating and discovering the stories that interweave themselves into buildings. Southern and his beautiful wife, Courtney, live in Dallas, Texas.

Treasurer, Chair of Development,

Equipment and supply acquisition

Website and Newsletter distribution - Mary Ruedinger

Mary worked at the University of Wisconsin Madison for over 20 years retiring as Director of Business in the UW Medical School.  She has been working with Roads to Life Tanzania, llc since its inception and has been to Nkololo and Songambele multiple times.  She works with logistics in funding, supply and equipment acquisition, communications and media development.   Her passion for the mission of Roads to Life Tanzania, llc and Songambele are shared with anyone who is willing to listen.

Website Guru - Beth Klassen

Beth graduated from UW-Madison with a B.S. in biochemistry and works in health care technology. While in northern Wisconsin, she saw Fr. Paul speak about his journey in Roads to Life, Tanzania, and wanted to get involved. She helped redesign the site in 2017 and works with Mary to update content. She enjoys blending technology, art and design to tell a story, especially for those who do good. She currently lives in Madison, WI.