CHURCHES CALL FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS THAT GUARANTEE PEACE 

By Br. Alfonce Kugwa

Bishop Rudolf Nyandoro flanked by Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Diocesan Coordinators during the Religious Leaders Supporting the Zimbabwe Peace Process Conference.

Religious leaders from different church bodies under the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD), called on the government of Zimbabwe to promote peace and reconciliation in the country at a Conference held in Harare from 28-30 May 2018. The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC), Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), Union for Development of the Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe (UDACIZA) and the American Friends Service Committee expressed concern on issues of peace and reconciliation as Zimbabwe prepares for the harmonised elections to be held on 30 July 2018. Read more

ZCBC OFFICE BEARERS 2018 – 2020

Archbishop Robert Christopher Ndlovu, President of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference

The Bishops elected a new executive committee on 12 April 2018. The Chairmanship of the Commissions remains the same except for Conference of Major Religious Superiors (CMRS) whose Episcopal Chairman is now Rt. Rev. Bishop R. Mupandasekwa. Read more

520 GRADUATE AT CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY AS STUDENT POPULATION INCREASES TO 4 000.

By Br. Alfonce Kugwa

Graduating students in procession to the graduation arena.

520 students graduated from the Catholic University of Zimbabwe on Friday, 13 April 2018. The graduates were capped by the university Chancellor, Archbishop Robert Christopher Ndlovu in the presence of all Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops, representatives of the Ministry of Education and friends of the Catholic University.  This was the 15th graduation ceremony for the Catholic University since it opened its doors in 1999. The graduating students received degrees in humanities, business management, information technology and theology while seven got diplomas in theology. It was all jubilation as graduands celebrated the attainment of different academic achievements. Read more

CHURCH URGED TO REMOVE YOUNG PEOPLE FROM DARK SIDE OF LIFE.

 

By Br. Alfonce Kugwa

Three youth pose for a picture during the ZCBC 2018 Plenary Meeting

Children and the Youth were at the centre of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference’s plenary meeting discussions for 2018. The plenary that took place from 10 -11 April looked at ways of promoting interests of children and the youth in the Church especially this year when the universal church celebrates the Year of the Youth. Children rights are often manipulated in society and the Catholic church seeks to create a wider platform for the young ones to express their faith and views within the Church and the family. Read more

Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference: Pastoral Letter to all priests, religious seminarians and laity. Published Sunday 4 February 2018, World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life.

Stewardship in the Service of the Church and God’s People
A Pastoral Letter of ZCBC To all Priests, Religious, Seminarians and Laity
Sunday 4 February 2018, World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life
1
Introduction:
Stewardship is about taking active responsibility of that which is entrusted to
our care through managing, nurturing, controlling and proper administration
so that the available resources meet the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The
term stewardship means custodianship, utilization with responsibility
bearing in mind that the vineyard belongs to the master as indicated in 1 Pet,
4:10-11 that; “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as
good stewards of God’s varied grace. Whoever preaches, let it be with the
Words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so
that in all things God may be glori􀃶ed through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs
glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” .
Stewardship entails the use of resources, money, time, talent and service in a
responsible manner that promotes the growth of the individual, organization
and community. In imitation of the wise steward of the Gospel in Lk. 12:42;
16:2 Christians ought to exercise a responsible administration over resources,
personal and corporate, because these resources are ultimately not theirs but
the Lord’s. According to Stravinskas (1991), the practice of stewardship means
that Christians forsake a self-aggrandizement and prefer instead a
glori􀃶cation of the One Who is over all, and an ardent attention to the
common good. The concept of stewardship is premised on the idea of
exploring, sharing and preservation of resources at our disposal. Stewardship
demands trustworthiness, an unsel􀃶sh attitude that advocates for an equal
distribution of available resources for the common good. The Church is the
vineyard and the master is the Lord Jesus Christ who has assigned his servants
to manage, control, nurture, develop and have authority over the property
dear to his heart. The fact of the matter is that the master gets offended by
servants who abuse their authority to destroy the vineyard, compromising
the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
STEWARDSHIP IN THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH AND GOD’S PEOPLE
2
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in their pastoral
letter on stewardship observes that identifying stewardship as safeguarding
material and human resources and using them responsibly are one answer; so
is generous giving of time, talent, and treasure. But being a Christian steward
means more. As Christian stewards, we receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate
them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them
with increase to the Lord. Stewardship is about responsibility, accountability,
transparency and production.
Stewardship as discipleship:
Jesus calls his disciples by name to be in fellowship with him and he revealed
the secrets of heaven to them. Likewise Jesus calls us by name to be in
fellowship with him as his disciples who participate in the progression of his
ministry by administering the vineyard of His Father using our gifts, talents,
and resources.
It is the duty of those entrusted to take care of the church, bishops, priests,
religious and the laity, old and young to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ through
performing acts of compassion and love that bring people together and
promote life in the spirit of the common good. True discipleship requires that
we become faithful to the calling, exercising charity, hope and trust in the
Lord. No one disciple can perform better if he or she is not convinced that
Jesus is the compass of all vision and action or when one is divorced from the
master. Simon Peter showed deep conviction and belief that there is no hope
without the master in John 6:68. Stewardship mirrors our spiritual and moral
disposition.
Stewardship is good management of someone’s property just as stated in the
Psalms 24:1 “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the earth and all who
live in it”. Discipleship means the act of being a convinced and adherent
follower of someone or certain doctrine. Within the Christian circle we cannot
talk of discipleship without stewardship and neither can we talk of
stewardship without discipleship, the two are both sides of the same coin. As
Christians, we are Jesus’ disciples, and this means we must walk in the
footsteps of Jesus who is our Savior and Redeemer.
We are full time and not part time disciples of Christ. Our whole life must be
centered on the life of Jesus who is our master and savior. Christians today
urgently need to revive their commitment to whole-life discipleship because
many times we think being a disciple of Jesus is only a Sunday commitment
and not a daily experience. This is where we lose focus of Christianity, because
as disciples we are also stewards of God, we play a very important role in the
administration of God’s creation.
Stewardship as authority:
Authority means the ability to teach, govern, control and determine the
course of action for a particular group, place or people. Exercising authority
entails the power to control and govern the environment and all creation.
After His resurrection from death, Jesus in Matthew 28:18 said all authority in
heaven and on earth has been given to me. He meant that he became the
supreme ruler whose power to govern will have no end. That is why His
authority should be a model for Christians to emulate. Because Christians
draw their authority from Jesus Christ, they should exercise this right to
exploit the earth and control resources wisely and not devastate it. The same
applies to the way we administer that which is entrusted to us by the Church.
As good stewards, it is pertinent that we exercise our authority to protect
those who look up to us and the property at our disposal in a way that
propagates life giving experiences.
The Church cherishes good stewards who advance the cause of charity,
justice, mercy and trust; those whose authority is that of service and not
dictatorship or power. Dominion means taking good care of things, the whole
of creation, things given or entrusted to us or those that we produce through
our own efforts. This is what is meant in Genesis 1:26 when God pronounced
that; “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness. Let them have
dominion over the 􀃶sh of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle and over all
the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.” As humanity
was created in the likeness of God, it therefore means that humankind should
share the same mentality and intention of nurturing the environment and
good governance of all things not for ulterior sel􀃶sh motives but to improve
and better the livelihoods. The idea of stewardship as authority is not about
individualistic ends that promote self- aggrandization, voracity, power
hunger, theft and corruption. This kind of authority is mostly exercised by
political dictators. People in authority have the power to in􀃸uence or
command thought, opinion, ideology or behavior. Authority means power
exerted over the minds or behavior of others. It is the right to govern or rule or
STEWARDSHIP IN THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH AND GOD’S PEOPLE
3
determine the conditions or systems that bind human existence. Humanity’s
ability to subdue the earth means it has authority to manage and improve the
environment.
Good stewardship and authority should posses the characteristics of the
willingness to serve, cooperate and collaborate. The exercise of authority is
not a one man band but there are partakers whose role is to support how
authority is discharged. That is why it is always important to involve the
participation of people around us wherever our services and authority are
required. Parishes, missions, schools, health centers and all church institutions
need good stewards who govern with positive authority whose main
objective is to promote community development through the participation
of all. It is important to remind ourselves that our authority over people, goods
and services does not turn into dictatorship but remains open to encourage
dialogue, growth and participation of the people of God. Authority in
stewardship should facilitate responsibility in the control of the Church’s
property. It means that we have jurisdiction in the management of goods and
services that belong to the church, hence we act in place of the owner treating
whatever is under our control as if we are the owners.
Stewardship as leadership:
Leadership is the act of inspiring subordinates to perform and engage in
achieving a goal.
All leaders should be accountable to GOD the owner of everything and
everybody. Leaders are those entrusted with, that is, given trust to take care
of human and material resources to serve the Lord. They do not own but are
entrusted. Every leader should have a stewardship lens.
God gave us dominion over all creation but take note that the way we treat
material and other living things must be different from how we treat people
created in the image of God. Human beings are led towards organisational
goals. Leaders are given authority over people but should remain
accountable to God and be faithful stewards themselves (Luke 16). All
authority on the human plane is delegated authority. All authority on earth
comes from the Sovereign of the universe. Note Romans 13:1-2: “Every person
is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority
except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”
STEWARDSHIP IN THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH AND GOD’S PEOPLE
4
God owns all leaders and gave them the leadership role, hence the need to
use it to serve the Lord through others, 1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a
gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” All
what is exposed to us should not only be used to serve the interests of leaders
as superior beings (superior priest/religious/parent) for we are not special but
only called by God to be stewards. So leaders must humbly serve and bless
those under them. They must not be guided by pride for the 􀃶rst shall be the
last and last shall be the 􀃶rst according to the teaching of the Lord Jesus that:
“Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leaders as the
servant ” (Luke 22:24-27). Good leaders must inspire fellowship not through
coercion but through living exemplary lives worth emulating. Bishops,
priests, religious and the laity should be living examples of Christian
stewardship so that the world can draw principles of exercising power from
people led by faith.
Authority bestowed on leaders is not theirs but comes from God like the
disciples were given authority to cast demons and heal the sick; “Then He
called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over
all devils, and to cure diseases” (Lk. 9.1).
Good leaders should not concentrate on the power they have to command
respect, action and obedience but should be concerned about the
effectiveness of their in􀃸uence on their subordinates. It is not about whether
you call yourself a leader or not. It is about what you have to show to people as
a leader, the potential, capabilities and self-worthiness. It is this kind of
leadership that transforms our leadership into stewardship. Many institutions
have been ruined by imposing the leadership on people. People are tossed
around, decisions are made without consultation, Parish leadership is handpicked
by the Parish priest because they protect his personal interests and
Church property is treated as if its individually owned. If the Church should be
the voice of reason on good governance and stewardship to governments
and world leaders, the Church should examine its conduct, lest it become
worse than those it seeks to give direction. The Church leadership must
demonstrate this by the way she treats her people and how she takes care of
resources in her custody.
It is the responsibility of every leader to take care of the interest of their
STEWARDSHIP IN THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH AND GOD’S PEOPLE
5
organization and consider their own personal interest last. Leaders must be
people centred than material centred since people are the most precious
resource that need to be cherished. Those in leadership are bestowed with the
authority to rule over others. However, this does not make them into
demigods but must always remember that people belong to God and must
not be abused but be led to God their Creator.
Stewards who are Christians must be concerned with:
· the welfare of subordinates as individuals, help people with life issues
not just work issues.
As stewards of God, we should not treat people as machines by only
stressing on the work that needs to be done and forgetting the welfare
of those doing the job.
· Create a good working relationship that makes them happy, allow
them to grow and improve, don’t let the organisation grow while
workers suffer. The people you lead are not yours they belong to God
therefore give what is God’s to God
· Encourage people to interact, build team work and grow to become a
better institution that joins the global village in thanksgiving to God.
· Be in authority and under authority. God gave you authority over others
but you still need to remain under authority of God.
Leaders as stewards must introspect, look at their character 􀃶rst, then their
position last, they must be the 􀃶rst to obey God, must ask their attitude
towards others. People are not led by what you say to them; but are led by
what they see you do. Steward Leaders are self-leaders. Leadership is an art
expressed by the demonstration of characters worthy of imitation, emulation
and inspiration. It is neither a title nor a position but a service.
When you are a steward it’s not about utilizing power to assert yourself while
subordinates become subservient to it, but to serve all. Do not be led by pride,
demanding people to serve you but you should serve the people and people
will serve you.
A steward leader should correct those who stray from the truth, remove from
the 􀃸ock those who refuse to repent so as to protect the rest, and bless God’s
people by instructing them in His ways. St. Paul’s words (Titus 2:15), “speak and
exhort and reprove” indicate that different approaches are needed with
different people. The way we run places entrusted to us depends on how we
treat people who serve in those places. The same attitude will affect the way
STEWARDSHIP IN THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH AND GOD’S PEOPLE
6
we take care of the utilities of the place.
Stewardship and integrity:
A good steward must be someone with self-worth, good reputation and
possesses some personal dignity to command respect in a community.
Integrity generates trust for the steward by his/her master. Having integrity
means doing the right thing in a reliable way. It’s a personality trait that we
admire, since it means a person has a moral compass that does not waver.
Stewardship and Church property:
The Church is the vineyard entrusted to us by God to run it. Everyone has the
duty to take care, guard, use and improve the resources at our disposal.
Church property ranges from human capital, talents, material, infrastructural,
􀃶nancial resources and all that supports the system of evangelization. As
good stewards entrusted to run Missions, Schools, Hospitals, Charity
Organizations, Seminaries and Spiritual Centers, Church personnel should
endeavor to render their service for the common good and not for their
personal ulterior motives. The goods and services that the church owns are
important to support the material and spiritual life of the people of God. There
is need for a deep spiritual formation for priests, religious and the laity so that
they understand their role in the administration and protection of the
Church’s property. Lack of spiritual formation, maturity and detachment from
materialism has contributed to the serious abuse of the Church’s resources by
those standing in as stewards. Stewardship ministry is a great way to care for
the Church by putting the necessary measures that help in the leadership,
management, control and use of resources. Developing guidelines that help
in the management and control of property is paramount but above all,
stricter formation of heart, positive attitude and understanding one’s role in
the ministry is key. The Social Teaching of the Church observes that; “The
Church is concerned with the temporal aspects of the common good because
they are ordered to the sovereign Good, our ultimate end. The Church strives
to inspire right attitudes with respect to earthly goods and in socio-economic
relationships.”
On top of a positive attitude, the Church seeks to move with the signs of times
in the management of its property. Leaving everything to chance should not
be acceptable in Church institutions while a one man band practice has for
years devastated the mission of the Church. It is important to identify quali􀃶ed
personnel who can assist in the running of Missions, Parishes, Health Centers,
Schools and other institutions. Also, records and inventories should be put in
STEWARDSHIP IN THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH AND GOD’S PEOPLE
7
place to minimize abuse and disappearance of property including 􀃶nancial
resources. Although stewardship has to do with delegation and
accountability, it also means monitoring and evaluation of progress. Overtrusting
because one is a priest, religious or long time Christian often leads to
monopoly of ideas and resources by those in charge and at the end crumples
the system.
Conclusion
Psalm 24 states that “The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, the world
and all who live in it.” Christ the Lord, did not in the least wish to destroy the
very rich heritage of the law but he brought it to completion in a new and
higher way – thus Governance and Stewardship in the Church. St. Paul does
not deny the importance of discipline in the Church (cf 1 Cor. 5 and 6).
Discipline implies accountability, transparency, good governance and
orderliness which are fundamental for the common good. A high level of
good governance and stewardship in the Church with all implications for the
behaviour of the Church does not happen by chance. It is a result of planning,
commitment, goal setting, and being stewards with depth of character i.e.
being highly transparent and accountable. May God help us all to take active
responsibility of that which is entrusted to our care through managing,
nurturing, controlling and proper administration so that the available
resources meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet their own needs.
STEWARDSHIP IN THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH AND GOD’S PEOPLE
8
+ Michael D. Bhasera, Bishop of Masvingo and Apostolic
Administrator of Gweru( ZCBC President)
+ Robert C. Ndlovu, Archbishop of Harare and Apostolic
Administrator of Chinhoyi( ZCBC Vice President)
+ Alex Thomas, Archbishop of Bulawayo (ZCBC
Secretary/Treasurer)
+ Albert Serrano, Bishop of Hwange
+ Paul Horan, Bishop of Mutare
+ Rudolf Nyandoro, Bishop of GokweZimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference Pastoral Letter on Stewardship

ITS NOT ALL GLOOM AND DOOM BUT JOY LIES AHEAD.

Bishop Elect Of Chinhoyi believes poverty of the diocese is not a weakness but a strength.

By Alfonce Kugwa

Bishop Elect of Chinhoyi

Monsingnor Raymond Mupandasekwa

The Bishop Elect of Chinhoyi has said the joy of his appointment lies in the different religious colours decorating the diocese. For him, different religious congregations in the diocese serve as a source of strength and hope to keep the diocese running and for this, he vowed to promote the good of each guild and religious institute for the good of the church. Monsignor Raymond Tapiwa Mupandasekwa believes that it is not all gloom and doom but joy lies ahead. Having been appointed by the Holy Father on 30 December 2017 , the Bishop elect leaves his position as the Redemptorist Regional Superior to be the Shepherd of Chinhoyi Diocese where he hopes to break new grounds in relationships and evangelization.

 

“It is always a joy to find a Diocese with many colours, congregations and guilds with a diverse number of spiritualities. This adds to the richness of the Church. The many the different religious flowers and guilds in the diocese the richer we are and the more we are able to witness not only to the diversity in God but also through our common witness to the unity of the church and the Godhead. As a bishop it is important to promote the good of each guild and each congregation for the greater God of the Church. We do not want these different flowers to wither and die but to flourish and multiply,” Monsignor Mupandasekwa said.

The Bishop Elect said he is excited to go and preach beyond the boundaries he had known and expects the cooperation of all so that the work of evangelization may bear fruit in the Diocese of Chinhoyi. Monsigor Mupandasekwa expressed that he expects to share this ministry with all priests, sisters of the various congregations and lay people already in Chinhoyi. For him, the vision of the diocese will be defined by the cooperation and participation of all, the old and young. But at the center of his heart lies the zeal to open new grounds by reaching out to the most poor.

He said: “I know they will teach me a lot and bring a new joy to my life. The vision of the diocese will be defined by not just myself but by all of us together. What I know as of now is that that vision will be guided by the greater vision of the Holy Father, of going to the peripheries in order to bring to one and all the joy of the gospel. The Diocese of Chinhoyi has to continue to grow as a field hospital where the broken and the weak are treated and restored to full spiritual health and sent back into battle.”

While the Diocese of Chinhoyi  is characteristically poor and rural, there is joy in ministering to the local people who are full of love and faith. In as much as rural dioceses are seen as disadvantaged in terms of resources, Monsignor Mupandasekwa argued that this was not a weakness when people are willing to share what they have.  He said priests and sisters of the diocese have experience about the demands of the diocese and the needs of the people and as such they understand their poverty and richness.

 

“This identity is not a weakness but a strength. The Holy Father has already spoken of the church of the poor and for the poor.  The priests and sisters working in Chinhoyi will be called to share in the poverty of the Nazareth of Chinhoyi and through it experience the joy of the gospel. Our vision of the Diocese will be informed by our circumstances and the vision of the Holy Father.”

“Most of our priests and religious sisters already share the same conditions as the poor as part and parcel of their mission and voluntary witness. In so doing, they affirm the dignity of the poor who often are treated as non persons or people without dignity on account of their poverty. In doing so, the church through its ministers brings about an essential change of mindset which becomes inevitably the catalyst to change in the poor themselves as they are encouraged by this to appreciate their own worth. Again this witness by church ministers challenges the ‘haves’ to value the ‘have nots’ as their equals created like them in the image and likeness of God,” said the Bishop Elect.

Chinhoyi Diocese covers Mashonaland West and the province is a political landmine with political stalwarts coming from the area. The political situation in the diocese more often than not interferes with church business thereby affecting the mission of evangelization sometimes threatening missionary work. In most cases Christians prefer to leave politics to politicians and have nothing whatsoever to do with it for fear of reprisals. But for Monsignor Mupandasekwa politics is life for everyone. He encouraged Christians to get involved with political affairs so as to influence democratic processes in the church and society.

 

Monsignor Mupandasekwa said: “Those who have been involved in clean up campaigns in  the various townships around Zimbabwe know that the success of these initiatives does not depend on a single person but on everyone. If everyone does his or her part and reach out to the other in gospel charity we will always be able to bridge our socio- economic, religious and political differences. Politics ought to be about good governance. A government listens to its people and never tries to force them to follow. Unfortunately politics has been used to sow seeds of division and hatred. It is possible to disagree on how we should be governed and still be brothers and sisters to each other.  The government has to see to it that the right of every citizen to think differently, to oppose or to hold a divergent opinion is protected. It is only when this right is protected by law that we can speak of a new dispensation.”

“The just ordering of society is a central responsibility of politics.  People living in society must therefore be involved in politics to ensure the formation of just structures through  politics. Hence it is not wrong for the people of the diocese to involve themselves in politics. What would be wrong would be to impose one’s political views or one’s political agenda on the other.  Catholics involved in politics are there to ensure the creation of a just society. When Catholics join political parties they should always know why they are there. It’s to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The ‘laity must be motivated by Christian charity in their political activity . Where this is lacking divisions appear and the church in Chinhoyi has to continue informing them and their role in the creation of a just social structure.”

 

Monsignor Mupandasekwa, challenged the church in Zimbabwe to open up new ways of reaching out to  the people in a missionary spirit of evangelization. He said evangelization was at the center of the church as stressed by various popes such as Pope Paul VI in Evangeli Nunciandi, Pope John Paul II in Redemptoris Missio, Pope Benedict and recently Pope Francis in Evangeli Gaudium. According to Monsignor Mupandasekwa, evangelization defines the missionary mandate of the church as given in Matthew 28 by the Lord himself.

 

“My wish which has been the wish of bishops who came before me and of every pope is that we renew our commitment to preaching the Gospel. With Saint Paul each one of us has to say ‘I am ruined if I do not preach the Gospel”. The challenge before us is to find new ways of evangelization which are consistent with the signs of times. While we search for the new ways, we also have to appreciate our old ways of bringing the Gospel to others that have served us so well namely evangelization through our schools, hospitals and other church institutions. Perhaps our challenge will be to grow more of these church institutions and add forms of evangelization to them,” he said.

 

He complimented the Bishops of Zimbabwe for their support of evangelization at all levels of the church and society.  The Bishop Elect said the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference has worked tremendously well under very difficult circumstances as a beacon of hope for the nation and a star leading the people of God.

 

“I go to the conference to learn from those who bear the wounds of the battle,” said Monsignor Mupandasekwa.

 

Bishop Elect Mupandasekwa is of the Vahera Tribe and born on 28 April  1970 at Masvingo General Hospital, to Roswitta Madzima and Fabian Pamhi Tamirepi Mupandasekwa. He is the second born in a family of seven, 3 boys and 4 girls.  He did his grade 1-3 at Mabvuku primary school, 4-6 at Tomlinson Deport primary and Vainona primary school for his grade 7. For his secondary education, he went to Vainona High School. Monsignor Mupandasekwa holds an Honours degree in Religious Studies from the university of Zimbabwe, a Masters in philosophy: Canon Law from Saint Augustine College South Africa, Masters in Moral Theology from  Collegio Alphonsiana Italy. His desire to be a Religious was born very early in his life when he was nine years old.

Monsignor Mupandasekwa first joined the seminary under the Archdiocese of Harare in 1990 after he had been told that the Redemptorists were reopening their formation program in 1992 having shut it down in 1989. He later joined the Redemptorist Congregation in 1996 having done his philosophy studies and the first year of his theology studies. The young Mupandasekwa was invited to join the novitiate in 1997 and this took place in Begville South Africa. He made his first profession as a Redemptorist on 21 February 1998 at Alphonsus House in Tafara and his final profession on 2 December 2000 at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Mabvuku. He was ordained to priesthood at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Hatcliffe on 4 August 2001.  Monsignor Mupandasekwa, whose consecration is on 7 April 2018, fills the position left by Bishop Dieter Scholz who resigned in 2016.

Monsignor Paul Horan ordained as Bishop of Mutare Diocese

The new Bishop for Mutare Diocese, Rt. Rev. Paul Horan was on 27 August 2016 ordained amid pomp and funfair at Marymount Teachers’ College in Mutare. Scores of people from all walks of life including Bishop Horan’s relatives from Ireland and Carmelite Order members from around the globe thronged the college’s grounds to witness the elevation of Monsignor Horan to episcopate. Bishop Horan joins the college of Bishops in Zimbabwe. He takes over from Bishop Alexio Muchabaiwa who has been at the helm of Manicaland Diocese for 34 years. Catholics from the eight dioceses of Masvingo, Gweru, Hwange, Gokwe, Chinhoyi, Mutare and the two Archdioceses of Bulawayo and Harare turned up in droves in support of the new bishop. The ordaining Bishop Most Rev. Robert Christopher Ndlovu presented the new bishop to his flock through the papal bull that was read for the public to appreciate the appointment and his legitimate control of the diocese. People ululated and clapped as Bishop Horan publicly accepted the responsibility as the new shepherd.

Bishop Horan sits next to Bishop Emeritus of Mutare Alexio Churu Muchabaiwa (right)Bishop Xavier Munyongani encouraged people of the diocese to closely work with their shepherd and to support him for the spiritual and infrastructural development of the local church. He urged people to be united for the benefit of the diocese and challenged them to shun all kinds of discrimination and divisions.

“You must grow in the understanding of your faith and appreciate that the Catholic Church is universal.  Our understanding of faith and our appreciation of the church should go beyond the idea of colour or race. Your faith should be of substance and your actions compatible to your faith as was the wish of the first missionaries of this diocese,” said Bishop Munyongani.

ZCBC President, Bishop Michael Dixon Bhasera congratulates Bishop Paul Horan soon after his ordination

The chairperson of the Diocesan priests for Mutare Diocese, Fr. Francis Mudungwe and the representative of the religious congregations in the diocese, Sr. Evelyn Kadzere both called on the religious and priests to rally behind Bishop Horan to create an enabling environment for development. The two thanked Bishop Muchabaiwa for the role he played as the shepherd of Mutare. The two’s message was that of unity, collaboration and development.

“The power of the wolf if in the pack and the ability for Bishop Horan to lead us is in us and our willingness to cooperate with him. His coming means change in a lot of things and it means we need to change our perception and way of doing things. If it means changing ourselves for the betterment of the diocese we have to do it,” Fr. Mudungwe said.

Bishop Horan promised to be a servant for the Catholic community in Mutare Diocese trusting that Christ will lead his steps. He asked fellow bishops and the Papal Nuncio to guide him especially during the first days of his ministry. To the Catholic faithful he asked for prayers and cooperation that brings about a brighter future for the diocese. He said the support and moral shown by the people of Mutare since his appointment up to his ordination should be the spirit prevailing in the entire diocese.

Prepare your homily or drive people away

Priests were urged to spice up their homilies or risk driving people to mushrooming churches and sects. This was the message sent to Catholic priests and formators by Archbishop Slattery of Pretoria at a workshop on evangelization, communication and formation organized by IMBISA for rectors and formators. The workshop that took place at Padre Pio Spiritual Centre from 20-25 July 2015, attracted formators from countries such as Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa. Priests, especially formators were challenged to take evangelization seriously as those training as future shepherds and ordinary Christians look up to them. Archbishop Slattery said evangelization is a true encounter and a relationship with Jesus Christ and gives a new horizon to life and that it is impossible for a priest who has not encountered Christ to create a platform for others to encounter Jesus. Archbishop Slattery challenged priests not to roam the streets but to engage more with the people and help them to have a personal contact with Christ. “Jesus says come and see and priests need to be gateways through which people develop a personal contact with the Lord always. Jesus liked being with the people. Mere administration can no longer be enough,” Archbishop Slattery said. He quoted Pope Francis who encourages the church to go forth with doors open to reach out to the fringes of humanity. Archbishop Slattery emphasised: “People want a conversational situation, an interactional situation and a dialogical participative church and as such evangelizers should be willing to take up the challenge of being more with the people and bring people to Jesus who says ‘come and see’”. Fr. Fanwell Magwidi called on formators to embrace evangelization seriously or else it remains a talk show without any meaning. He expressed concern that evangelization should bring people to a special relationship with the person of Jesus and urged those entrusted with the duty to evangelize to employ new strategies in preaching the word of God that appeals to the contemporary congregants. Fr. Magwidi also challenged evangelizers to deliver quality sermons that influence personal transformation and spiritual growth. “The liturgy of the word should be the best place to inflame human hearts. The pulpit is not the platform for academic lectures and rhetoric but should give people a sigh of relief. Jesus is the word people need to feed on. The reason why some Catholics flock to upcoming pentecostal churches is because some evangelizers do not prepare their sermons enough and use the pulpit to settle scores or as a place to discipline people instead of feeding them with the word of God.” The workshop focused on bolstering issues to do with evangelization, communication and formation where formators were encouraged to consider communication as a core subject of the syllabus. The challenges of new media technologies were considered to be inevitable, hence those in charge of forming future priests and religious were urged to take up new media technologies as part of the formation program and guide the young ones so that they do not abuse but benefit from these means of communication. . The workshop that took place at Padre Pio Spiritual Centre from 20-25 July 2015, attracted formators from countries such as Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa. Priests, especially formators were challenged to take evangelization seriously as those training as future shepherds and ordinary Christians look up to them. Archbishop Slattery said evangelization is a true encounter and a relationship with Jesus Christ and gives a new horizon to life and that it is impossible for a priest who has not encountered Christ to create a platform for others to encounter Jesus. Archbishop Slattery challenged priests not to roam the streets but to engage more with the people and help them to have a personal contact with Christ. “Jesus says come and see and priests need to be gateways through which people develop a personal contact with the Lord always. Jesus liked being with the people. Mere administration can no longer be enough,” Archbishop Slattery said. He quoted Pope Francis who encourages the church to go forth with doors open to reach out to the fringes of humanity. Archbishop Slattery emphasised: “People want a conversational situation, an interactional situation and a dialogical participative cPREPARE YOUR HOMILY OR DRIVE PEOPLE AWAY Priests were urged to spice up their homilies or risk driving people to mushrooming churches and sects. This was the message sent to Catholic priests and formators by Archbishop Slattery of Pretoria at a workshop on evangelization, communication and formation organized by IMBISA for rectors and formators. The workshop that took place at Padre Pio Spiritual Centre from 20-25 July 2015, attracted formators from countries such as Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa. Priests, especially formators were challenged to take evangelization seriously as those training as future shepherds and ordinary Christians look up to them. Archbishop Slattery said evangelization is a true encounter and a relationship with Jesus Christ and gives a new horizon to life and that it is impossible for a priest who has not encountered Christ to create a platform for others to encounter Jesus. Archbishop Slattery challenged priests not to roam the streets but to engage more with the people and help them to have a personal contact with Christ. “Jesus says come and see and priests need to be gateways through which people develop a personal contact with the Lord always. Jesus liked being with the people. Mere administration can no longer be enough,” Archbishop Slattery said. He quoted Pope Francis who encourages the church to go forth with doors open to reach out to the fringes of humanity. Archbishop Slattery emphasised: “People want a conversational situation, an interactional situation and a dialogical participative church and as such evangelizers should be willing to take up the challenge of being more with the people and bring people to Jesus who says ‘come and see’”. Fr. Fanwell Magwidi called on formators to embrace evangelization seriously or else it remains a talk show without any meaning. He expressed concern that evangelization should bring people to a special relationship with the person of Jesus and urged those entrusted with the duty to evangelize to employ new strategies in preaching the word of God that appeals to the contemporary congregants. Fr. Magwidi also challenged evangelizers to deliver quality sermons that influence personal transformation and spiritual growth. “The liturgy of the word should be the best place to inflame human hearts. The pulpit is not the platform for academic lectures and rhetoric but should give people a sigh of relief. Jesus is the word people need to feed on. The reason why some Catholics flock to upcoming pentecostal churches is because some evangelizers do not prepare their sermons enough and use the pulpit to settle scores or as a place to discipline people instead of feeding them with the word of God.” The workshop focused on bolstering issues to do with evangelization, communication and formation where formators were encouraged to consider communication as a core subject of the syllabus. The challenges of new media technologies were considered to be inevitable, hence those in charge of forming future priests and religious were urged to take up new media technologies as part of the formation program and guide the young ones so that they do not abuse but benefit from these means of communication. hurch and as such evangelizers should be willing to take up the challenge of being more with the people and bring people to Jesus who says ‘come and see’”. Fr. Fanwell Magwidi called on formators to embrace evangelization seriously or else it remains a talk show without any meaning. He expressed concern that evangelization should bring people to a special relationship with the person of Jesus and urged those entrusted with the duty to evangelize to employ new strategies in preaching the word of God that appeals to the contemporary congregants. Fr. Magwidi also challenged evangelizers to deliver quality sermons that influence personal transformation and spiritual growth. “The liturgy of the word should be the best place to inflame human hearts. The pulpit is not the platform for academic lectures and rhetoric but should give people a sigh of relief. Jesus is the word people need to feed on. The reason why some Catholics flock to upcoming pentecostal churches is because some evangelizers do not prepare their sermons enough and use the pulpit to settle scores or as a place to discipline people instead of feeding them with the word of God.” The workshop focused on bolstering issues to do with evangelization, communication and formation where formators were encouraged to consider communication as a core subject of the syllabus. The challenges of new media technologies were considered to be inevitable, hence those in charge of forming future priests and religious were urged to take up new media technologies as part of the formation program and guide the young ones so that they do not abuse but benefit from these means of communication.

Bishop Floro Celebrates 50 years as a Catholic Priest

Rt Rev Angelo Floro Bishop of GokweBishop Angelo Floro of Gokwe Diocese will this year celebrate 50 years as a Catholic priest on 8 August 2015. The jubilee will be celebrated at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Gokwe Center. Thousands of Catholics from all corners of the country will take this opportunity to celebrate with Bishop Floro and Gokwe Diocese.