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HISTORY FOR ST JOACHIM PARISH CHURCH

Ingagula Catholic Community thirstily for the word of God ,went to St. George’s or St Ignatius before the establishment of St Joachim Parish in 1975 with Fr Alexander Alapont as the first Priest to minister the Community according to the baptism records. Under his care , the Christians prayed in their houses until the responsible authority then JTL gave Christians a house to use as their place of worship.
The congregation grew bigger and bigger and was forced to worship under a tree. This was situated near the present shopping centre. When Ingagula Primary school was built , all denominations rotated using the school hall for church activities as from 1984 to 1985. Later on during 1986 St. Joachim started using Gebhuza Secondary School. This was as a result of shortage of class rooms since the school enrolment of students had increased and the hall was converted into a classroom.
During that time the Priest operated from St. Peter and Paul which was the centre of all pastoral activities. The Christians within Hwange urban area were attended to by the Priests who resided at St. Peter and Paul and this included those for other Parishes such as St Ignatius, St Joachim, St Joseph and even as far as St John’s of Makwa. This affected St Joachim Parish church which ended up having mass during the afternoon at 3pm on Saturdays.
Several application letters were sent by our church leaders requesting for a place to build a church. However, through putting more effort in searching for a place to build our own church it finally  paid off when we were granted permission to build our church at its present premises. Funds to build the church were sourced through assistance of Father Joseph Gomis and Fr Marko Rumhuma. The congregation also embarked on numerous fund raising activities. Outstanding members included the following : Mr Enock Sibanda, Mr Leornard  Gwedegwe, Mr Godfrey Chigayo, Mr Moffat Ncube, Mr Andrew Matake, Mr Phikela Chauke, Mrs Virginia Gondo, Mrs Rosemary Matandaudhle, Mr Constantine Musengi and Mrs Elizabeth Hananda to name just a few. All Christians made monthly contributions towards this grand cause resulting in the opening of a building fund account at Founders Building Society.
There is need to acknowledge external donations made through Father Albert Serrano (Bishop of Hwange Diocese) Fr Tim Peacock, the late Fr Maximus Gumbo, Fr Joseph Gomis who applied for funds and drew up the plan .Finally, special thanks to be given to the Right Rev. Christopher Ndlovu for officially opening the church doors to the St Joachim Congregation on the year, 2002. 
Ever since, the growth of the church in terms of the number of parishioners has always been very slow comparing to other Parishes. The main reason being that, some of our colleagues who are  ZPC employees end up being transferred to other residential areas such as Baobab, Chibondo and T-Section.  So they end up attending St Theresa which is very close to their residential areas.
BAPTISM:
In the history of St. Joachim the first recorded baptism was of Chipo Chirawu on the 12th June, 1977 by Fr. Alexander at St. Ignatius.  The first at St. Joachim Parish Church was of Magdalene Jamina Kabudula on the 19th July, 1977.
CONFIRMATIONS:
The first where confirmations were made was of eight Christians on the 20th January, 1980 by Rt. Rev. Bishop Ignatius Prieto.
Weddings were as follows: See attached copy:,
The Parish has been led by many Priests over the years. The succession is as follows.

PRIESTS:


No

Priest

From

To

1

Fr. Alexander Alapont

1975

1984

2

Fr .Tim Peacock

1985

1986

3

Fr. Maximus Gumbo

1986

1992

4

Fr. Marko Rumhuma

1993

2003

5

Fr. Lazarus Munkuli

2003

2004

6

Fr. John Mudereri

2004

2005

7

Fr. Elias Gwambu

2005

2007

8

Fr. Keto Sithole

2007

Up to date.

It is the Parishioners’ pleasure to acknowledge the service of many Priests who have come with numerous, wonderful and most importantly, spiritually rich teachings each time they came to serve Mass for the congregation. These include, Fr. Vusumuzi Ndlovu, Fr Jim Muleya, Fr. Nicholus Nkamba, the late Fr. Gomez. Fr. Augustine Moreno, Fr. Pius Ncube, Fr. Philani Ncube, Brother Kholwani Nyoni and our Bishop Albert Serrano.  The Parish introduced many different associations over the years which are as follows:,


No

Association

Year

Presidents

1

St. Anne

1980

Mrs Tafirenyika and Mrs Virginia Gondo

2

St Joseph’s

1991

Mr Godfrey Chigayo and Mr Moffat Ncube

3

Catholic  Youth Association

1986

Mrs  R. Matandaudhle (ADVISOR)

4

Missionary Childhood

2002

The late Mrs  E Tinarwa, Mrs Dube and Mrs Chinonyengerwa. (animators)

5

Legio of Mary

2009

Mrs Sigauke

Previously, the congregation was divided into three sections which were later changed into three Small Christian  Communities in 2011.  They are as follows:,
Section 1 –St. Bernadino,
Section 2- St. Francis of Assisi.
Section 3- St. Bernadatte.
 Compiled by the Parish elderly people.