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HISTORY OF SACRED HEART MISSION

The period between 1930-40 was characterized by the whole area being a thick forest. The establishment of the mission was made simple by the fact that people were united, they put their efforts and minds together fulfilling the words of the ancestors that, “Ijenje limwe alibumbi chulu, anobumba chulu ngamanji” (a single ant cannot build an anthill but many are needed to make one). This insists on building unity in order to achieve a goal. During this period there was the arrival of Frs. Odilo and J. Ebert who established temporal settlements in Mbizha. They opened schools in Milonga, Kanywambizi and Mbizha. Some of the pioneers to teach in Mbizha were Mr. Raymond, Mr. Francis Mafa Sibanda, Mr. and Mrs. Sikuka.

On the 4th November 1958, Frs. Alexander Alapont, Hector M. Fariña and Bro. Manolo Dausa applied for land in BH4. The land was meant for the present mission and this was granted by Mr. Muketeyi. Fr. Alexander also stayed in Gavu at Mr. July Chilundu’s homestead learning Nambya which enabled him to contribute with many writings in his ministry in the Diocese.

In 1960 the task of building the present Mbizha School started in Muketeyi’s territory. Children got their education under trees while priests lived in the temporal structures they had made. The year 1961 resulted in the completion of the school building and its official opening. It was entrusted to the leadership of Mr. Raymond who was assisted by Mr. Francis Mafa and Mr. Sikuka. Mr. Magujele also took charge of the school. In that year the priests also started working on the priests’ house and sisters’ convent. Some of the Christians who were baptized by Fr. Angel Arnaldos were Srs. ottilia, Alicia, Selina.

The National Catechetical Training Centre started functioning between 1963- 1977. It captured catechists from different parts of the country and they were involved in a two year formation programme. Some individuals who were first involved in the programme were Mr. Gwaba, Mr. Johannes Munsaka, Fr. Joseph and Mr. Matthias Mapani.

During the entire period mentioned above, there was no church structure. Services were done at the school. In 1965 Fr. Renato and Br. Manolo started working on the church building which came to completion in 1967 and then officially opened. The building and opening of Lukunguni mission clinic was in 1975 and this spearheaded by Frs. Edward García and Albert Serrano.

The efforts made at the mission were almost devastated by the war in 1977. The priests moved and resided in Victoria Falls. The mission was hence left in the care of sisters. However the arrest of Srs. Clotilda and Tecla made Srs. Otilia, Josephine and postulant Constancia to Victoria Falls. Priests together Srs. Clotilds, Juliana and Ottilia returned to the mission in 1983 and this was after the war. The men who had remained taking care of the mission during the difficult moments of the war were granted Papal medals. These men were Mr. Philip Ngonzi, Mr. Mathe and Mr. Francis Mathe.

In 1988 Fr. Johannes Alarcia motivated people into being involved in technical works. In this respect a club was formed and named DELOMADOMA CLUB. This club was meant to help people in the areas of welding, sewing, baking and many other things. Some of the first club members included Denny, Max Mathe, Donald Tshuma, Lawrence, Matilda and Richard Sibanda. A grinding mill was also put in place and responsible for it were Mr. Donald and Mr. Mathe.

In the early 1990s, Fr. Regis Sibanda together with other local people founded the Jambezi and football and netball association.

The work pertaining to the present clinic started in 1995 and the aid came from Manos Unidas of Spain. The work was accompanied by the building of the nurses’ cottage. The official opening of the clinic was on the 2nd of February 1996. This was done by the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr. Timothy Stamps and the priest in charge by then was Fr. Mathias Sibanda.

Fr. Marko Rumuma also served at the mission in 1997 awaiting the arrival of the late Fr. Noel Brynne.

The year 2000 bore its own fruits since the electrification process came underway. The church, teachers’ cottage and priests’ house were electrified. This was done by fr. Matthias with the help of Fr. Tim Peacock.
The renovation of the mentioned structures was also done in the year 2000. The school was also renovated in 2004 under the guidance of Frs. Jimu Muleya and Pious Ncube.

Fr. Muleya was then transferred and Fr. V. Ndlovu took charge of the mission since 2008.
In 2009 a garden was meant for the clinic was established and the help came from Leed Trust.

Some of the priests who have served at this mission since 1930 till the present moment are Frs. Odilo, J. Ebert, Hector Farina, Joseph Garcia, Martirian Torrego, Phillip Gomez, John Chesa, Luis Anton, Angel Arnaldos, Renato Medez, Joseph Cunill, Alfonse Trujillo, Alexander Alapont, Angel Floro (became bishop of Gokwe) Francis Mayayo, Richard Shoko, Albert Serrano (Became the bishop of Hwange), Johannes Alarcia, Regis Sibanda, Mathias Sibanda, Marko Rumuma, Noel Bryne (the late), Jimu Muleya, Pious Ncube and Vusumuzi Ndlovu. There were also brothers Emmanuel and Pascal.

Some nuns who served at the mission were Srs. Alicia, Celina, Purification, Adella, Blanca, Priscilla, Rosa, Josephine, Magdalena, Euphrasia, Juliana, Clotilda, Tecla, Ottilia and postulant Constancia.

First Christians: Deceased
Anna Mamusowe           Mbizha
Monica Chuma Mbizha
Julia Sibanda                     Mbizha
Teresia Amabenzu         BH43
Ottilia Ncube                     Gondwa
Tom Mapani                      BH43
Francis Mafa                     BH43
Matthias Mapani             BH43
Jessy Shoko                       BH4
Anna Moyo                       BH4
Maria Chipembele          BH4
Phillip Ngonzi                    Ntiba
Mr. Mathe                         BH4

First Christians: still living
Mai Kusheta                      Mbizha
Mr. Sikuka                          Chikamba
Barhoda

Fruits to Religious/ Priestly Vocation
Sr Ottilia Nyoni CMFC    Gondwa
Sr Prisca Mathe CMFC   BH85
Sr Beatina Ncube CMFC               Gondwa
Sr Linet Manyalo CMFC                Gondwa
Sr Hedwig Ntutu CMFC BH4
Sr Sarah Ncube CMFC   Siamwela (now from Makwa)
Sr Yeyani Nyoni FMDM Nemananga
Sr Beater FMDM             BH4
Sr Scholastica CPS           Kanywambizi

Br Stephen Chipaya Ofm Cap.   Gondwa

Fr Kujani Tafuma Mpofu              Ntiba

Mtt 28: 19 – “Go then to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the name of the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

We thank all the Christians who have been baptized under this mission and these amount to
3599 altogether; 259 have married in church; 225 are the deceased and 1 521 are those who have been confirmed.

Till the present moment people are still working together and doing everything together. Inspite of the positive efforts in promoting the Kingdom of God we are still lacking in some respects. Very few young people have responded to the priestly vocation and few have properly gone into matrimony.
We, the people of Sacred Heart mission promise to be united, working together for the growth of the faith in our Mission.

 

Compiled by Angebert Mpofu
Source: Sr ottilia, Sr Mahlangu, Mr Wednesday Mathe

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