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What Fruits should we expect from the Synod

The outgoing secretary general for the Hwange Diocesan Synod Fr Joshua Del Barrio noted at the Holy Mass to mark the end of the Synod sessions that while the synod has come to an end the actual work of the synod has in fact began.

For at least two years now the Christians in the whole of the diocese deliberated of various issues that were pertinent to the diocese as directed by the synod steering committee. Questionnaires were sent out and Christians in their various groups came together and sent back their responses in answer to questionnaires.
The Christians therefore have certain expectations after being subjected to a series of questions in preparation of the Synod

Hwange diocese has a variety of ethnic groups: Tonga, Nambya, Ndebele, Shona, Dombe, Chewa, Lozi. The Liturgy is celebrated in Nambya, Ndebele, Tonga and Shona. This affects among other things the movement of personnel, the effort of formation in the pastoral centers, not to mention the problem of translations for publications of any kind, especially in Nambya and Tonga.
The variety of ethnic group offers, on the other hand a good opportunity for enrichment through the interaction of different cultures, and is an element which contributes to the openness to “others” and to overcome standoffishness.

The Religion platform reveals an alarming rate of emerging new “sects”, and other self-proclaimed prophets.
There are cases of witch-hunting (Tsikamtanda)severely affecting the lives of some of the Catholics as well as non-Catholics.
“Gospel of success and Money” churches are appearing.

The Catholic Church is growing in numbers of people baptized though the statistical percentage of the population does not seem to be growing.
The Small Christian Communities are a joyful reality in some parishes and in the process of formation in other parishes.

A big improvement has been experienced during the past decade, but more effort is still needed. The three Pastoral Centers have played a key role in this regard.
There is still need for priests trained in specialties or specific areas.
Women religious Congregations have a relevant contribution in the teaching, nursing and care of the aged, but appear to have little proportional involvement on parish pastoral activities and diocesan structures.

During the past years the structures of the parishes and Diocese have become strong and well organized: Parish Councils, Zonal and Diocesan Councils, Associations. In some Parishes the Small Christian Communities are organizing themselves well.  It is noted, nevertheless, that the attendance to the Diocesan Pastoral Council often does not go beyond 50%.
The Diocesan Commissions (CCJP, Caritas-Cadec, Education, and Health) are well established. Their framework of action could be updated. There is need for a more fluid and constant communication among the different Commissions. The activity on justice and peace and human rights defense should be increased

The existing Parishes and mission stations are functioning well but there is a need to open new missions with priests in those areas being equipped with proper reliable instruments such as cars to allow them to function well.

As far as education is concerned the Diocese has considerably small number of educational Institutions: Marist Brothers Secondary School, Don Bosco Technical School and Primary Schools at Kariyangwe, Dete, St. Mary’s, Sacred Heart and St George’s, and a number of “un-registered pre-schools”. No Form 6 school yet in the Diocese.
Health Institutions: Kariyangwe, Kamativi and St. Patrick’s hospitals; Lukunguni Clinic, Lubhancho House, Old Age Home and Badala Home are receiving little assistance from official structures and depend heavily on charitable assistance

Self-supporting Church. The economic meltdown we have experienced in the country has had a negative effect on the previous achievements towards a self-supporting Church. Different approaches by different pastoral agents are in need of study, clarification and a common policy formulated to coordinate efforts towards a lesser dependency from outside help.
As the synod has ended the Christians will have to wait  and see whether certain policies will be made that will help to shape the diocese(for it to be relevant) as we walk together in the light of the risen lord  to address.

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