The second half of January of 2018 has been lived in Zimbabwe. I have been visiting this mission that belongs to Bética Province, which is made up of a formation house in Harare (with five seminarians), a parish in Ruwa (about 30 km from the capital) and a mission in Zhomba - Gokwe (about 500 km away from the heart of the country). Besides that, our missionaries are also committed to education ministry (at St. Vincent – Ruwa and St. Claret in Chiutsi – Zhomba), to spread and publish the Word of God in Shona, and to collaborate spiritually with other Religious Orders.
The 8 missionaries working here are originally from Spain, India, Sri Lanka and Korea. Such multicultural environment challenges them daily. More Claretians are expected to join this mission.
Zimbabwe is moving forward in a new stage of its social-economical-political life. On the upcoming months there will be elections. Hope that the current atmosphere can foster even more trust, security, peace that will lead this nation to growth for the good of all.
In a country that depends so much on agriculture, do not have water during this rain season has been a big drama. Just to give an example, one of these days after mass, some members of that rural community where we were at had to leave to defend their goods from several elephants who came in despair to the village searching for water. As a very good news, at the end of the month, it started raining.
From the 25 until the 30 of January we had an Assembly with all the missionaries. The Provincial Superior of Bética, Fr. Félix Martínez, was also present on this special moment of communion, discernment and planning. There was time to pray, to listen to the Word of God and to one another, to reflect on the processes of transformation, to share about the encounter of ACLA in Nairobi, to learn and practice interculturality, to evaluate the last year since the general and provincial canonical visits, to dialogue about important matters (such as, community life, spirituality, initial and ongoing formation, missionary project, youth and vocational ministry, publications, learning of the culture and language, coordination of the mission), to give feedback from the encounters with the Bishops, with the Pastoral Counsels,... and to ponder the next stage of the Claretian presence in Zimbabwe when Bética will be integrated into Fátima Province.
Finally, on the 29th of January, two seminarians began Postulancy. On that day, all of us celebrated joyfully the sixteenth anniversary of the first arrival, blessed by the presence of 2 of the first 3 pioneers (Fr. Luis Serón and Fr. Antonio Llamas) and in deep communion with all the other missionaries that have been evangelizing in Zimbabwe. May our good God keep blessing this mission with more native vocations, and keep accompanying our missionaries so they can continue to be faithful to their vocation while serving the local Church with our charism.
Click here to see other photos from Zimbabwe mission.
MS 1 (Cf. CC 2; Dir 26.)