Africa has continued to be a continent where wars, famines and religious conflicts take place. In many regions, Islamist terrorist groups are putting the lives of Christians in danger. In addition, corruption, crime and natural disasters threaten the lives of the faithful.
But that is not all there is to know about this continent. At the special synod of Bishops held in 2009 on the Church in Africa, then Pope Benedict XVI described Africa as an immense spiritual lung for a humanity that appears to be in a crisis of faith and hope.
Hence, the Church in Africa is pivotal to the survival of the faith in today’s world.
Of its more than 1.1 billion inhabitants, 215 million are Catholic and in addition to its pastoral efforts, the Church is also socially engaged in Africa, including in activities such as education, pastoral ministry to refugees, medical care and the protection of life. ACN supports more than 1,800 projects in 48 African countries every year.
As a testimony of this deep faith, Zimbabwe’s Archdiocese of Bulawayo is celebrating 140 years of Christianity, one of the most remarkable stories in the history of evangelization.
The Archbishop of Bulawayo, Alex Thomas, confirmed this reality saying, “the Faith that was planted like a mustard seed has grown into a tree reaching out to all the corners of Zimbabwe. But we have a responsibility to keep it, make it better and produce more fruit”
The celebrations which held at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Pumula South were coupled with the priestly ordinations of Frs. Prize Kevin Madzivanyika CMM, Brian Francis Kandlela and Vusimuzi Golden Moyo.
The Archbishop hinted on the need to cherish, protect and advance the imprint left by the founding missionaries whom he said left a legacy of hard work, Faith and commitment. The Archbishop also stressed that the Church can only grow based on the strong Faith of its members who do not compromise when it comes to faith matters.
The newly ordained priests and the entire clergy were reminded, by the Archbishop, that priesthood in the Catholic Church is a sacrifice for the Kingdom of God and not a position, office, job or profession.
The event was finally capped by the launching of the book, “Sowing the Word: From Zambezi Mission to the Archdiocese of Bulawayo;” then the blessing and launching into the air of the missionary rosary. Several catechists were also honoured for devoting their lives to spreading the Faith and the Gospel within the region.