Frances Persons (nee Jessop)

Frances Persons (nee Jessop)


Frances “Lois” Jessop was born in Chadwell, England March 1913.  She came to the United States in 1929. After graduating from the Chicago Evangelistic Institute she enrolled at Asbury College, but interrupted her studies to service as a missionary with the Methodist Episcopal Church’s Old Umtali Mission in Southern Rhodesia beginning 1937. There she taught in the Bible Institute, edited a journal for the mission and assisted the mission director. After three years she returned to Asbury to finish her degree.

In 1941, she married Maurice E. Persons whom she had met as a fellow student at Chicago Evangelistic Institute and who had also been in Southern Rhodesia.  A year later, the Persons returned to Africa as Methodist missionaries where Mr. Persons served in a number of capacities between 1947 and 1968 in Liberia and the Congo.

Mrs. Person served as a high school teacher, conducted classes for the development of African women and taught Swahili to new missionaries.  They return returned to the Congo in 1977 where they served until retirement in Phoenix, Arizona in 1980. Mrs. Person died June 2003.  Mr. Persons died 2004.


  • Mark Loomis


Postcards: Universities’ Mission to Central Africa – Ndola

Universities’ Mission to Central Africa


No.sDescriptionEarliest PMK Date
N/AThe Cathedral Church of the nativity...


The Boys’ Brigade

The Boys’ Brigade

The Boys’ Brigade (BB) is an international interdenominational Christian youth organisation, conceived by Sir William Alexander Smith and Chester to combine drill and fun activities with Christian values. Following its inception in Glasgow in 1883 The Boys’ Brigade quickly spread across the United Kingdom, becoming a worldwide organisation by the early 1890s. As of 2018, there were 750,000 Boys’ Brigade members in 60 countries.

The Boys’ Brigade has branches in Malawi (est.1910), Zambia (est.1957) and Zimbabwe (est.1948).

  • James Gavin


Roman Catholic Church: St Anthony’s Mission (ZA)

Roman Catholic Church

St. Anthony’s Mission (Zambia)

St Anthony’s Catholic mission was originally run by Italians, who laid a water system throughout the village, fed by two large water tanks, planted a vineyard, planted trees for lumber, and ran a rather well equipped mission hospital. They had, at one time, a landing strip, hydroelectric power and an x-ray machine. The government took this over at some point and appropriated most of the equipment for use elsewhere. The Italians, according to locals, ripped up the vineyards and much of the pipes for the water system before they left.

The mission is currently run by a Zambian priest and several sisters. They are heavily cooperative with the hospital, which has been resupplied to a lesser degree, and serves as a main clinic for the area. They provide weekly health services to various outreach stations including child health (weighing, vaccinating, deworming), giving health talks, handing out condoms and other things.

St Anthony’s is also one of several purchasing points after the harvest, where maize is purchased from the village farmers for cash and piled for transport to processing centres. The school is rather large for a rural school and has been involved in international penpal programmes, as well as a carpentry program aided by the US Peace Corps and the International and Luanshya Rotary Club.

St Anthony’s has a small market on most days, where vegetables (tomatoes, cabbage and onions) can be bought. The mission runs a store with some other amenities, but this is not open all the time.


  • St Anthony’s Mission Poultry
  • St Anthony’s Mission School
  • Mpongwe Mission Hospital



Postcards: Old Umtali Mission – Type III

Old Umtali Mission

Type III


1988 – Papal Visit of Pope John Paul II

Papal Visit of Pope John Paul II

10-13 September 1988

In 1988, Pope John Paul II made his fourth visit to Africa and his 39th apostolic journey. The Pope made a 10-day tour that was scheduled to touch down in every country that bordered South Africa while pointedly avoiding the country itself.

His first stop was Zimbabwe. On the 10 September he visited Harare where he met with followers at the Borrowdale Racecourse. On the 12 September he visited Bulawayo. While in Zimbabwe he endorsed economic sanctions against the Pretoria Government when a bill to impose them was facing strong Republican opposition in the United States Congress.

He left on 13 Sept where he travelled to Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, with a detour through South Africa. 

FDC Roma
The Golden Series
F.D.C. Capitolium
Africa 88


Roman Catholic Church: Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Roman Catholic Church

Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

St Dominic de Guzman (c1173 – 1221) founded the Dominican Order (also known as the “Order of Preachers” – OP) in the early Middle Ages.  Women were apart of the Order from the beginning.  A convent of contemplative nuns was established in Prouille, near Toulouse, France in 1206.  Later, a number of “houses of women” attached to the Order were setup through out Europe, including the community of St Ursula in Augsburg, Germany.

The Dominican Sisters in their current form, however, are largely a product of the Nineteenth Century.  As a result of increasing missionary fervor, monasteries were asked to send groups of women to found schools and medical clinics around the world.  In response, seven Dominican sisters from St Ursula’s Convent led by Mother Tiefenböck arrived in South Africa in 1877 to found the Convent of the Sacred Heart in King Williams Town (KWT).

Mary Anne Cosgrave, taking the name of Mary Patrick at final profession, was an early member of the community, coming to South Africa from Ireland in 1880 at age 17. Nine years later Sister Patrick was asked to lead of party of five KWT Dominican sisters in support of the “Pioneer Column” then being assembled for the occupation of Mashonaland.

Reaching Salisbury in July 1891, the sisters took charge of the rudimentary hospital that had been set up.  In response to pleas from the growing population of settlers, in October 1892 they established the first school (convent) in Salisbury.  Mother Patrick and the Dominican sisters were called upon again to provide nursing care when, in 1896, Southern Rhodesia was engulfed in the Ndebele and Shona uprisings.

By 1898, the number of sisters in Rhodesia under Mother Patrick had risen to approximately 30, with communities in Salisbury, Fort Victoria, Bulawayo and at Chishawasha Mission.  In that year the Rhodesian sisters were separated from their “Mother House” at King Williams Town to form their own independent community.  Father Sykes, Superior of the Zambezi Mission (responsible for Rhodesia) had come to the conclusion that “this would enable them to adapt themselves better to local conditions … and in this way ensure and promote the growth and development of the Church in Rhodesia.”  The decision was made, however, without consulting the sisters themselves, who were then forced to make the difficult decision of remaining in Rhodesia or returning to their “Mother House.”  Nineteen sisters decided to remain. Mother Patrick was unanimously elected Prioress of the new community in 1899.  Unfortunately, due to ill health, she died soon after.

The Dominican sisters faced adversity during the “Bush War”/”War of liberation.” On February 6, 1977, four sisters were murdered along with three Jesuits as Musami Mission.  Another sister was killed in 1979 at Driefontein Mission. The name of the community was revised in 1984 to the present name of “Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”

Today, the Dominican Missionary Sisters operate a number of schools and other facilities in Zimbabwe, including the Dominican convents in Harare and Bulawayo, St Dominic at Chishawasha, and Emerald Hill; and hospitals at St Theresa, St Joseph and Regina Coeli Mission.  Locations outside of Zimbabwe include England (Greenwich and Gossops Green, Crawley), Germany (Kloster Strahlfeld), Colombia (Bogotá), and Kenya (St Mulumba Hospital and Juja).


Southern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia
  • 1970 – St Catherine of Siena International Novitiate


  • Mark Loomis

Roman Catholic Church: Southern Rhodesia

Roman Catholic Church

Southern Rhodesia


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