Roman Catholic Church

Roman Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Church has a history of mission work in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) running back more than four hundred and fifty years. The first attempt to evangelize Zimbabwe was made in the sixteenth century by Jesuit Father Goncalo da Silveira of Portugal. His mission was short lived as he was killed in 1560. Portugal continued to send Jesuit and Dominican Fathers into the area. But after political events in Europe caused all missionaries to leave in 1775, there was little to show for their efforts.

The second Catholic missionary effort in Zimbabwe followed along with the Protestant evangelism in Africa beginning in the nineteenth centenary.  Based on the earlier work of Fr. Silveira and is successors, in February 1879 the original “Zambezi Mission” (Catholic administrative area), which included part of Zambia, was entrusted by the Vatican to the Jesuit Fathers.  A team of Jesuits set out for Zimbabwe from South Africa that same year.  After many trials and tribulations, Empandeni Mission was established, the first “permanent” Catholic mission in Zimbabwe.

Over the years, other Catholic religious orders joined the Jesuits in Zimbabwe. Trappist Monks from Mariannhill (Mariannhill-Fathers) in Natal came up to Ingyanga District in 1896.  Their attempt to start mission was brought short by the Shona rebellion, but they returned and were ultimately successful in 1908.  As part of reorganization, in 1929 the Mariannhill-Fathers exchanged their missions in Mashonaland with the Jesuits for missions in Matabeleland (in and around Bulawayo).

More help was needed so the Bethlehem Fathers (SMB) from Switzerland were invited in – arriving in 1938.  The Bethlehem Fathers assumed responsibility for the area of present day Gwelo Diocese where they still play a supporting role.  Carmelite Fathers of the Irish Province arrived in 1953 and were active in what is presently the Diocese of Mutare.  The majority of mission stations were also staffed with Sisters of various Religious Orders.

Beginning in the late 1970’s, churches and missions passed to the control of local Catholic dioceses.  There are presently approximately 1,145,000 Catholics in Zimbabwe (representing about 9% of the population).

Missions

Northern Rhodesia
  • 1895 – Kayambi Mission
  • 1905 – Chikuni Mission
  • Chilubula Mission
Nyasaland
Southern Rhodesia

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis
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Postcards: Paris Evangelical Missionary Society – Noel 1906

Paris Evangelical Missionary Society

Noel 1906

No.sDescriptionEarliest PMK Date
N/AUne nouvelle station au Zambeze: Lukona
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Postcards: Paris Evangelical Missionary Society – Noel 1904

Paris Evangelical Missionary Society

Noel 1904

No.sDescriptionEarliest PMK Date
N/AMr. Coillard dans sa pirogue
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Postcards: The Barotsi Mission – Series A

Paris Evangelical Missionary Society

The Barotsi Mission – Series A

This series was published by the London Auxiliary for the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society in 1912. They were sold in a packet of six for 4d (or individually for 1d each).

No.sDescriptionEarliest PMK Date
N/AA Glimpse of Victoria Falls.
N/AFrancois Coillard (1834-1904)
N/ARev. F. Coillard in his canoe on the Zambesi.
N/ARev. Louis and Madame Jalla.
N/ARoyal canoes on the Upper Zambesi.
N/ASketch Map of South Africa.
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Postcards: Paris Evangelical Missionary Society – Hubacher & Cie (Multiview)

Paris Evangelical Missionary Society

Hubacher & Cie (Multiview)

No.sDescriptionEarliest PMK Date
N/AThree view:
- En route pour le Zamebze
- A Lealuyi
- En route pour le Zambeze
21/01/1903
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Postcards: Paris Evangelical Missionary Society – Series 1

Paris Evangelical Missionary Society

Series 1

No.sDescriptionEarliest PMK Date
N/AChapelle di Soufola (Zambeze)00/00/1904
N/ALeaylui (Zambeze)14/08/1899
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Postcards: Paris Evangelical Missionary Society – Series L

Paris Evangelical Missionary Society

Series L

This series is similar to Series F except ‘ZAMBEZE’ has been replaced with a number.

No.sDescriptionEarliest PMK Date
1
2
3
4
5Francois Coillard
6ZAMBEZE - Mere chretienne et son bebe
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Postcards: Paris Evangelical Missionary Society – Series K

Paris Evangelical Missionary Society

Series K

No.sDescriptionEarliest PMK Date
N/ANoeuds d'herbe le long...
N/AInteriour d'un "luongo"...00/05/1933
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Postcards: Paris Evangelical Missionary Society – Series J

Paris Evangelical Missionary Society

Series J

No.sDescriptionEarliest PMK Date
N/APAYSAGES D'AFRIQUE - BARQUE SU LE ZAMBEZE
N/AZAMBEZE - FEMMES MA-ROTSE
N/AZAMBEZE - SEANCE DE DIVINATION
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Postcards: Paris Evangelical Missionary Society – Series I

Paris Evangelical Missionary Society

Series I

No.sDescriptionEarliest PMK Date
1
2
3ZAMBEZE _ Salutation 1er mouvement 31/07/1936
4
5
6
7
8
9ZAMBEZE _ Saluation indigine
10ZAMBEZE _ Jameaux
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