Regina Coeli Mission

Regina Coeli Mission

Nyanga

Father Senan Egan, of the Catholic Irish Province of the Order of Carmelites (“Carmelites”), began construction of Regina Coeli Mission in 1956 at Nyanga. The Carmelites came to Manicaland in 1946 and over the next few years a number of Jesuit missions were transferred to the Order, including Triashill and St. Barbara’s. Regina Coeli was the second mission built by the Carmelites.

In 1957, the Dutch, Sisters of Charity, assumed responsibility for the running of the Mission hospital. They would later start a nurses training school for girls who had completed Standard Six of Upper Primary School.

A church was built in 1959 and in 1965, a secondary school for boys and girls was opened.  The Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa replaced the Sisters of Charity in 1975.

Tragically, Regina Coeli is often remembered for a terrible bus accident that occurred on August 2, 1991.  83 students and five members of the staff were killed when their bus, returning from an intra-mural game, crashed about 20 kilometers from the school.  It has been described as the worse road accident in Zimbabwe history.

The Carmelites withdrew from Regina Coeli in 2005 after 50 years of ministry.

References

  • Carmelites in Zimbabwe; 50 years; A souvenir of the Golden Jubilee of The Irish Carmelites in Zimbabwe, 1946-1996 – Michael Hender, O. Carm
  • The Catholic Church in Manicaland, 1896 – 1996 – Leo Gallagher, O. Carm. 
  • The Diocese of Mutare & The Carmelites in Zimbabwe (Up to March 2011) – John McGrath, O. Carm.
Contributors
  • Mark Loomis
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