Roman Catholic Church: Mutero Mission
Roman Catholic Church
Mutero Mission began as an outstation of Mukaro Mission. It became its own independent mission in 1956. Located in the Gutu Tribal Trust Land in Masvingo Province, Southern Rhodesia (among the Shona peoples), it was established by the Bethlehem Missionary Society (SMB) under the leadership of Bishop Haene.
Simon Mutero, the son of the local chief, persuaded his father to win the support of chief Chagwiza to permit the Roman Catholics to open a school in 1946. The area had previously been under the influence of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC), but the local populace had become dissatisfied when the DRC closed down local schools. Mutero would go on to teach at the mission for over 20 years. When SMB missionary, Fr. Joseph Suter, first arrived, he saw “only a vista of treeless land without water or pasture. Water was obtained from a borehole; buildings were put up and primary and junior secondary schools established.”
The Mutero mission community in the late 1970s consisted of Bethlehem Father Anthony Wey, the mission superior, Fr Walter Kaufmann, Fr James Bernet, Fr Winterhalder, and five sisters of the Diocesan Congregation of the Infant Jesus (SJI) under the leadership of Sr Tarcisia Gundani, the superior. The sisters ran the primary and the secondary school and the clinic. All stayed at the mission throughout “the war of independence, in spite of the dangers and hardships, and being cut off from all outside communication from April 1979 to April 1980. Father Urayai would later join the Mutero from Serima Mission,
The mission presently consists of Chatikobo Primary School, Mutero High school (with a current enrollment of 765 students and 35 staff), and the Mutero Mission Clinic.
- Old and New in the Shona Independent Churches; Vol 1: Background and Rise of the Major Movements – M. L. Daneel
- On the Frontline; Catholic Missions in Zimbabwe’s Liberation War – Janice McLaughlin
- Mutero High holds prize giving day, The Mirror