Roman Catholic Church: Mzondo Mission
Roman Catholic Church
The Jesuits opened Mzondo Mission a few miles outside of Masvingo (Fort Victoria) in 1898 following suppression of the Shona uprising. Fr. Anthony Boos was the first priest in charge. Upon his arrival, he discouragingly wrote how he found “much sand, swamps and rock, that the river did not run permanently and there was almost no timber.” The early missionaries “were desperately poor and did not even have sufficient food to feed themselves properly.” The first mission buildings were two small canvass houses. Bro. Meyer, who had come from the Chishawasha Mission, later built a brick building.
Unfortunately, in addition to the challenges above, the missionaries faced serious health issues. Fr. Boos died of Blackwater fever in April 1899 at the age of 44. Two months later, Bro. Meyer died of fever as well. Due to the poor health of the remaining two priests, the Jesuits abandoned the mission in March 1900. One of two the remaining priests, Father Stempfel, died of poor health four years later.
The mission was re-established in 1909 a few miles away and renamed Gokomere Mission.
- “A History of Christian Missions in Zimbabwe 1890 – 1939 – J.M. Zvobgo
- “The Catholic Church in Zimbabwe 1879-1979 – J. Dachs & W.F. Rea
- Mark Loomis