The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Fernando Filoni will visit Zambia next month as part of celebrations marking 125 years of the Catholic Church in Zambia.
Although the first Catholic missionaries to attempt the evangelisation of what is today Zambia were the Jesuits in 1879, their mission faltered due to several challenges. The Jesuits crossed the Zambezi river from the south. A second attempt in the early 1900s would be more successful.
The White Fathers (Missionaries of Africa) entering the north of Zambia in 1891, had greater success.
Cardinal Filoni will be in Zambia from 7 to 10 November 2016. Bishop Clement Mulenga, SDB of Kabwe Diocese and Bishop-in-charge of the laity apostolate recently announced details of the Cardinal’s visit to Zambia.
While in Zambia, Cardinal Filoni will attend the National Catholic Forum. Zambia’s National Catholic forum held every three years brings Bishops, priests and the religious as well as the laity to a roundtable discussion of salient pastoral challenges and initiatives facing the country. Cardinal Filoni will also celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of Child Jesus in the capital Lusaka on 9 November 2016. During the visit, the Cardinal is further expected to hold private discussions with the Bishops of Zambia as well as staff members from the three major seminaries of Zambia respectively.
Before coming to Zambia, Cardinal Filoni is scheduled to visit neighbouring Malawi as the Holy Father Pope Francis’ special envoy at the consecration of Karonga Diocese’ Cathedral in Malawi. The consecration in Karonga is scheduled to take place on 5 November 2016.