The closing events of the 125th anniversary of Catholic evangelization in Zambia are taking place on Friday and Saturday this week in Lusaka. The highlight of the anniversay will be the Holy Mass on Saturday to be presided over by Archbishop Teresphore Mpundu, President of Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) at the main arena of the Lusaka Show Grounds. Delegates from the country’s 10 dioceses are taking part in the closing events of the anniversary celebrations which began on 6 August last year under the theme: “The Catholic Church in Zambia, 125 years of God’s Love and Mercy, 1891 – 2016”.
Fr. CLIFFORD MULASIKWANDA sent us this report:
The Zambia Church Celebrates 125 Years of Catholic Faith
Lusaka, 12 July 2017
The Catholic Church in Zambia will hold a two-day closing event to celebrate the 125 years of Catholic Faith in Zambia. The event will take place at Lusaka, Zambia, at the Lusaka Show Grounds Main arena from 14th to 15th July 2017.
As many as 2000 delegates, coming from all the 10 Catholic Dioceses of Zambia, are expected to participate at this great faith event. The National Pastoral Office of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) has lined up a number of activities for the first day; Friday, 14th July 2017, of the event. These include: a Moment of Prayer and Reflection, punctuated by various Exhibitions from Dioceses, Religious Congregations, Lay Movements and Youth Teams. This day has also been left as a Media-interaction day. On the same day, the Catholic Youths will take a leading role in animating special activities, highlighting the different faith activities done in their respective dioceses. Asked about the anticipated participation by the Youth, Fr. Justin Matepa, the ZCCB National Pastoral Coordinator states: “The Zambian Church, though 125 years old, is in essence a young Church. As such, the youth who are the majority in terms of numbers should take center-stage in the forthcoming activities. Their participation is good for posterity ”.
Saturday 15th July 2017 will mark the climax of the closing ceremony at the Show Grounds. His Grace Archbishop Teresphore Mpundu, President of ZCCB will lead the celebration of the Holy Mass that will be concelebrated by all the Catholic Bishops of Zambia. Her Honour Mrs. Inonge Wina, Vice President of the Republic of Zambia, will lead a high-level delegation from the Government of the Republic of Zambia at Holy Eucharist. Fr. Stanley Lubungo, Superior General of the White Fathers will be in attendance too.
Meanwhile, Fr. Justin Matepa has assured the participating delegates of maximum security at the Final Closing celebrations at the Show Grounds. “There is nothing to be worried about. The situation is generally calm. The delegates will be safe, their properties as well. The State Police and the local Church Security will be on hand to provide necessary security”, said Fr. Justin Matepa. This assurance comes in the wake of the declaration of the Threatened state of Public Emergency for 90 days currently prevailing in the country. This came about as a result of the invocation of Article 31 of the Republican Constitution by the President of Zambia, Mr. Edgar Lungu.
Since August 6, 2016 to date, the Catholic Church in Zambia has been celebrating the 125 years of Catholic Faith in Zambia under the theme: “The Catholic Church in Zambia, 125 years of God’s Love and Mercy, 1891 – 2016”.
Fr. CLIFFORD MULASIKWANDA, Parish Priest, St. Kizito’s Catholic Church, Sesheke, Zambia.
Member of the Diocese of Livingstone Exhibition Committee.