Month of tears for Zim Catholics

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - SOCIETY - Alvin Zhakata

OCTOBER has been a dark month for the Ro­man Catholic Church in Zim­babwe fol­low­ing the deaths in sep­a­rate in­ci­dences of four min­is­ters — a bishop, two pri­ests and a nun.

In a pe­riod de­scribed by Bulawayo Arch­bishop Alex Thomas as “a month of tears”, the church lost Gweru Dio­cese Bishop Rev­erend Xavier Mun­y­on­gani, Fa­ther Peter Nko­mazana, Fa­ther Martin Schupp and renowned com­poser of Catholic mu­sic Sis­ter Ru­vadiki Plaxedes Ka­mundiya.

Fr Nko­mazana was the Pro­vin­cial of the Mar­i­an­hill Pri­ests while Fr Schupp once served as the Apos­tolic Ad­min­is­tra­tor of the Arch­dio­cese of Bulawayo.

“This month has been a month of tears and as Chris­tians we have to ac­cept God’s ac­tions with open hearts,” Arch­bishop Thomas said at a memo­rial mass held at St Mary’s Basil­ica in Bulawayo. “The time is nigh for you and me to re­visit our hearts and con­science and ask our­selves whether we are ready to be called by God.”

On October 8, Fr Nko­mazana’s con­feres found him dead in his Bulawayo of­fice af­ter he did not show up for sup­per. The priest was di­a­betic. A week later the church was again plunged into mourn­ing when Bishop Mun­y­on­gani suc­cumbed to a rare type of bone can­cer that was di­ag­nosed late.

Bishop Mun­y­on­gani’s fu­neral drew over 30 000 mourn­ers, in­clud­ing bish­ops, pri­ests and Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials led by Vice-Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa.

Fr Schupp died a few hours af­ter Bishop Mun­y­on­gani breathed his last and the news of his pass­ing on fur­ther damp­ened the spir­its of griev­ing Catholics. He was ap­pointed the Apos­tolic Ad­min­is­tra­tor for Bulawayo Arch­dio­cese in Septem­ber 2007 af­ter the res­ig­na­tion of Arch­bishop Emer­i­tus Pius Ncube, and served in that ca­pac­ity un­til the in­stal­la­tion of Arch­bishop Thomas in Septem­ber 2009. At the time of his death he was based in Ger­many. Last Mon­day, the griev­ing church awoke to de­tails of the grisly mur­der of Sr Ka­mundiya, whose body was found in a dam in Mu­toko near a shrine com­monly known as Blue Cross where she was pray­ing in soli­tude.

Po­lice have ar­rested Enoch Potani (20) of Gurira vil­lage in Mu­toko who re­port­edly con­fessed to the grue­some crime and was found with the nun’s blood-stained clothes and un­der­gar­ments.

He re­port­edly said he raped her, struck a fa­tal blow to her head with a rock, and then threw the body into a dam.

She will be re­mem­bered for her singing and up­lift­ing com­po­si­tions.

Fr Nko­mazana Fr Schupp Bishop Mun­y­on­gani Sis­ter Ru­vadiki Plaxedes Ka­mundiya

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.