Jesuit Superior General, Fr Nicholas Adolf SJ has signed a degree that unites the Jesuit Province of Zimbabwe and the Region of Mozambique into a single apostolic unit, the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Province.
The coming together of the two was with immediate effect. The people of Zimbabwe and Mozambique share close cultural and liberation ties, with many Mozambicans migrating into the country during the time of conflict and economic instability in the 90’s.
There are over 4 million Catholics in Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony and the country is divided into 12 dioceses, including 3 archdioceses. There are a total of 66 Jesuits from Mozambique who are joining 117 of the formerly Jesuit Province of Province.
Explaining the alterations of the boarders and the creation of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Province, the Provincial, Fr Chiedza Chimhanda, SJ, said, ”The decision was done in order for the Society to offer more universal and better apostolic service in Mozambique and Zimbabwe… There was much work in planning, praying and reflecting on the structures of the Society worldwide.”
“Zimbabwe started off as a Mission and became a Province in 1978.Mozambique has been a dependent region of Portugal. What it means in practical terms is that all Jesuits in Zimbabwe and Mozambique fall under one administration.
There are some Jesuits in Mozambique who speak very little English or no English at all, but are fluent in Portuguese. But language will never be our worry. The nature of the Society of Jesuits is that we do not join a Province but we join the universal Society, with different languages. It means we are experiencing closely the universal dimensions of the Society.
From the 7th of December 2014, all our plans now will include Mozambique and the next Province Assembly on 8 and 9 January 2015 will definitely include our brothers from Mozambique.
“The Jesuits in Mozambique are working in 5 rural parishes, 3 urban parishes, some are working at the Catholic University there, others are in Secondary and Primary Schools and there is also orphanage.
They are largely in Maputo, Beira and Tete.Fr Chiedza said “because of colonial ties, we all started off as Dependant Regions of colonial countries, and there is hope that by the end of 2016, there could be a solid Province of Southern Africa, that will include the Zimbabwe-Mozambique province with the Dependent Region of South Africa, who will work closely with the existing Zambia-Malawi Province.